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The Maternity Allowance is a weekly amount of money that women who are pregnant (or have just given birth) can get. It’s 90% of your average weekly (pre-tax) earnings, up to a maximum of £148 a week for 39 weeks.
If you’re self-employed, how much Maternity Allowance you get depends on how much Class 2 National Insurance you’ve paid:
You can claim the Maternity Allowance as soon as you’ve been pregnant for 26 weeks. All you need is to fill the MA1 form and send it to HMRC. They’ll send you their decision within 24 working days.
One more thing: Maternity Allowance is a tax-free benefit, so you don’t need to include it in your income when you’re filing a Self Assessment.