You should seek advice as soon as you find out you are pregnant.
Benefits have to be claimed on different forms, from different offices, depending on what you are claiming. Maternity rights are complex and sometimes change, so you should get further advice if you are unsure. There are many voluntary organisations that are happy to help, so do not hesitate to ask for advice or get an opinion.
Visit NHS Choices for more information on
Statutory maternity pay (SMP)
For information on breastfeeding at work click here
For more information on Healthy Start click here
For more information on Care to Learn click here
For more information on benefits support in Wandsworth click here
Available to all mothers
You are entitled to free NHS prescriptions and dental treatment during pregnancy and for 1 year (12 months) after the birth of your child.
You will need to fill in a form FW8 (from your doctor or midwife) and apply for a maternity exemption certificate.
This is a tax free benefit available to parents for children from birth to the age of 16. You may be given a claim form in hospital after your baby is born. Otherwise you can get it from the local post office or Jobcentre plus office.
You will need to send the form with your baby’s birth certificate to the Child Benefit Centre. The benefit can be paid monthly (or weekly in some cases) into your bank or building society account.
Child Trust Fund
This is a long term saving and investment account for your child. No tax needs to be paid on the money in the fund.
Your child will be able to withdraw money from the account when he/she reaches 18 years of age.
A voucher will be given to you for the sum of £250 to help you start off when your child is born (if you live in the UK and are receiving child benefits)
You can add up to £1200 a year into the account.
If you receive the full amount of child tax credit you will be eligible for more money for the fund.
You may also be eligible for working tax credit and child tax credit to help with looking after your child. The amount you get will depend on your individual circumstances.
For more information contact the Tax Credit Helpline on 0845 300 3900 (8am to 8pm daily)
If you are not working or your family income is low you may also be able to claim…
Healthy Start free vitamins and food vouchers for fresh fruit and vegetables, milk and infant formula. Ask your doctor for a leaflet or visit their website for more details
Council tax benefit
Housing benefit to help with your rent
Income based job seekers allowance
£500 Sure start maternity grant
Help with mortgage interest repayments
Social fund loans
Fares to hospital
Click on the following links for more information about rights and benefits in pregnancy