Maternity Allowance - help needed!

Has anyone had to claim Maternity Allowance from the government instead of get SMP?

I started my job at 13 weeks pregnant so I don't think I can get SMP, although I can't ask my employer formally until I get my MATB, which isn't until my midwife appointment next Thursday - and I legally need to request SMP from my employer and advise them of my maternity leave plans by next Friday. ! If they won't pay it (which I doubt they will) I need to claim Maternity Allowance, and this is where I'm getting stuck.

I'm really confused as to exactly when I should claim it. I have read the notes online over and over again and I can't work out if I'm supposed to claim it now (there's a note about making sure you do it within a certain time period or they delay it??), or when I go on maternity leave - which will be at Christmas, so I doubt my form will get processed all that quickly! I also don't want to start getting paid too early, by applying too early, as I want to get paid for as long as possible after baby arrives.  I know I could ring the helpline but I can't be @rsed to be stuck on hold all day so just wondered if anyone on here could help me out? :-)



  • I was in a similar boat- I got pregnant about a week before starting job!

    As he was so early I think I filled in the form as soon as I had him. Took about 2 weeks to come through though

  • You won't be entitled to SMP as you have not worked there long enough. You can claim MA from 26 weeks. Your employer will fill in an SMP1 form stating why they are not required to pay you SMP which you then need to send off with your MA1 form (from the gov website) along with your last 3 months payslips I think.

  • Thanks both. HatTrick I think I have to ask anyway dont I, so that they can formally reject my request and give me the SMP1 form? I thought I did but maybe im wrong...

    workinghard, do you need to wait until you want payments to start, to apply, then? Would you have applied later if he hadn't come so early?

    Im just worried about getting it all wrong.

  • I claimed MA, I took my forms to the the job centre to be processed. I don't remember having to give an exact date, I'm fairly sure I phoned them to say what date I wanted my payments to start from.

  • Ok. I guess I'll just phone them now then and make sure I'm doing it right. Thanks everyone.

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