Maternity Benefit may be paid to a pregnant person who is taking maternity leave from employment. You do need to be in employment at the point of starting your maternity leave. You should apply for the payment 6 weeks before you intend to go on maternity leave (12 weeks if you are self-employed).
Maternity Benefit is paid directly to you on a weekly basis into your bank or building society account. Some employers will continue to pay an employee in full, while she is on maternity leave and require her to have any Maternity Benefit paid to them. You should check your contract of employment to see what applies to you. Maternity Benefit is a taxable payment since 1st July 2013 but Universal Social Charge and PRSI are not payable.
Maternity Benefit is paid for 26 weeks. At least 2 weeks and not more than 16 weeks leave must be taken before the end of the week in which your baby is due.
If you are already on certain social welfare payments then you may get half-rate Maternity Benefit.
Half-rate Maternity Benefit is payable if you are getting any one of the following payments:
- One-Parent Family Payment
- Widow’s and Surviving Civil Partner’s (contributory) Pension
- Widow’s and Surviving Civil Partner’s (Non – Contributory) Pension
- Deserted Wife’s Benefit
- Prisoner’s Wife’s Allowance
- Guardians Payment (Contributory)
- Guardians Payment (Non – Contributory)
- Death Benefit by way of Widow’s/Widower’s or Dependent Parents’ Pension (under the Occupational Injuries Scheme)
If you intend to return to employment earlier than you stated on your application form, you must notify Maternity Benefit Section at least 2 weeks before you new ‘return to work date’.
The standard rate of payment is €245 per week.