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Family Services

Maternity Benefit

What is Maternity Benefit?

Maternity Benefit assists employed and self-employed individuals on maternity leave, who are covered by social insurance (PRSI).

How to qualify for Maternity Benefit:

  • You must have made enough PRSI contributions. These contributions may have been made in the 12 months before the first day of your maternity leave or since first starting work.
  • Maternity leave should start at least two weeks before the end of the week your baby is due, but no earlier than sixteen weeks before this date.

  • For employees, the employer must certify your maternity leave using Maternity Benefit Employer Certificate (MB2).

    For self-employed individuals, a doctor must certify maternity leave using Maternity Benefit Medical Certificate (MB3).

    Rates of Payment:

    The Maternity Benefit is €262 a week for 26 weeks, and it is taxable. If you are already on other social welfare payments, you may get a half-rate. If you have dependents, your rate of Maternity Benefit may be increased.

    After paid Maternity Benefit ends, you can take 16 weeks of unpaid leave, which will give you a social insurance (PRSI) credit for each week of unpaid leave, you can apply using Maternity Leave Credits Application Form

    Payment is paid directly into your bank or building society account, not a mortgage account.

    Premature Births:

    In case of a premature birth, Maternity Benefit is extended after the end of the 26 weeks.

    Stillbirths and Miscarriages:

    In case of a stillbirth or miscarriage after the 24th week of pregnancy, you are entitled to 26 weeks of maternity leave.

    If your baby is in hospital:

    If your baby needs to be in the hospital, you can postpone the last 12 weeks of your maternity leave and your Maternity Benefit for up to 6 months. To qualify, you must have:
  • received your Maternity Benefit for at least 14 weeks
  • taken at least four weeks of maternity leave after your baby was born

  • To resume your Maternity Benefit payment after your baby has been discharged from hospital, you must notify the Maternity Benefit Section and provide:

  • a letter or certificate to confirm that your baby has been discharged.
  • a letter or certificate from your employer to confirm that you are entitled to resume your postponed maternity leave
  • Maternity Benefit Section
    Address: Widowed or Surviving Civil Partner Grant,
    Department of Social Protection,
    McCarter's Road,
    Buncrana,
    Co Donegal,
    F93 CH79

    Website: www.gov.ie/maternity
    Email: maternityben@welfare.ie
    Phone number: 01 4715898 or 0818 690690

    Maternity Benefit (MB1)