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February 28, 2023

What Maternity Benefit Form Should I Submit in Ireland?

Submit the MB1 and MB2 or MB3 forms to receive Maternity Benefit in Ireland. Keep reading to learn about each form.

Aine Kavanagh

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Aine Kavanagh

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There are three forms for Maternity Benefit:

  • The MB1 form to apply for the maternity benefit for yourself

  • The MB2 form for your employer

  • The MB3 form for your doctor (if you’re self-employed or unemployed) 

Let’s check out each one in detail. 

Further Reading

Irish Maternity Benefit Forms 

If you want to apply for Maternity Benefit in Ireland, you must submit a filled-out MB1 form with your personal data and either a filled-out MB2 or MB3 form. 

You can find each of them below.

1. MB1 Form ( Maternity Benefit Form)

Whether employed or self-employed, you must complete a Maternity Benefit Application Form (MB1). 

You must: 

  • Submit the completed MB1 form with your own details (including the Personal Public Service number or PPS number) to the Maternity Benefit Section of the Department of Social Protection.

  • Apply six weeks before you go on maternity leave

  • If you’re self-employed, you should apply at least 12 weeks before you go on maternity leave.

Download the MB1 form here.

2. MB2 Form (Employer Certificate for Maternity Benefit)

Employees who apply for the Maternity Benefit must ensure their employer completes the MB2 form. 

The employer must:

  • Complete the form after the employee’s 24th week of pregnancy.

  • Fill in the employee’s expected due date and their maternity leave dates.

  • Include the employer’s bank details (The bank account that the employee authorises the Department of Social Protection to make payment for the Maternity Benefit to the employer.)

Download the MB2 form here.

3. MB3 Form (Medical Certificate for Maternity Benefit)

If a person is self-employed or unemployed, their doctor must complete an MB3 form after the 24th week of pregnancy. 

Download the MB3 form here.

Remember to complete the Maternity Benefit forms in block letters using a black ballpoint pen. No other colour will do. 

Check out our complete guide to Irish Maternity Benefit for everything you must know.  

4 Maternity Benefit FAQs

1. Do I Qualify For Maternity Benefit?

Maternity Benefit is one of the social welfare payments expectant mothers can claim.

However, entitlement depends on having:

  • Sufficient Pay Related Social Insurance or PRSI contributions.

    • PRSI Class A, E, H, and S count for this benefit. 

    • At least 39 weeks of PRSI paid since the first day of your employment and at least 39 weeks of PRSI paid or credited in the relevant tax year or in the tax year after the relevant tax year. For example, if you are going on maternity leave in 2024, the relevant tax year is 2022 and the year after that is 2023.

  • Insurable employment up to the first day of your maternity leave.

  • Certified maternity leave from your employer. 

Learn what these entail in our Maternity Benefit Eligibility guide.  

2. How Do I Apply For Maternity Benefit?

Apply online at mywelfare.ie or complete the application forms physically and submit them to the Maternity Benefit office:

Maternity Benefit Section,

Department of Social Protection

McCarter's Road, Ardaravan, BuncranaCo. Donegal, F93 CH79

3. Can I Start My Maternity Benefit Early?

To bring forward the start date of your Maternity Benefit, you’ll have to submit to the Department of Social Protection (DSP) either a copy of your baby’s birth certificate or a letter from the hospital confirming the baby’s actual date of birth.

Looking for more information?

Contact your local Citizens Information Centre.

4. Can I Claim Additional Payment for Partner and Child?

If you have an adult or child dependants, the set rate of Maternity Benefit is compared to the rate of Illness Benefit that would be paid to you if you were absent from work through illness. The higher of the two rates is paid to you.

5. Can I Apply For Extra Maternity Leave?

If you have any annual leave due or have missed bank and other public holidays, you can use these days to extend your maternity leave. 

Once you have taken these leave days, you can apply for an additional 16 weeks of unpaid maternity leave. This extra unpaid maternity leave begins immediately after your 26-week period of maternity leave ends. 

However, you can also apply for paid extra maternity leave if your baby is born before you are due to start your maternity leave. 

You get 26 weeks off from the day your baby is born, plus extra leaves equivalent to the number of weeks between the baby’s date of birth and the date you planned the leave for. For example, if your baby is born seven weeks pre-mature, you get 26 weeks plus an extra seven weeks. 

To make sure that you take the minimum 2-week maternity leave before the birth of your baby, you must start your maternity leave on the Monday before the week in which your baby is due. For example, if your due date is Wednesday 16 November 2024, the latest date for the start of your maternity leave is Monday 7 November 2024.

Empower Your Team With Scalable Benefits From Kota

Download and complete the maternity forms and follow our advice when applying for Irish Maternity Benefit.

And for employers that want to offer extra maternity care to pregnant employees on top of Ireland’s Maternity Benefit, why not consider Kota?

Join Kota to streamline employee benefits management. You can enrol, control, pay, and scale core benefits all in one place!


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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