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Social Fund maternity payment changes - DMG Memo 56/10

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John's picture
Joined: 09/03/2008


Changes to social fund maternity payments

New HB guidance


15 December, 2010


The DWP has issued new guidance in relation to changes to social fund maternity payments from 13 December 2010.

In DMG Memo 56/10, the DWP gives guidance on changes introduced by the Social Fund Maternity Grant Amendment Regulations 2010 (SI.No.2760/2010) that extend the circumstances in which a person is eligible for a sure start maternity grant to -

  • those people awarded residence orders;
  • guardians;
  • those with whom children are placed for adoption;
  • those who have adopted a child under a recognised adoption which takes place outside the UK; and
  • fathers (or other parents) who are not the mother’s partner at the time a sure start maternity grant is claimed.

The guidance sets out -

  • definitions of the new categories of eligible person;
  • provision against double payment of a sure start maternity grant;
  • conditions of entitlement to include the new categories of eligible person; and
  • prescribed time limits to include the new categories of eligible person.

DMG Memo 56/10< is available from the DWP website.

John's picture
Joined: 09/03/2008

Work and Pensions<

Sure Start Maternity Grant<

The Minister of State, Department for Work and Pensions (Steve Webb): The Government announced in the emergency Budget that, from April 2011, payment of the Sure Start maternity grant would be protected at the current rate of £500, but limited to the first child. Amending regulations were laid today restricting payment to families where their new baby, or babies if it is a multiple birth, will be the only child under 16 in their household. The regulations will come into force on 24 January and apply to babies born, expected, or the subject of an adoption or other analogous arrangement, on or after 11 April 2011.

Sure Start maternity grants are available to families in receipt of income support, income-related employment and support allowance, income-based jobseeker's allowance, pension credit, child tax credit at a rate above the family element, or working tax credit that also includes a disability or severe disability element. This broad eligibility ensures that the grant is as widely available as possible among families with lower incomes both in and out of work.

Restricting payment in this way ensures that the limited resources available support families when they need it most. Expenditure is inevitably highest when a new baby is the only child in the household and there are no baby items that can be reused or recycled.

This measure will save £73 million a year as part of the Government's deficit management plans.

Click here for The Social Security Grant Amendment Regulations 2011 Statutory Instrument 2011 No. 100<