Did you know that spouses/civil partners who accompany their Service partner on an overseas assisgnment are unable to claim Maternity Allowance from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) if they are not living in the UK?
However, you and your spouse/civil partner do have other options, depending on where you are posted to. You can either:
- claim the local nation’s maternity benefits, if there is a reciprocal agreement in place or
- apply for a Ministry of Defence (MOD) ex-gratia payment in lieu of Maternity Allowance. This is the equivalent of Maternity Allowance to Service personnel whose spouses/civil partner accompany them overseas to countries where there is no reciprocal maternity arrangement and who would have otherwise been entitled to receive the Maternity Allowance had they remained in the UK.
The process is to apply for Maternity Allowance in the normal way, ensuring section 8 of the form, where it asks if you are a member of a Service family abroad, is completed. When completed, the form should be sent to the International Pension Centre (IPC) to the address stated on the form (in part 13). The IPC will look at the case and take the appropriate action.
There are certain deadlines for claiming maternity benefits from a local nation, so please ensure that you apply promptly and seek advice from the DWP IPC team if you are unsure of the process or time frames. Remember to tell them that you are part of an Armed Forces family.
We recommend that, before you complete the form, you might also wish to speak to your Unit Personnel Office and note the contents of:
- Defence Instruction and Notice – 2018DIN01-026, MoD Ex-Gratia Payments in Lieu of Maternity Allowance (available via Dii only)
- JSP 752, Chapter 9, Section 14
- Armed Forces access to Jobcentre Plus services and Armed Forces Champions – Guidance