Ex­pec­tant par­ents can claim baby cash

Western Mail - - NEWS -

EX­PEC­TANT par­ents can now ap­ply for a grant of up to £600 to help with the costs of hav­ing a child, it has been re­vealed.

The Sure Start Ma­ter­nity Grant, avail­able in Wales, Eng­land and North­ern Ire­land, is of­fer­ing a one-off, up­front sum of £500.

Res­i­dents liv­ing in Scot­land can get £600 through the Preg­nancy and Baby Pay­ment.

It is claimed the ba­sic cost of rais­ing a child un­til the age of 18 is £75,000, and up to £155,000 if child­care costs are in­cluded, so the UK Gov­ern­ment grant aims to al­le­vi­ate some of the fi­nan­cial pres­sures of rais­ing a new­born.

Par­ents can usu­ally qual­ify for the Sure Start Ma­ter­nity Grant grant if both of the fol­low­ing ap­ply:

■ if you’re preg­nant with your first child;

■ if you are ex­pect­ing a mul­ti­ple birth (like twins) and have chil­dren al­ready.

To qual­ify for this grant women or their part­ners must al­ready re­ceive one of these ben­e­fits:

■ in­come sup­port;

■ in­come-based job­seeker’s al­lowance;

■ em­ploy­ment and sup­port al­lowance;

■ pen­sion credit;

■ child tax credit;

■ work­ing tax credit that in­cludes a dis­abil­ity or se­vere dis­abil­ity el­e­ment;

■ uni­ver­sal credit.

Par­ents can also get a cash pay­ment if they are a sur­ro­gate child or adopt­ing a child.

Par­ents must claim the grant within 11 weeks of the baby’s due date or within six months after the baby’s birth.

And what’s more, par­ents do not have to pay the grant back and it will not af­fect any other ben­e­fits or tax cred­its.

A health pro­fes­sional, such as a doc­tor or mid­wife, must also sign the claim form which can be sent by post or taken to a lo­cal Job­cen­tre plus.

Amounts on of­fer un­der the scheme in­clude:

■ if you are a first-time par­ent, you will get a pay­ment of £500.

■ if you have one or more chil­dren al­ready and are ex­pect­ing twins, the pay­ment is also £500.

■ if you have one or more chil­dren and are ex­pect­ing triplets, the grant dou­bles to £1,000.

■ in the un­likely event you al­ready have twins and are ex­pect­ing triplets, the pay­ment is £500. And in the even more un­likely event that you al­ready have triplets and are ex­pect­ing an­other set of triplets, you won’t get any­thing.

All ben­e­fits, pen­sions and al­lowances are paid into your bank, build­ing so­ci­ety or credit union ac­count.

■ For more de­tails go to www. gov.uk/sure-start-ma­ter­ni­ty­grant

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