Maternity and Birth Benefits

Information about registering for benefits and birth payments...

IKA provides maternity assistance for directly insured (those who are employed) and indirectly insured (those insured through a covered, working spouse) women in Greece. The assistance is in the form of:
  • a maternity benefit and
  • a birth benefit

Maternity benefit

Only directly insured women are eligible for the maternity benefit. The maternity benefit applies to directly insured women for 56 days before the birth and for 63 days after the birth, but in order to be eligible for this maternity benefit they must stop working. Women who do not take the entire 56 days prior to the birth may take it after the birth. The maternity benefit is paid to insured women who have worked at least 200 days in the two years prior to the expected delivery date. If employer benefits and IKA benefits do not, at least, equal the earnings a directly insured woman would have received if she had worked during that period, the woman is entitled to an additional lump sum maternity benefit from the Manpower Employment Organisation (Οργανισμός Απασχολήσεως Εργατικού Δυναμικού - OAED). This benefit covers the difference between the IKA benefit and the earnings that the insured woman would have earned had she been working. Employed mothers are also entitled to an additional six months of maternity protection leave and reduced working hours leave at the end of their maternity leave. Benefits are paid by the Manpower Employment Organisation (OAED), if the woman has received maternity payments from the IKA and has a work contract.
  • Further information on maternity benefits from the Manpower Employment Organisation (OAED)

Birth benefit

Directly and indirectly insured women are eligible for the birth benefit. The birth benefit, given to all insured women, is one payment made to help defray the cost of treatment in a maternity clinic or hospital. The benefit is equal to 30 times the day wage of an unskilled worker.

Claiming the benefits

The following documents are required to apply for birth and maternity benefits:
  • the insurance booklets of the two most recent years or a certificate authenticated by the IKA office of the insured person's place of residence
  • a health booklet (individual and family if applicable)
  • a certificate from an IKA gynaecologist indicating the expected date of delivery
  • a declaration from the employer stating that the woman has stopped working
  • a declaration form completed by the woman stating the date on which she stopped working (the form is available at local IKA offices)
  • the birth certificate of the child (for the post-birth allowance)
Once the basic maternity benefit ends, mothers who have worked full- or part-time under temporary or open-ended contracts, and are covered by IKA, are entitled to work reduced hours (one hour each day) for two years to breastfeed and care for their child. Or they may take three months of unpaid leave instead. The worker must apply and receive permission from the employer in order to do this. Once this time has been taken, an additional six months of maternity leave is available at a pre-determined minimum wage. Women who receive an equivalent maternity leave benefit from their employer are not eligible. Women on maternity leave may not be dismissed from their jobs and their job must be retained for them while they are away, or a similar job with the same working conditions and pay must be provided. Working new mothers are protected from working night shifts or performing dangerous tasks at work.