Am I entitled to extra benefits if I’m having twins?
No. You’re not entitled to extra maternity or paternity benefits if you’re expecting twins or multiple babies. Your entitlements to leave and pay are the same as if you were expecting one baby. However, you are entitled to Child Benefit for each of your children.
Child Benefit is a tax-free payment that you can claim for your children. It’s usually paid every four weeks and there are separate rates for each child. You can claim the payment for your children, whatever your income or savings.
From 6 April 2011, Child Benefit rates will stay the same for three years. The Child Benefit rates are:
- eldest child: £20.30 each week
- additional children: £13.40 each week for each child
If you have twins and no older children, the higher rate is payable for the twin who is born first. The lower rate will be paid for your second twin.
If you have an older child, the lower rate will be paid for each twin.
If you are an employee, you are entitled to 52 weeks Statutory Maternity Leave, regardless of:
- how long you’ve worked for your employer
- how many hours you work
- how much you are paid
Your employer may have their own maternity leave scheme which could be more generous than the statutory scheme.
To qualify for maternity leave, you must tell your employer by the end of the 15th week before your babies are due:
- that you are pregnant
- the expected week of childbirth
- the date you intend to start maternity leave
Only one period of maternity leave is allowed if you’re expecting twins or multiple babies
Maternity pay varies, depending on your circumstances. Your entitlement is not increased if you’re expecting twins or multiple babies.
If you are an employee, you may qualify to receive Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP). You may be entitled to receive SMP for up to 39 weeks of your Statutory Maternity Leave.
If you are not eligible for SMP, you may be able to get Maternity Allowance instead through Jobcentre Plus.
Paternity leave and paternity pay
Your partner may be entitled to paternity leave or paternity pay, subject to certain conditions. However, his entitlement is not increased. Only one period of paternity leave is allowed if you’re expecting twins or multiple babies.
Published Date 2011-03-31
Last Review Date 2010-03-31
Si Brindley Izzard