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April 4, 2023

Irish Maternity Benefit Application: When, Where & How to Apply

Employed women should apply for Maternity Benefit 6 weeks before going on maternity leave. Read more about when, where, and how to apply for Maternity Benefit.

Aine Kavanagh

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Aine Kavanagh

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Maternity Benefit is a social welfare payment made for 26 weeks (156 days) to self-employed women and female employees on maternity leave in Ireland.  

The payment is made at a weekly rate of €274 in 2024 by Ireland’s Department of Social Protection.

Keep reading to find out when, where, and how to apply for Maternity Benefit.

When to Apply for Maternity Benefit?

Employed women should apply for Maternity Benefit at least 6 weeks before starting their maternity leave. Self-employed women should apply for Maternity Benefit at least 12 weeks before starting maternity leave.

To qualify for the benefit, you must:

  • Have enough Pay Related Social Insurance or PRSI contributions.

  • Be on certified maternity leave.

Read more about these Maternity Benefit Qualification Criteria

You must also have the required Maternity Benefit Forms duly filled while applying for your Maternity Benefit.

Pregnant women who have ended their full-time employment within 16 weeks of their baby’s birth week can also apply for Maternity Benefit. In this case, the Maternity Benefit will be paid from the day their employment ends.

How to Apply for Maternity Benefit?

You can apply for Maternity Benefit through an online or postal application form.

If applying online, complete the maternity benefit application forms and upload the MB2 form completed by your employer.

If you’re self-employed, you must submit the MB3 medical certificate completed by your doctor.

If your contract of employment ends within 16 weeks before the end of the week your child is due, you should still submit the MB2 form completed by your employer.

In the event of a stillbirth or miscarriage at any time after the 24th week of pregnancy or if the baby has a birth weight of at least 500 grams, one is entitled to full maternity leave.

First, you need to send a letter from your doctor with the Maternity Benefit application form. The letter must clearly mention the expected date of birth, the actual date of birth and the number of weeks of pregnancy.

Where to Apply for Maternity Benefit?

The fastest way to apply for a Maternity Benefit is by submitting online applications on MyWelfare.ie.

Alternatively, submit your maternity benefit application by post. 

Send the Maternity Benefit application form to the following address:

Maternity Benefit Section,

Department of Social Protection,

McCarter’s Road, Ardaravan, Buncrana, Co. Donegal, F93 CH79.

Every new mother has the entitlement to obtain a Maternity Benefit payment for 26 weeks of maternity leave during and after pregnancy in Ireland under the Maternity Protection Act.

Still have questions on Maternity Benefit?

Check out our detailed guide on Ireland’s Maternity Benefit.

Manage Maternity Coverage and Health Benefits with Kota

As an employer, you may want to offer extra health and insurance benefits for your pregnant employees.

How do you do that?

Use Kota!

Kota lets employers decide on the health insurance contribution, and team members can pick the necessary benefits.

Pregnant employees can choose healthcare plans that offer maternity coverage and extra add-ons, along with health insurance and retirement benefits.

Join Kota to easily manage, set up and scale your core benefits and support employee health and well-being.


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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