I have just been refused maternity allowance because I haven’t paid enough National Insurance contributions. Could I pay what I owe and still get maternity allowance?
If you have a bill from the NI office you can pay what is outstanding and you will get the full Maternity Allowance. However, the problem comes if you have claimed for a Small Earnings National Insurance exemption certificate.
Having an Exemption Certificate means that you are waiving your rights to the full MA. Unless you revoke the Certificate and start paying your Class 2 NI contributions during the qualifying period when you are pregnant you cannot claim the full MA. You cannot back date your contributions to correct this after the event.
This is a salutory lesson for any mum who is self employed. Always pay your Class 2 NI contributions then when you do your Tax Return claim a refund if you are below the Small Earnings Exemption figure using form CA8480. Do not apply for an exemption as making this simple mistake can reduce your Maternity Allowance from £123.88 a week to £27 a week.