What is Mutterschaftsgeld and How Can I Get It?13 December 2022 | Before Your Baby is Born | By Lisa H
In Germany, (expecting) parents are entitled to certain monetary benefits. For the birthing person, the first one will be Mutterschaftsgeld (and the second one is Elterngeld). In this article, we’ll explain the what, how and how much as it relates to Mutterschaftsgeld.
This article is written in collaboration with Julia Zehavi, owner of Julia Cares family services.
What is Mutterschaftsgeld?
Mutterschaftsgeld loosely translates to maternity allowance and is the money you will receive during the “Schutzfrist.” (Protection period)
Schutzfrist is the time frame 6 weeks before your due date and 8 weeks after your baby is born. If your baby is born prematurely, or you are having multiples and/or a disabled child the protective period after birth is extended to 12 weeks.
During this period you will benefit from the “reguläres Beschäftigungsverbot” (“regular employment ban”). To make up for your loss of regular employment, you will receive Mutterschaftsgeld.
Mutterschaftsgeld is available to publicly insured employees. For information for freelancers or those with private or family health insurance, stay tuned for our next article.
How much Mutterschaftsgeld will I get?
The amount of Mutterschaftsgeld will be calculated based on your average net salary of the three months prior to the beginning of the protective period (6 weeks before the due date).
Your health insurance will pay up to €13 per day. If your average net salary was higher than this, your employer will pay the difference to the above mentioned amount.
Mutterschaftsgeld is not subject to taxes or social security payments. Also, you will receive free health insurance, pensions insurance and unemployment insurance during this period.
When and how to apply for the pre-natal Mutterschaftsgeld?
You will apply for the first part of your Mutterschaftsgeld at least 7 weeks before your estimated due date. For this, you will receive a dedicated form called “Bescheinigung über den mutmaßlichen Entbindungstag" from your OBGYN or midwife.
Complete the copy marked as Krankenkasse with your IBAN and send this document to your health insurance to apply for Mutterschaftsgeld.
If, as mentioned above, your average net salary was higher than €13 per day, you also need to request your employer’s contribution to the maternity benefits (“Arbeitgeberzuschuss zum Mutterschaftsgeld”). You will do so after you have applied for Mutterschaftsgeld with your health insurance.
Do check what your employer needs for this. For most employers, it’s enough if you request this via a simple letter, while some may also want a copy of your “Bescheinigung über den mutmaßlichen Entbindungstag.”
Your health insurance and employer will take care of the rest. You should receive one payment from your health insurance and another from your employer (if applicable) as early as the beginning of your Mutterschutz.
When and how to apply for the postnatal Mutterschaftsgeld?
For the second payment (after birth), you will need to submit your child’s birth certificate (there’ll be a version for the health insurance) or the discharge letter from the hospital /birthing center. Once this has been received, the second payment will cover the 8 weeks after the birth of your child.
(Along with the second payment, your health insurance will also send you a statement about the paid Mutterschaftsgeld to submit with your Elterngeld application. It is marked with the word Elterngeldkasse.)
When will I receive the money?
You will receive the first payment, which will cover the 6 weeks before the due date, 6 weeks before your due date.
You will receive the second payment once the health insurance has received your child’s birth certificate. In Berlin, the time it takes to receive your baby’s birth certificate varies from district to district and also time of year but can take a few days to a few weeks.
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