February 21, 2023
The Maternity Benefit in Ireland is €262 per week for 26 weeks. Learn more about the rates and the eligibility for full and half-rate Maternity Benefit.
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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 (€262/week) or half-rate (€131/week) Maternity Benefit.
Let’s discuss this in more detail.
Are you expecting? Check out our comprehensive guide on Maternity Benefit and how to apply for it.
Get the lowdown on Employee Benefits in Ireland and how it uplifts employee morale.
Explore our detailed article on Paternity Benefit to learn who qualifies, its payment rate, how to apply, and more.
In Ireland, a pregnant woman eligible for full-rate Maternity Benefit is paid €262 per week for 26 weeks or 156 days, excluding Sundays.
A claimant is entitled to get half-rate Maternity Benefit (€131/week) if they already receive certain social welfare payments, such as:
One-Parent Family Payment
Widow's and Surviving Civil Partner (Contributory) Pension
Widow's and Surviving Civil Partner (Non-Contributory) Pension, etc.
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.
Suppose you’re entitled to the standard Maternity Benefit of €262.
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 €450.
This includes the base Illness Benefit + the Increase for a Qualified Adult + Increases for two Qualified Children below 12.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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!
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👋🏻 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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