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February 21, 2023

How Much Is Maternity Benefit in Ireland?

The Maternity Benefit in Ireland is €274 per week for 26 weeks. Learn more about the rates and the eligibility for full and half-rate Maternity Benefit.

Aine Kavanagh

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Aine Kavanagh

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Maternity Benefit in Ireland is financial support given by the government to new mothers on maternity leave from work.

A pregnant woman may get a full-rate (€274/week) or half-rate (€137/week) Maternity Benefit.

Let’s discuss this in more detail.

Further reading

How Much Is the Maternity Benefit in Ireland?

In Ireland, a pregnant woman eligible for full-rate Maternity Benefit is paid €274 per week for 26 weeks or 156 days, excluding Sundays.

A claimant is entitled to get half-rate Maternity Benefit (€137/week) if they already receive certain social welfare payments, such as:

However, if you have adult or child dependents, you may get a higher rate of payment.

Here’s how it works:

If you have dependents, the Maternity Benefit rate is compared to the Illness Benefit rate you may get if you miss work due to an illness. You receive the higher of the two rates.

For example:

Suppose you’re entitled to the standard Maternity Benefit of €274.

And let’s say your partner is unemployed and has signed on for unemployment credits. You also have two children below 12 years.

If you received an Illness Benefit, you would get €478.

This includes the base Illness Benefit + the Increase for a Qualified Adult + Increases for two Qualified Children below 12.

Since the Illness Benefit amount is greater than the standard Maternity Benefit (€274), you’ll receive Maternity Benefit of €478.

The exceptions?

You aren’t entitled to an Increase for a Qualified Adult (IQA) if the adult dependent receives a social welfare payment. But you may receive a half-rate of Increase for a Qualified Child (IQC).

The rate may also change based on the income of the adult dependent.


You will qualify for a:

  • Full-rate IQA and full-rate IQC if the adult dependent is unemployed and signed on for unemployment credits or earns under €100.01 per week.

  • Tapered rate of IQA and a full-rate IQC if the adult dependent earns between €100.01 and €310 per week.

  • No IQA and half-rate IQC if the adult dependent earns between €310.01 and €400 per week.

  • No IQA and no IQC if the adult dependent earns over €400 per week.

6 FAQs Around Maternity Benefit

1. Who is Eligible for Maternity Benefits?

Here’s the eligibility criteria for Maternity Benefits in Ireland:

  • You must be pregnant or have recently given birth.

  • You’re currently employed, have recently ended employment, or are self-employed.

  • You have enough social insurance contributions (PRSI) in the relevant tax year. If you were in insurable employment, you must have paid at least one social insurance contribution in Ireland within 16 weeks of the end of the due date week.

  • You should have a completed MB2 or MB3 medical certificate from your employer or doctor, respectively.

You can also get the full 26 weeks of basic Maternity Benefit payment (subject to PRSI contribution conditions) if:

  • You have a miscarriage or stillbirth after 24th week of pregnancy.

  • Your child’s birth weight is at least 500 grams.

2. How to Apply for Maternity Benefit?

To apply for Maternity Benefit, applicants can either:

Fill out an online application at MyWelfare.ie with a verified MyGovID account and upload supporting documentation, such as a completed MB2 or MB3 form, proof of PRSI contributions, etc.


Fill out the offline Maternity Benefit Forms and send them to:

Department of Social Protection,

McCarter’s Road, Ardaravan,

Buncrana, Co. Donegal, F93 CH79

3. How Is Maternity Benefit Paid?

Maternity Benefit is directly paid into your bank account or building society current or deposit account starting the first week of your maternity leave.

But if your employer pays you during maternity leave, you could have the benefit directly paid to your employer’s bank account.

4. Will I Be Eligible for Benefits if I Take Additional Maternity Leave?

You can take up additional 16 weeks of maternity leave at the end of the 26 basic maternity leave. However, this is unpaid maternity leave and doesn’t include extra Maternity Benefits.

5. Does a Father Get Paternity Leave and Benefit?

Fathers may get two weeks unpaid and conditional paternity leave if their spouse or cohabitant is expecting.

The government also offers a Paternity Benefit payment to help cover costs during this period.

6. What Other Benefits Can You Avail As Parents?

As parents, you may get other entitlements like:

  • Paid leave for Antenatal classes or medical appointments

  • Time off from work for breastfeeding

  • Health and Safety Benefits

  • Parent’s leave and Parent's Benefit

  • Child Benefit

Hassle-free Employee Benefits With Kota!

The Irish Government’s maternity allowance supports expecting mothers.

However, as an employer, you would want your employees on maternity leave to have more comprehensive maternity support.

This is where Kota can help.

Kota simplifies employee health insurance — no broker hassles, paperwork, or admin overheads!

Once you decide on your contribution, employees can choose health packages per their needs.

For instance, employees get home birth coverage for up to €4,000 under the Irish Life Health 4D Health 1 Plan. They can also choose add-ons, like a maternity extra for additional coverage for flu vaccination, antenatal classes, etc.

Join Kota and provide the maternity support your employees need!

Aine Kavanagh

Article written by

Aine Kavanagh

👋🏻 Hi I'm Aine, Head of Customer Success at Kota. Whether you're a Kota customer, a Kota user, or you're just browsing, I hope to help educate and empower those who want to know more about owning their own benefits, and building financial autonomy 📚

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