Got a pension question? Our help is impartial and free to use. Get in touch online or over the phone on 0800 011 3797

If you have a late miscarriage

After a late miscarriage (between 14 and 24 completed weeks of pregnancy), you might find yourself facing financial strain on top of your grief. It’s important to know what you’re entitled to and who to talk to.

Benefits and entitlements

Sadly, you’re not entitled to maternity or paternity rights or benefits if you’ve had a late miscarriage (between 14 and 24 completed weeks of pregnancy).

This includes Statutory Maternity Pay, Sure Start Maternity Grant and additional Healthy Start vouchers.

But you can still get free prescriptions, with a Maternity Exemption Certificate, which you can use until the expiry date for prescriptions in England. (In Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland prescriptions are free for everyone).

Entitlements to free dental check-ups and treatment vary by country.

Do you need to do anything?

Even though you won’t get benefits, it’s still important that you tell certain people what’s happened so they can sort out the paperwork.

The best way to do this is usually to call or, where possible, email.

If you can’t do this yourself, you might be able to get a relative or close friend to make some of the calls for you.

Speak to your employer

Talk to your employer about what they can offer you or check your employment contract.

Most employers offer compassionate leave to bereaved parents as part of their basic contract of employment or employee benefits.

Your employer will also take care of cancelling any maternity or paternity pay that you might have arranged.

Speak to your doctor or midwife

Your Maternity Exemption Certificate can be used until the expiry date for prescriptions in England.

In Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, prescriptions are free for everyone.

Entitlements to free dental check-ups and treatment vary by country.

You can use any Healthy Start vouchers you already have.

arrow icon

If you live in Scotland, find out more about the Best Start Grant, and income limits on the mygov.scotOpens in a new window website.

Contact Jobcentre Plus or the Jobs & Benefits Office

If your local JobCentre Plus was going to organise a Sure Start Maternity Grant , you'll need to tell them that you’re no longer pregnant.

If you live in Northern Ireland, your local Jobs  to & Benefits Office will arrange this.

arrow icon

Can you get sick pay?

If you have a late miscarriage, you’re entitled to the same benefits as any other employee who’s off sick.

You will at least get Statutory Sick Pay – this is paid for up to 28 weeks, or more if your employment contract allows it.

You should take sick leave for as long as your GP signs you off sick – and not feel pressured to return to work until you feel ready. You may need a Fit Note previously called a Sick Note from your GP.

arrow icon

You might be entitled to Employment and Support Allowance if:

  • your Statutory Sick Pay runs out you are unable to return to work,or
  • you don’t earn enough to claim Statutory Sick Pay, or
  • you can’t claim Statutory Sick Pay because you haven’t worked for your employer for long enough.
arrow icon

If you’re claiming Universal Credit

If you’re receiving Universal Credit, you must notify them of your miscarriage. If you feel your ability to work or look for work is affected while recovering, you must get a fit note from your GP or healthcare specialist.

Can you get compassionate leave?

Most employers offer compassionate leave to bereaved parents as part of their basic employment contract or employee benefits.

Talk to your employer about what they can offer you, or check your employment contract.

A certificate for your baby

When a baby is born dead within the first 24 weeks of pregnancy, they’re not formally certified or registered.

However, many hospitals offer parents a Certificate of Birth.

This usually gives your baby’s name, the date of your loss and some other details.

If your hospital doesn’t provide certificates, you can download one from Sands – the stillbirth and neonatal death charity – and ask the hospital to sign it.

arrow icon

Making funeral arrangements

If your baby died before 24 weeks, there’s no legal requirement to have a formal funeral.

The hospital staff will explain to you what they offer, and they should also give you written information. They will give you time to consider what you would like to do.

Alternatively you can make your own arrangements for a funeral and/or burial or cremation. You might wish to consult a funeral director or a minister of your own faith. 

The hospital chaplaincy team might also be a good source of information, advice and support, whether you have any religious beliefs. 

You have the right to bury your baby’s body or remains yourself. If you want to do this, you might need to make your wishes clear to the hospital staff or your GP as they might not be aware that this is legal. 

For more information, visit Miscarriage AssociationOpens in a new window or SandsOpens in a new window

Help and support

It’s easy to be overwhelmed by some of the things you need to do and the decisions you need to make.

While family and friends can be a great comfort, it’s also sometimes good to get some clear, impartial guidance.

Sands, a stillbirth and neonatal death charity, offer practical and emotional support. This includes making funeral arrangements.

arrow icon

Free printed guides

Our free printed guides give you clear, unbiased information. They're a good starting point and can help you make informed choices.

You can download them or order printed copies using our order forms.

arrow icon
Was this information useful?
Thank you for your feedback.
We’re always trying to improve our website and services, and your feedback helps us understand how we’re doing.
Looking for us? Now, we’re MoneyHelper

MoneyHelper is the new, easy way to get clear, free, impartial help for all your money and pension choices. Whatever your circumstances or plans, move forward with MoneyHelper.

Continue to website
Looking for us? Now, we’re MoneyHelper

MoneyHelper is the new, easy way to get clear, free, impartial help for all your money and pension choices. Whatever your circumstances or plans, move forward with MoneyHelper.

Continue to website
Looking for us? Now, we’re MoneyHelper

MoneyHelper is the new, easy way to get clear, free, impartial help for all your money and pension choices. Whatever your circumstances or plans, move forward with MoneyHelper.

Continue to website
Talk to us live for…
Talk to us live for…
Talk to us live for pensions guidance using
Talk to us live for money guidance using…
Hours
  • Mon – Fri:9.00am – 5.00pm
  • Sat, Sun and bank holidays:Closed

Calls from the UK are free. We’re committed to providing you with a quality service, so calls may be recorded or monitored for training purposes and to help us develop our services.

Talk to us live for money guidance using the telephone
Hours
  • Mon – Fri:8.00am – 6.00pm
  • Sat, Sun and bank holidays:Closed

Calls from the UK are free. We’re committed to providing you with a quality service, so calls may be recorded or monitored for training purposes and to help us develop our services.

Talk to us live for pensions guidance using web chat
Hours
  • Mon – Fri:9.00am – 6.00pm
  • Sat, Sun and bank holidays:Closed
Talk to us live for money guidance using webchat
Hours
  • Mon – Fri:8.00am – 6.00pm
  • Sat:8.00am – 3.00pm
  • Sun and bank holidays:Closed
Talk to us for pensions guidance using our web form

We aim to respond within 5 working days

Talk to us for money guidance using our web form

We aim to respond within 2 working days

Talk to us live for money guidance using WhatsApp

Download app: WhatsApp

For help sorting out your debts or credit questions. For everything else please contact us via Webchat or telephone.