It’s no secret that raising a family is expensive business. If it’s not summoning up the cash simply to buy the essentials, it’s then buying everything on top of that.
In fact, it’s estimated that raising a child until the age of 18 starts at roughly £75,000 so, when every penny counts, choosing a grant could be right for you.
If you’re a soon-to-be parent in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, take note: you could be entitled to an upfront sum of £500 thanks to the Sure Start Maternity Grant.
Live in Scotland instead? You can actually apply for £600 through the Pregnancy and Baby Payment instead.
These grants are designed to help cover some of the costs of having children, such as a new pram or baby clothes and is a cash payment you don’t need to pay back.
To qualify for the Sure Start Maternity Grant, you must be pregnant with your first child or are expecting a multiple birth (such as twins), as well as receive any of the below 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
- Support for Mortgage Interest loan
The grant applies to pregnant women, as well as those who are looking to adopt, or if you are becoming a surrogate parent.
You could also be eligible for the grant even if you already have children under the age of 16, and the child you’re caring for is someone else’s (but not your partner’s) and the child was over 12 months old when the arrangement started.
The amount you can claim also depends on how many children you are expecting.
If it’s your first child, you can get £500, or if you already have at least one child under 16 (and none of them are from multiple births), you can get £500 for twins or £1,000 for triplets.
To apply for the grant, you’ll need to fill in the Sure Start Maternity Grant (SF100) claim form or if you live in Northern Ireland, you can download a claim form from nidirect.
The grant must be claimed within 11 weeks of the baby’s due date or within six months after the baby’s birth, while a health professional, such as a doctor or midwife, must also sign your claim form.
For full details on everything you will need and how to claim visit the GOV.uk website.