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Maternity benefit in Germany. How much it is and who is entitled to the Mutterschaftsgeld

Pregnant women and mothers in Germany are entitled to maternity benefits (Mutterschaftsgeld) through the social security system. Do you know how much it is and who qualifies for it?

maternity benefits (Mutterschaftsgeld) in Germany is paid to pregnant women and mothers.

In Germany, maternity benefit (Mutterschaftsgeld) is paid to pregnant women 6 weeks before the planned birth and 8 weeks after giving birth. This period is extended by an additional 4 weeks in the event of premature, multiple births or disability of the newborn child.

The right to receive maternity benefit in Germany remains available to women whose employer, during pregnancy or during the period after the birth of the child, terminated their employment relationship with the consent of the competent authority.

A pregnant woman or mother qualifies for maternity benefit depending on the type and extent of the health insurance they have and how much they were earning prior to maternity leave. (read more below)

Please note that you need to be insured at the state health insurance fund (gesetzliche Krankenkasse) in order to apply for the allowance – which involves the payment of health and pension contributions.

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What do the maternity benefits include?

  • Maternity leave ,
  • Statutory health insurance maternity allowance ,
  • Maternity allowance from the Federal Social Security Office ,
  • Employer allowance for maternity allowance.

Maternity allowance in Germany under the statutory health insurance

Only women with statutory health insurance who are entitled to sickness benefit are entitled to maternity allowances. It is paid for the period of maternity protection (Mutterschaftschutz) and for the day of childbirth.

You will receive maternity benefit from the statutory health insurance fund if you meet the following requirements:

  • You are employed.
  • You are a member of a statutory health insurance company (family insurance is not sufficient).

How much is the maternity allowance (Mutterschaftsgeld) in Germany?

The amount of your maternity allowance is based on your average net wage for the last three months, up to a maximum of 13 euros per day. The average is calculated from the last three calendar months billed before the start of your maternity leave(overtime is also included here).

If your net wage during this time was higher than 13 euros per day, then your employer will pay you the difference (Arbeitgeberzuschuss).

The application for the supplementary amount is submitted to the competent health insurance fund. Claims for a supplement from the employer to the maternity allowance must be made to the employer.

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Question: If I work for two employers, both have to pay me the difference?

Yes. Both employers have to pay the difference to maternity allowance. It does not matter whether your paid work is subject to compulsory insurance or not.

Point to note: the salary amount is based on the total income from both jobs and each employer has to pay a share of the salary that you get out of the total income.

for e.g. This means that if, for example, you earn 60% of your total income with one employer, that employer also pays 60% of the difference.

Can I get maternity allowance from the Federal Social Security Office?

You are entitled to maternity allowance from the Federal Social Security Office if you are not a member of the statutory health insurance company but have private health insurance or are family insured with a statutory health insurance company and you are not allowed to work due to the maternity protection periods.

The maternity allowance from the Federal Social Security Office amounts to a maximum of 210 euros.

Maternity allowance for the unemployed

The maximum amount of unemployment benefit is EUR 13. Its amount depends on the unemployment benefit paid (Arbeitlosengeld I and II).

Maternity allowance and self-employment

Women running a business and voluntarily insured under statutory health insurance are entitled to maternity allowance provided that they also pay for the so-called sickness allowance (Krankengeld). If they do not pay it, they can apply for a benefit from the Federal Office of Social Security.

Maternity allowance for women employed by the ‘Minijob’

Under the labour law, women working under the “MiniJob” have the same rights as their full-time colleagues.

In most cases, these women are not members of the statutory health insurance fund but are insured by their spouse. They therefore receive maternity allowance from the Federal Insurance Agency, just like privately insured women.