February 14, 2023
How Many PRSI Contributions Do I Need for Maternity Benefit?
The PRSI contributions you need for Maternity Benefit depend on your employment contract and PRSI class. Learn about the conditions you need to fulfil.
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Maternity Benefit in Ireland is a social welfare payment to support employed women, per the Maternity Protection Act 1994.
Your eligibility for Maternity Benefit depends on whether you have enough PRSI (Pay Related Social Insurance) contributions, which fund social welfare payments.
The contribution amount depends on your pay, and the total contribution consists of two parts — the share you pay out of your own salary, and your employer’s share.
Let’s explore the contribution conditions for employees, self-employed women, and previously employed women — whether employed locally or internationally.
The PRSI contributions you need to qualify for Maternity Benefit depend on your contract of employment or PRSI class.
Check the list below to find the requirements that apply to you.
Note: Some of these requirements are based on your relevant tax year. The relevant tax year is the second last complete tax year before the year your maternity leave and Benefit start.
For example, if you take maternity leave in 2023, your relevant tax year is 2021.
A woman under insurable employment needs to have either:
39 weeks of paid PRSI contributions for the 12-month period before the start of your maternity leave, OR
39 weeks of PRSI paid contributions since first starting employment. Plus, 39 weeks of paid PRSI contributions in the relevant tax year or the year after the relevant tax year, OR
26 weeks of PRSI contributions paid in the relevant tax year plus 26 weeks of contributions in the year before the relevant tax year.
Did you know? The PRSI contributions required to qualify for Parent’s or Paternity Benefit in Ireland are the same as those needed for Maternity Benefit. But the paternity leave and benefit period are different, as are the parent’s leave and benefit period.
To qualify for Maternity Benefit, your last day of work (before maternity leave) must be within 16 weeks of your baby’s due date.
So, you can qualify for Maternity Benefit if you’ve recently quit your job (less than 16 weeks ago). But you should meet the social insurance contribution conditions for employed and self-employed people, depending on the applicable PRSI classes.
If you are (or were) self-employed, you need to have either:
52 weeks PRSI Class S contributions paid in the relevant tax year, OR
52 weeks PRSI Class S contributions paid in the year before the relevant tax year, OR
52 weeks PRSI Class S contributions paid in the year after the relevant tax year.
Self-employed people can’t claim PRSI Class S contributions until they’ve paid the Universal Social Charge or income tax due for that year.
So, you must pay your PRSI contributions and tax to qualify for Maternity Benefit.
You could qualify for Maternity Benefit if you were previously employed in a country under the UK or EU regulations.
You can combine the insurance record from that country with your PRSI contributions in Ireland. However, you must be in insurable employment and have paid the most recent PRSI contribution (usually monthly) in Ireland.
Get further information about Maternity Benefit here.
You must apply for Maternity Benefit at least six weeks (12 weeks if you’re self-employed) before the first day of your maternity leave.
Fill out an online form on MyWelfare.ie (you’ll need a MyGovID account) or send the physical Maternity Benefit application form to:
Maternity Benefit Section
Address: Department of Social Protection, McCarter’s Road, Ardaravan, Buncrana, Co. Donegal, F93 CH79
Number: (01) 471 5898
LoCall: 0818 690 690
Maternity Benefit in Ireland is paid for 26 weeks (excluding Sundays) or 156 days at a weekly rate of €262 (basic maternity pay rate).
However, you can’t take up full-time employment during this period.
Interestingly, you can take up to a 16 week period of additional unpaid maternity leave after the 26 weeks of Maternity Benefit. Extended Maternity Benefit isn’t applicable for this extra period.
Your entitlement to full-rate Maternity Benefit depends on whether you get other social welfare payments.
You’ll get half-rate if you also get these social welfare benefits:
One-Parent Family Payment
Widow’s and Surviving Civil Partner’s (Contributory and Non-Contributory) Pension
Prisoner’s Wife’s Allowance
Deserted Wife’s Benefit or Allowance
A Surviving Civil Partner or Widow’s Widower’s Pension (under the Death Benefit Occupational Injuries Scheme)
You get full-rate Maternity Benefit along with Carer’s Allowance, Working Family Payment (WFP), or Child Benefit. But you can get a higher rate of payment for Maternity Benefit if you’re entitled to a higher rate of Illness Benefit.
Whether your employees meet the PRSI contributions required for Maternity Benefit or not, you can help them out with Yonder.
Yonder lets you provide employee retirement and health insurance benefits with ease.
Employees can pick plans with maternity coverage, or they can choose add-ons with additional maternity benefits for their plans.
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