Maternity Benefit: Financial security for pregnant women

The maternity allowance is an important financial security and salary performance, which relieves women in the last phase of their pregnancy and beyond. This is made possible by the health insurance funds and the employer, who provide these financial benefits under certain conditions. Whoever is entitled to how you apply for it and what else you should know about the maternity allowance.

Maternity Benefit: Who is entitled to it?
It is thanks to the Maternity Protection Act that there is better protection for pregnant, unbound and breastfeeding women. This was accompanied by dismissal protection and the right to stay away from work for six weeks.

Since its introduction in 1927, a lot has changed, fortunately also financially. Who is entitled to maternity benefits and how much? Coming soon: all those working women who are voluntary or compulsorily insured in the statutory health insurance (GVK) and are entitled to sickness benefit.

Are entitled to:

Full or part-time employees
temporary employees
short-term employees
Female students with a side job
Mini jobbers
Self-employed women are not covered by the Maternity Protection Act and the protection regulations there, but can receive maternity benefits under supplementary insurance.

Expectant mothers are entitled to maternity allowance during the protection periods, ie six weeks before and eight weeks after childbirth and on the day of birth. The maternity allowance is extended from eight to twelve weeks from the day of birth, if there is a multiple or premature birth.

If a child with a disability is born and is diagnosed in the first eight weeks after birth, the maternity benefit is also extended by four weeks . Premature births have no influence on the maternity allowance; in the case of a birth before the calculated date, it will be paid accordingly longer.

No entitlement to maternity benefits
Apply for Maternity Benefit Federal Insurance Agency application and parental allowanceIncidentally, those who do not take advantage of their maternity leave , but continue to work normally receive no maternity benefits. Instead, the regular salary continues to be paid ( section 24i (4 ) SGB ​​V ).

The right to maternity benefit is also suspended if you only continue to work by the hour so that it is not financially worthwhile during the maternity leave period .


So make the request
In order to benefit from this wage replacement, pregnant women must apply for maternity benefits . To ensure that everything runs smoothly and you are financially secure when you stay at home, you should take care of the necessary documents at an early stage.

Women who are covered by statutory health insurance apply for maternity benefits at their health insurance. Required for this is a medical certificate with the expected date of birth. This will be issued by the responsible doctor or midwife in duplicate, one each for your health insurance company and your employer.

The breakdown for the health insurance is valid as an application for maternity benefit and must be provided with your personal data such as bank account and signed to the health insurance. This will contact your employer to find out the salary of the past few months.

Up to seven weeks before the calculated date of birth , you can submit the application to your health insurance, your doctor will issue the necessary certificate one week before the start of the protection period. Ideally, you should send the application to your health insurance company before the date of birth, so that you receive the maternity allowance on time.

The second copy of the medical certificate you rich at your employer. This ensures that you receive the employer's allowance. In order for the maternity allowance to be paid within the eight weeks following the birth, you must submit your child's birth certificate to the health insurance fund.

Federal Insurance Office: exceptions for private insured
Maternity Benefit Maternity Benefit Federal Insurance Office Apply for application and parental allowanceThose who do not have statutory health insurance themselves are not entitled to the maternity benefits of the statutory health insurance funds. This applies to women who:

are privately insured (PKV) or
are insured by the family insurance.
If that is true, contact the Maternity Benefit Office of the Federal Insurance Office . You can receive a one-time payment of the maternity allowance of up to € 210.

Further requirements are:

The pregnant employee is employed - this also applies to minor employment .
The remuneration may not have been paid or may not have been paid in full due to the use of the protection periods.
The application for maternity benefits from the Federal Insurance Office can conveniently be made as an online application , this is the fastest way.

The amounts of the Federal Insurance Office are not counted towards the parental allowance. Those who are not entitled to maternity benefits but are marginally employed nevertheless fall under the provisions of the Maternity Protection Act and are therefore entitled to the employer's allowance.

Calculation: That's how much money you get
The amount of the maternity allowance depends on the average net salary of the last three months before the start of the protection period. You will receive a maximum of 13 euros maternity pay per calendar day from the statutory health insurance . You will also receive an allowance from the employer for maternity benefits if the average net remuneration exceeds 13 euros per calendar day, ie you earn more than 390 euros net per month.

The employer is obliged to compensate the missing amount for the previous net salary . Some women thus receive maternity and employer allowances, while others receive only one benefit.

If the average net salary of a female employee is less than 390 euros per month , for example for a trainee, she will receive exactly this amount exclusively from the statutory health insurance.

The situation is somewhat different for unemployed or privately insured mothers. Unemployed mothers receive maternity benefit equal to the unemployment benefit paid by the health insurance fund.

Self-employed women do not receive maternity benefits, but can take out a daily sickness insurance with their private health insurance . Anyone who has signed such a contract has been receiving sickness allowance since February 2017 in maternity protection. The amount in this case depends on the individual contract.

Those who are privately insured and employed are not entitled to maternity benefits from the statutory health insurance. However, the employer's contribution will be calculated as if it were insured by law. You will receive from the employer your net salary minus the 13 euros per working day, which would be paid by the statutory health insurance.

Overview: eligible or not?
Maternity Benefit Calculation Employer UnemployedThe individual provisions on who can apply for maternity protection money under what conditions can be confusing. For a better overview, we have listed the different cases together with the amount of the maternity allowance and the contact person below:

Female employees (GKV): up to 13 euros daily and employer subsidy → health insurance and employer
Female employees (PKV): one-time payment of up to 210 euros and employer subsidy → Federal Insurance Office and employer
Female employees (family insured): one-time payment of up to 210 euros and employer subsidy → Federal Insurance Office and employer
Female civil servants: no maternity allowance, but continued payment of remuneration → employer
Beneficiaries of ALG I: maternity benefit in the amount of the unemployment benefit → health insurance
Recipients of ALG II: no maternity allowance, but continuation of ALG II and from the 13th week 17 percent additional demand → Jobcenter
Slightly employed (GKV): up to 13 euros daily and employer subsidy → health insurance and employer
Minor employees (PKV): one-off payment of up to 210 euros and employer subsidy → Federal Insurance Office and employer
Slightly employed (family insurance): one-off payment of up to 210 euros and employer subsidy → Federal Insurance Office and employer
Housewives: no maternity allowance
Self-employed (voluntarily in GKV with sickness benefit): maternity benefit as sick pay = 70 percent of the net salary → health insurance
Self-employed (voluntarily in GKV without sick pay): no maternity allowance
Self-employed (PKV): no maternity benefit
Self-employed (family insurance ): no maternity allowance
Self-employed (KSK): maternity benefit as sick pay = 70 percent of the net salary → health insurance
Note: Many independent artists and publicists are compulsorily insured through the K√ľnstlersozialkasse (KSK) in the statutory health insurance. They are also covered by the Maternity Protection Act. They do not apply for maternity benefits at the KSK, but directly at their health insurance.


Maternity and parental allowance: Pay substitute will be counted
The parental allowance is paid from the first day of birth for up to 14 months , the maternity allowance is paid for eight weeks after birth. Nevertheless, both are not paid at the same time.

Both the maternity allowance and the employer's allowance are fully credited to the parental allowance in accordance with § 3 Bundeselterngeld- und Elternzeitgesetz (BEEG) .

Since the parental allowance represents a wage replacement , other benefits are credited to the parental allowance - the same applies to salaries of female civil servants, who are also paid as compensation.

For example, anyone who already receives a maternity allowance of 1,600 euros and theoretically has a claim to parental allowance of 1,100 euros will not receive any further parental allowance during the maternity leave period . You can not avoid this rule if you apply for parental leave only after the maternity leave expires.

Important to know: The situation is different with the subsidy of 210 euros. Anyone who has no claim to maternity benefits from the statutory health insurance and instead receives the one-time payment from the Federal Insurance Office, this money is not counted . You receive the parental allowance directly after the birth.


Maternity pay: protection in the event of a ban on employment
A special case occurs when you as a pregnant woman are subject to the prohibition of employment . Not every pregnancy is completely unproblematic and some jobs place a heavy burden on pregnant women who need special protection.

Thus, a general prohibition of employment may be necessary if serious, physically demanding and hazardous work must be done, which may not be performed by expectant and nursing mothers. This also includes standing activities and those in which you would be exposed to radiation, gases, dust, cold, moisture or vibration.

An individual prohibition of employment may be required if there is a risk to the mother and child due to personal restrictions . For these cases, the law has established safeguards, because usually the employment contract means that a worker receives money for work done.

Conversely, you would not receive any money if you are not working. In these cases, maternity pay will be effective . It is made up of the average earnings of the last 13 weeks or three months before the beginning of the month in which the pregnancy occurred. What an employer is based on is up to him.

A distinction must be made between the prohibition of work and incapacity for work : If a pregnant employee becomes ill , whether or not she is banned , she will receive the usual sick pay , not maternity pay .

Even if the illness continues beyond six weeks , the employer drops out: the sick pay is then paid as usual by the health insurance.

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