Am I entitled to maternity pay: ask the expert

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I currently earn about £55/week which means I do not pay Tax or NI.
I am due to have my next child in October and I think I will qualify for MA because my employer cannot pay me SMP due to low earnings. I have worked the 'test period' and I earn £30+ a week.
As I think the self-employed can (regardless of earnings) could I also pay my NI contributions for the 'test period' to qualify for the full MA or do I unfairly assume I will only recieve 90% of my earnings because it is less?

Editor's notes: Questions to our experts should be sent via the Advice & Support page so that they can get back to you directly if they need more information. For more information on Maternity Allowance see http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/moneytaxandbenefits/benefitstaxcreditsandothersupport/expectingorbringingupchildren/dg_10018869

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