To apply for Maternity Allowance you’ll need to fill out the application form which can either be filled out online and then printed or printed and filled out by hand. The application form then needs to be posted off along with the supporting documentation – proof of your income and your original MATB1 form.
You can claim Maternity Allowance as soon as you’ve been pregnant for 26 weeks and you’ve got your MATB1 form as you’ll need to send this off with your application form. You can choose for payments to start up to 11 weeks before your baby is due, and you’re entitled to Maternity Allowance for up to 39 weeks.
The application form is centred around your ‘Test Period’ which is worked out using the Test Period table available on the Maternity Allowance website. The Test Period is the 66 weeks up to and including the week before your baby is due.
It is this Test Period that determines the amounts you’re eligible for. To be eligible for the full 39 weeks of Maternity Allowance you’ll need to have been registered as self-employed for at least 26 weeks and have earned more than £30 per week for at least 13 non-consecutive weeks in the Test Period.
The Test Period also determines how much you’ll receive as it’s calculated on your Class 2 National Insurance contributions paid within this period. The standard claim amount is £151.97 per week but if your National Insurance contributions are not up to date, you’ll be awarded an amount between £27 and £151.97 depending on your National Insurance record. If you’re not awarded the full allowance, you can make a voluntary National Insurance payment to complete your record – HMRC will advise you of how much this is.
If you have any further questions about Maternity Allowance as an LLP member, either reach out to us here or to your client manager.