What is the MOD Ex-Gratia Payment in lieu of Maternity Allowance?

Introduction

If you are accompanying your spouse/civil partner overseas and fall pregnant, you may be entitled to an Ex-Gratia Payment in lieu of Maternity Allowance if you are prevented from claiming the normal Maternity Allowance.

Outline

The MOD Ex-Gratia Payment in lieu of Maternity Allowance policy applies to eligible spouse/civil partners who accompany their Service spouses overseas to countries outside the European Economic Area (EEA) and where there is no reciprocal benefit agreement.

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) restricts payment of UK Maternity Allowance to those who are living, and have worked, in the UK. If you do not meet the criteria for UK Maternity Allowance because you are not resident in the UK at the time of application, or your qualifying work was undertaken within the EEA, or in a country where there is a reciprocal benefit agreement, your claim will be dealt with by that country. However, if you lived and/or worked in a country outside the EEC and one without a reciprocal agreement, the MOD may consider the payment of an ex-gratia payment in lieu of Maternity Allowance. There is no automatic entitlement and payment is at the discretion of the Ministry of Defence (MOD), however the intent is to consider such requests favourably.

In all cases, regardless of where you live or have worked, the first application for Maternity Allowance should always be made to the DWP. They will determine your entitlement to Maternity Allowance and will notify you how to proceed. If you receive notification that you may be entitled to an ex gratia payment from the MOD, you will need to claim via your spouse/civil partner’s Unit HR staff.

Defence Information Note 2018DIN01-026 provides further guidance on how to do this; this is available to serving personnel and Unit Admin staff on the Defence Intranet.

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