Maternity benefit; application

When you become a mother, you can receive maternity benefits for the protective periods before and after childbirth as well as for the day of delivery. You can apply for maternity benefit either from your statutory health insurance fund or from the Federal Social Security Office (BAS).

Description

You can receive maternity benefits for the periods of protection before and after childbirth and for the day of delivery. The maternity protection periods usually start 6 weeks before the birth and usually end 8 to 12 weeks after.

If you continued to work voluntarily during the protection period and before the birth of your child, this will affect your maternity benefit:

  • If you continue to work in full, no maternity benefit is paid alongside this; it is suspended.
  • If you continue to work only part-time or by the hour, you will normally receive maternity benefits. However, the part-time pay that you continue to receive will be offset against the maternity benefit if it is subject to contributions.

In both cases, it does not matter whether you are an employee or self-employed.

You will also receive maternity benefit if you received sick pay before the start of the protection period. Even if you become ill during the maternity protection period, you will continue to receive maternity benefit.

If you are a member of the statutory health insurance, apply for maternity benefit to your health insurance fund. To do this, submit the certificate of the expected date of birth (so-called sample 3), which you will receive from your doctor or midwife.

If you have private health insurance or family insurance and are in an employment relationship at the beginning of the protection period, submit the application to the Federal Social Security Office (BAS). This also applies if you have a marginal employment relationship, i.e. a mini-job.

Amount of maternity benefit

The amount of maternity benefit is a maximum of EUR 13.00 per day. It is based on your average net wage for the last 3 settled calendar months before the start of your maternity protection period. If your net wage was higher than EUR 13.00 per day during this period, your employer will pay you the difference.

However, the amount of your maternity benefit also depends on your insurance status:

  • as a legally insured employee, regardless of whether you are voluntarily or compulsorily insured: a maximum of EUR 13.00 per day, paid by your health insurance fund
  • as a legally insured unemployed person: Maternity benefit in the amount of sick pay, equivalent to the amount of your unemployment benefit, paid by your health insurance fund.
  • as a family-insured employee, with at least a mini-job: one-time maximum of EUR 210.00 paid by BAS
  • as a self-employed person, voluntarily insured in the statutory health insurance with entitlement to sickness benefit: Maternity benefit in the amount of the sick pay, paid by your health insurance company
  • as a self-employed person, not insured for sick pay, but with at least one mini-job: maximum EUR 13.00 per day from the remuneration of the mini-job
  • as a self-employed person, voluntarily insured in the statutory health insurance with entitlement to sick pay and with at least one mini-job: maternity pay from the self-employed activity in the amount of sick pay, maternity pay from the mini-job maximum EUR 13.00 per day
  • as a privately insured civil servant with secondary employment within the meaning of the Maternity Protection Act and employee, with at least a mini-job: one-time maximum of EUR 210.00 paid by BAS

Exclusively self-employed women who are insured with a statutory health insurance fund without entitlement to sick pay or who have private health insurance do not receive maternity benefits.

Women with private health insurance are entitled to payment of the agreed daily sickness allowance in addition to the maternity allowance during the maternity protection period if they have taken out private daily sickness allowance insurance.

Female civil servants continue to receive their service or candidate pay during maternity leave. They may be entitled to maternity benefits if they are engaged in a secondary activity that counts as employment within the meaning of the Maternity Protection Act.

Prerequisites

You can apply for maternity benefits from the statutory health insurance fund if you are

  • are yourself a member of the statutory health insurance; family insurance is not sufficient.
  • you are an employee at the start of the maternity protection period or your employment relationship has been permissibly terminated by your employer during pregnancy or the protection period or you are receiving unemployment benefit I or you are self-employed and are entitled to sick pay as a voluntary statutory health insurance member.

You can apply for maternity benefit from BAS if

  • at the beginning of the six-week protection period you are
    • you have private health insurance, or
    • you have family insurance with a statutory health insurance fund and
  • you are in an employment relationship in which you do not receive pay because of the maternity protection period or your employer has terminated the employment relationship during your pregnancy or the protection period after childbirth with the consent of the competent authority.

You will not receive maternity pay if

  • you receive pay that is subject to contributions during the statutory maternity protection periods because you continue to work full time, receive income from work or vacation pay. Your entitlement is suspended during this period.
  • you are a civil servant. In this case, you will continue to receive your remuneration.
  • you are an adoptive mother.
  • Your entitlement to unemployment benefit I is suspended because you are receiving parental benefit for an older child.
  • you are receiving unemployment benefit II.

Procedure

Depending on your insurance status and professional situation, you can apply for maternity benefits either from your statutory health insurance fund or from the Federal Social Security Office (BAS).
Apply for maternity benefits from your statutory health insurance fund:
You can submit your application by mail or - in the case of many statutory health insurance funds - in person at the office.

  • To do this, ask your doctor or midwife to issue you with a certificate of the estimated date of birth (Sample 3).
  • Fill out the reverse side of the certificate of the estimated date of birth and, if necessary, a separate application form from your health insurance company. Submit the certificate of the estimated date of birth and, if applicable, the additional completed application form together to your health insurance fund.
  • You do not have to do anything else until the date of delivery. Your health insurance fund
    • will contact you in case of queries or missing documents.
    • will tell you whether you are entitled to maternity benefit and, if so, how much.
    • transfers the first payment of maternity benefit to you for the period up to the calculated date of birth as soon as the required data have been reported by the employer.
  • After the birth, you submit your baby's birth certificate or proof of birth to your health insurance fund. If your child is born prematurely or has a medically diagnosed disability, you also submit the medical certificate of premature birth or disability of the child.
  • Your health insurance fund will then transfer the 2nd part of the maternity benefit to you for the period until the end of the maternity protection period.
  • After the 2nd payment, your health insurance fund will automatically send you a certificate of receipt of maternity benefit for the parental benefit office.

Apply for maternity benefits in writing to the BAS:

  • Go to the website of the Federal Social Security Office and download the application form there.
  • Complete the form in full, sign it and send it with all the required documents by mail to BAS.
    • Please note: The BAS only archives the documents you submit in electronic form and destroys the originals. You will therefore not receive the originals back. However, you can obtain a certified copy from BAS if needed.
  • BAS will review your application and send you an acknowledgement of receipt by mail as soon as possible.

You can check the status of your application at any time on the Internet at status.mutterschaftsgeld.de.

Deadlines

If possible, you should apply for maternity benefits at the beginning of your protection period. However, you can also submit the application after the birth of your child. However, there is a limitation period for this. This begins after the end of the year in which your protection period began, i.e. on January 1 of the following year. It ends 4 years after this year on 31.12.

Processing time

The processing by your statutory health insurance usually takes about 3 to 6 working days, depending on the receipt of the earnings statement. For rapid processing and decision-making, your health insurance fund must be provided with the necessary information as well as any required documents in a complete and meaningful manner.
The health insurance company will decide on applications promptly, adhering to the statutory processing time limit to protect patients' rights. Please note that the processing time indicated is an average value for all health insurance funds. It may vary in individual cases. The exact processing time also depends on the complexity of the individual case and may be longer accordingly. The same applies if documents or records are sent to you or your health insurer by mail.

It usually takes 2 to 6 weeks to process your application with BAS.

Required documents

  • Required Documents

    For the application to your statutory health insurance:

    • Certificate of the doctor or midwife about the calculated date of birth, the so-called MET-certificate or the so-called sample 3
    • Certificate of earnings
    • After the birth: birth certificate or proof of birth of your baby; in case of a premature birth or a handicap of the child, the medical certificate about the premature birth or handicap of the child has to be submitted additionally, so-called sample 9
    • In individual cases, further documents may be required. Please contact your health insurance company for more information.

    When applying to BAS additionally:

    • Application form
    • if you have not received a certificate of the calculated date of birth: Birth certificate
    • Certificate of employment

Forms

Online procedures

Fees

  • You do not have to pay any costs.

Remedy

  • Appeal. Detailed information on how to file an appeal can be found in the notification of your application.
  • Social court action

Status: 28.02.2022

Responsible for editing: Bundesministerium für Arbeit und Soziales

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