Maternity Allowance and Self Employment

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FeistyFidget
FeistyFidget Posts: 1,368 Forumite
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edited 12 June 2015 at 4:57PM in Benefits & tax credits
Hi all, we've just found out we are expecting our first and due in January. We have a bit of a complex working life between us and I have a query on Maternity Allowance when self employed.

My husband has been retired due to ill health and received ESA each week. I am self employed and have two businesses, a Dental Nurse agency and an arts and crafts business.

Unfortunately due to early complications with this pregnancy I have had to cut back a lot on the hours that I work and so the possibility of putting money aside to see us through maternity leave is looking highly unlikely. Ideally I would like to take some time off from my main business (the dental nurse agency) when the baby arrives, but after a month or so continue to run the arts and crafts business from home and around the baby.

As I understand it I can only claim maternity allowance once even though I effectively have two businesses and work 70+ hours. The question I have comes to whether I can still claim maternity allowance if I am still carrying on just one of the businesses (about 5 hours a week) or do I need to give both of them up for my maternity duration?

I don't want to have to go back to work after a month, but as the only earner in the house I'm worrying that if we can't claim maternity allowance and top up with the arts and crafts business money, we will have no where near enough to pay the bills. Can anyone offer any advice?
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  • FeistyFidget
    FeistyFidget Posts: 1,368 Forumite
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    Sorry, I was being a ditz and meant maternity allowance!
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  • pmlindyloo
    pmlindyloo Posts: 13,051 Forumite
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    This question was asked the other day

    http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5258341&highlight=

    You are allowed 10 keep in touch days but after that your MA would be reduced/lost if you received any income.

    You need to make some decisions about your businesses which is probably difficult to do at the moment.

    The options seem to be

    Give up work entirely and claim MA and then check if you are eligible for any extra benefits. Use the calculator on https://www.entitledto.co.uk or visit CAB.

    If you decide to give up work you could go on your partner's ESa claim but I believe your MA would be counted as income. However, depending on the amount he gets (presuming contribution based) you still may be entitled to some ESa. You could be added to claim and get an income based 'top up'

    Or you could work in your businesses for less hours and employ someone/get cover (difficult to advise without knowing more)

    All a bit complicated I'm afraid so go and get some help once you have made some decisions.
  • FeistyFidget
    FeistyFidget Posts: 1,368 Forumite
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    Thank you everyone for all of your help and advice.

    Playing devils advocate here for a moment, say I took the maternity allowance and worked one day a fortnight as KIT days, would I be able to collect money from my business that was accrued during the time that I am not working (the business is self sufficient and still makes money even when I'm not actively working) and claim the maternity allowance for 20 weeks? (by which time I will have used up all my KIT days)
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