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Guide for parents
Guide for parents

What financial assistance am I entitled to if I am pregnant or have just had a baby?

If you become pregnant during your studies, you may become eligible for the following additional sources of support:

  1. Sure Start Maternity Grant – you may be eligible for a payment of £500 for your first child, if you are in receipt of Income Support, Income Based JSA or ESA, Pension Credit, Child Tax credit, (paid at an amount which exceeds the family element), Working Tax Credit or Universal Credit, where it includes the disability or severe disability element. The earliest you can claim this support is from 11 weeks before the baby is due until 3 months after the baby is born. Further information is available here
  2. Healthy start vouchers – these help contribute to the cost of formula milk, fresh milk, fruit and vegetables during your pregnancy and until your child reaches 4 years old. You can also apply for vouchers for essential vitamins too. To qualify, you or your family must receive Income Support, Income Based JSA or ESA, Child Tax Credit with a maximum income of £16,190 or Universal Credit (with a take home pay of less than £408). Further information is available at www.healthystart.nhs.uk
  3. Free dental treatment (this continues for 12 months after your child is born)
  4. Free NHS prescriptions (this continues for 12 months after your child is born)
  5. Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP) is paid for upto 39 weeks in total. For further information, please visit:
  6. If you don’t qualify for SMP, you may be entitled to Maternity Allowance. You can claim MA as soon as you’ve been pregnant for 26 weeks and payments can start from 11 weeks before the baby is due
  7. Paternity Pay. When you take time off work because your partner is having a baby, you may qualify for paternity pay

Please note that rules surrounding these benefits are extremely complicated and are based upon your employment history therefore we would advise you to contact a specialist benefits adviser. Further information is available in the useful Links of this fact sheet.

What other financial considerations do I need to make?

If you are considering interrupting your studies, you will need to think about the following from a financial perspective:

  1. Student Finance
  2. NHS Bursary Funding (for those who started studying prior to August 2017)
  3. Postgraduate Funding
  4. Tuition Fees – how much will you pay/owe?
  5. As an International Student, will there be further immigration considerations? Contact the University International Office in Student Central.

Student Finance (Undergraduate)

Your student Finance can continue for upto 60 days from the beginning of any period of interruption (subject to the university providing evidence that you are suspending due to medical reasons and your GP providing additional supporting evidence) however, you will need to inform your student finance provider of your circumstances and your support will be adjusted as a result.

If you take time out (more than 60 days) from your degree while pregnant, you will usually not be eligible to receive welfare benefits until your child is born. Your student finance may also be suspended unless you are able to prove Compelling Personal Reasons (CPR) as to why you would be in Financial Hardship (see separate CPR Factsheet)

Once you return to your studies, you may qualify for the following support from Student Finance:

  1. An increased maintenance Loan
  2. Childcare Grant – the childcare grant is for students with low family incomes with children under the age of 15 (or 17 if your child is registered as having special educational needs). The grant pays for upto 85% of Ofsted Registered childcare costs for the entire year, including vacation times. Please visit the Ditect.gov website for further information
  3. Parents Learning Allowance- this means tested, non-repayable allowance is to help with course related costs for students who have children. Full time students with dependent children may claim even if you are not eligible for the childcare grant because you are not using ofsted registered childcare. Please visit Direct.gov website for further information

NHS Funded students

NHS funded students may still receive their NHS bursary during their maternity leave. For further information, please click here.

Access to learning Fund

The University offer grants to students who find themselves in financial hardship due to circumstances beyond their control. To find out more information please visit their website here.

Postgraduate Funding

As different funding providers will have different regulations surrounding payment during maternity leave, you are advised to check directly with them.

If you are in receipt of the Governments Postgraduate loan, you wouldn’t be eligible for an adult dependent grant, childcare grant or Parents Learning Allowance and there is no increased provision for extra funding.

Welfare benefits

There is a range of financial assistance available to eligible students with babies and young children. This includes:

  1. Child Benefit
  2. Child Tax Credits
  3. Housing Benefit
  4. Income Support

For further information click here.

Useful Links

  1. Citizens Advice Bureau for Benefits advice
  2. Kirklees Law for Benefits advice
  3. Turn to us for Benefits advice
  4. Gingerbread for advice for single parents
  5. Student Parents for general advice about your education

Contact us at advice-centre@hud.ac.uk or by phoning 01484 473446  to book an appointment.