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Maternity benefit in Germany (Mutterschaftsgeld)

17th Feb 2023

Who is entitled to maternity benefit in Germany? And what are the requirements to get it?

Maternity benefit (Mutterschaftsgeld)

Maternity benefit serves as an income replacement during pregnancy and after the birth of the child. Entitlement to the benefit starts 6 weeks before the due date and lasts for another 8 weeks after the birth or during maternity leave. In some cases, such as the birth of twins or the early birth of a baby, the entitlement period is extended to 12 weeks after the birth.

Who is entitled to maternity benefit in Germany and at what rate?

The amount of maternity benefit and entitlement depends on whether the woman is legally obliged to take out sickness insurance or has private, voluntary or family insurance.

Compulsory sickness insurance

Entitlement to maternity benefit applies to any woman who:

  • is employed in Germany for at least 6 weeks before the date of childbirth and also has a compulsorily health insurance. The maternity benefit is paid by the health insurer at a maximum rate of €13 per day. If this amount is lower than the employee's net daily wage, the employer is obliged to pay the difference up to the amount of the net wage,
  • she works part-time in Germany, e.g. minijob and has mandatory sickness insurance. The maternity benefit is a maximum of €13 per day, i.e. a maximum of €390 per month.
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Voluntary (private/family) insurance

Entitlement to maternity leave applies to any woman who:

  • Works part-time in Germany (e.g. minijob) and has private or family insurance. The amount of the single maternity benefit is €210.
  • She is self-employed in Germany and has a voluntary insurance with sickness benefit in that country. The maternity allowance for the self-employed is 70% of the regular contributory income.

A self-employed person who has a voluntary insurance in Germany without sickness benefit does not qualify for maternity benefit!

Maternity benefit application

The method of application is different for:

  • Persons compulsorily insured for sickness (female employees): The application for maternity benefit is submitted to the competent health insurer (you will receive an application form from the health insurer). the application must be accompanied by a "Certificate of the expected date of delivery" issued to the employee by a doctor. After the birth of the child, the employee is obliged to deliver the child's birth certificate to the health insurer.

  • Persons with voluntary insurance and entitlement to sickness benefit (self-employed persons): the application for maternity benefit is submitted to the competent health insurance institution.

  • Persons with private or family insurance (part-time employees): the application for maternity benefit is submitted to the Federal Social Security Office or BAS. For the application you will need:

    • Application form,
    • a certificate of the expected date of delivery,
    • proof of health insurance,
    • proof of employment,
    • tax identification number (TAX ID).
I want help with obtaining documents

The application for maternity benefits can be sent to the Federal Office in paper form or via an online application.

You do not receive maternity benefit automatically, you must apply for it.

Maternity benefit is exempt from income tax. However, you must report this income on your tax return.

I want to file a German tax return