Maternity Allowance

U.K. Ladies- when did you apply for maternity allowance? 
I'm not entitled to SMP as I worked on the NHS bank rota through my last pregnancy when my permanent contract ended then had mat leave with SMP from my contract and when I went back to work I got a different contract. But because I was on bank shifts, it counts as a break in continuous NHS employment and I haven't been in my new permanent role long enough. I'm 30 weeks on Friday and haven't had a letter from payroll yet returning my mat b1 form and declining my SMP. I'm getting anxious to apply for MA. Xx