Mutterschaftsgeld / Maternity Allowance in Germany
If you are having a baby in Germany, you may qualify for Mutterschaftsgeld or Maternity Allowance. Mutterschaftsgeld is a financial service paid by the Gesetzliche Krankenversicherung, the German State Health Insurance. It is financial support provided to pregnant women, 6 weeks prior and 8 weeks following delivery, in what is referred to as the mandatory Mutterschutzfrist, Maternity Leave (see related article).
Pregnant women that qualify are Pflichtversichert, Compulsory Insured and employed. Housewives and self-employed persons without Krankengeldanspruch, Entitlements to Sick Leave Benefits, do not qualify.
How to apply?
The earliest one can apply is 7 weeks before the expected delivery date, which is officially documented by your doctor in what is called, "Bescheinigung über den mutmasslichen Tag der Entbindung", Certificate of Expected Date of Delivery, (Yellow Form). This form is then taken to your health care provider where a copy will be made for your files. You will also have to complete an application at this time, of which your health insurance agent will assist you with.
The Mutterschaftsgeld, (maternity allowance) amount will vary from case to case as it is based on existing employment pay. The calculation is based on an average net amount of the applicant's last three, complete, monthly paychecks or the last 13 weeks of pay before the Maternity Protection Period started and divided by total days for period being measured. The maximum daily payment issued from the State Health Insurers is capped at 13 EURO per day. If the net amount of salary is higher than this, the employer is obligated by federal law to pay the difference, which is known as the Arbeitgeberzuschuss.
Women insured through a private health insurance company, as well as women working Mini-Jobs without health insurance and Familienversicherte, Insured Family Members receive a maximum one-time payment of 210 EURO. The responsible authority for such cases is the Bundesversicherungsamt, Mutterschaftsgeldstelle, German Insurance Office, Maternity Allowance department.
Tel. (02 28) 61 918 88
If you are an unemployed, expecting mother that received unemployment benefits at the time the Maternity Protection Period started, you should be eligible for Maternity Allowance payments too. The amount of payment is usually equal to your unemployment benefits, but the responsibility of payment falls on your Health Insurer and not your local Unemployment Office, Agentur für Arbeit. Contact your Health Insurance Company and your assigned agent at your local Unemployment Office in such cases.