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Am I entitled to maternity allowance?

Discussion in 'Pregnancy' started by tatianagirl, Jan 12, 2016.

  1. tatianagirl

    tatianagirl New commenter

    I started with a school in a different LEA in September and was with my previous LEA for 8 years.

    I will be getting occupational maternity pay for the first 18 weeks (4 weeks full pay, 2 weeks 90% , 12 weeks half pay) but am not entitled to SMP after that as have not been with current LEA long enough.

    My union couldn't say for certain if I can claim MA once the occupational pay has ended.

    Does anyone have a definitive answer or been through the same situation?
  2. DaisysLot

    DaisysLot Senior commenter

    I could tell you… but I need a few more details…
    1. Did you have a break in service between your previous LEA role of 8 years, and starting your new post in September?

    You can check your eligibility yourself here - www.tesfaq.co.uk - the maternity section…. flow chart….
  3. tatianagirl

    tatianagirl New commenter

    Thank you DaisyLots. No, no break, finished last school August 31st and started new one 1st September
  4. DaisysLot

    DaisysLot Senior commenter

    What is your due date?

    Against your personal circumstance and relevant dates, where does the eligibility checker place you?
    I'm failing to see how you can be cited as eligible for occupational maternity pay but not SMP - It's usually the other way around…
  5. tatianagirl

    tatianagirl New commenter

    I'm due in about 6 weeks!
  6. tatianagirl

    tatianagirl New commenter

    The eligibility checker says I'm entitled to occupational pay but not SMP. It says MA if eligible alongside occupational pay but still doesn't tell me how to be eligible!
  7. DaisysLot

    DaisysLot Senior commenter

    It seems you fall into 'Category B'….
    I'm surprised your union couldn't better advise you… or indeed your school!
    Slightly different circumstances but I had to apply for MA myself a couple of years ago…

    You need to apply for MA now. It's paid at the same rate as SMP but whereas SMP is automatic and comes through your employer, MA is applied for and paid directly to you. Like SMP is it also paid for 39 weeks commencing for the start date of your maternity leave until your return to work if sooner than the eligible 39 weeks. Like SMP it is paid along side your occupational maternity pay if you are also eligible for that - so there's no difference financially but a big difference in terms of the mechanism to make it happen. You can apply here -
    Your school/ LEA will need to provide you with form SMP1 where they cite why they cannot pay you SMP.
    You also need to provide an outline/ proof of your earnings (payslips) for the 26 weeks in the last 66 prior to your due date.
    It was quite a simple procedure, though the turnaround on an application is not always wonderfully quick (about 4-6 weeks I think…) The helpline people were really good when I called - The form is your typically over complicated confuzzling gov.uk style affair.

    Let me know how you get on!
  8. tatianagirl

    tatianagirl New commenter

    Thank you so much for your help. I only found out about MA through a conversation with a friend. My union in fact told me i would only be entitled to 18 weeks occupational pay and didn't even mention MA! It has been as clear as mud thus far but you have been very helpful indeed so thank you very much!
  9. DaisysLot

    DaisysLot Senior commenter

    A pleasure.

    I'm appalled at your union… Send them to me for correction and disciplinary action. :D

    All the best with the big day!

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