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April 4, 2023

When to Apply for Maternity Benefit in Ireland?

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. It’s covered by social insurance (PRSI).

The payment is made at a weekly rate of €262 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.

Before you can apply, though, eligibility for Maternity Benefit requires you to have:

  • Enough PRSI contributions.

  • Certified maternity leave.

An employee must provide the employer with a medical certificate for maternity benefit from their doctor certifying the baby's due date (expected date of birth), after which the employer must complete the MB2 Employer Certificate for Maternity Benefit form.

For self-employed pregnant women, a healthcare provider must complete the MB3 Doctor certificate for Maternity Benefit form, certifying the expected due date of their new child in the Maternity Benefit application.

When all these conditions are met and the forms are filled out, you can apply 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.

Learn more about Maternity Benefit.

How to Apply for Maternity Benefit?

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

If applying online, you must 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.

Where to Apply for Maternity Benefit?

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

But you can also 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 is entitled to obtain a Maternity Benefit payment for 26 weeks of maternity leave during and after pregnancy in Ireland under the Maternity Protection Act.

Manage Maternity Coverage and Health Benefits with Yonder

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

How do you do that?

Use Yonder!

Yonder 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 Yonder 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 Yonder. Whether you're a Yonder customer, a Yonder 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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