Maternity and child benefits

You may be eligible for the following benefits, if you are having a baby, or have children.

This is a summary of the main criteria for information only. Any award will be subject to application and meeting the full eligibility criteria. If you would like more details or need advice, contact the welfare rights team.

This information is correct at the date of publishing on 1 March 2019, but may be subject to change.


Statutory Maternity Pay

When you take time off work to have a baby, you may be entitled to Statutory Maternity Pay. This is an employee benefit and is paid for up to 39 weeks.

Statutory Maternity Pay on GOV.UK


Maternity Allowance

Maternity Allowance is a benefit for women who are self employed or are working but not entitled to Statutory Maternity Pay.

Maternity Allowance on GOV.UK


Statutory Paternity Pay

When your wife, partner or civil partern gives birth or adopts a child, you may be entitled to Statutory Paternity Pay for two weeks.

Statutory Paternity Pay on GOV.UK


Best Start Grant & Best Start Foods

You may be eligible for a Best Start Grant if you live in Scotland and are in receipt of certain benefits (or are under 18 years of age). This Grant is paid in three instalments for each child to help with costs at different stages.

Also, if you live in Scotland and are pregnant or have a child under 3 years old (4 in certain circumstances)you may be eligible for Best Start Foods. This is a payment made onto a card every four weeks so that you can buy healthy food in local shops.

Find out about Best Start Grants & Best Start Food on GOV.UK


Child Benefit

This benefit is paid from birth. It is not means tested, unless you are a high earner.

Child Benefit on GOV.UK


Council Tax Reduction

You may qualify for help to pay your Council Tax if you are on a low income, out of work or have little or no savings. The amount of Council Tax Reduction you receive depends on your circumstances.

Apply for Council Tax Reduction