Expectant parents can claim baby cash
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