Maternity benefit – paid before and after childbirth, can be requested by expectant mothers who:
- Are employed and receive a salary;
- Are self-employed; or
- Are spouses of a self-employed person and have voluntarily joined the social insurance.
Who else is entitled to receive this benefit?
During the postnatal period, maternity benefit can also be obtained by the child’s father or another person who takes care of the newborn at home, but no later than until the child’s 70th day of life. This applies to cases where:
- The child’s mother is unable to take care of the baby until the 42nd postnatal day due to sickness;
- The child’s mother has refused to take care of the child;
- The child’s mother has died during childbirth or before the 42nd postnatal day;
- The child is a foundling.
What is the duration of the benefit payments?
The benefit will be paid in two parts – before and after childbirth.
The first part is paid for 56 or 70 days of the maternity leave. The benefit for 70 calendar days is paid to expectant mothers who are undergoing medical supervision from their 12th week of pregnancy.
The second part – for 56 or 70 calendar days – is paid after childbirth. The benefit for 70 days can be obtained, if:
- The mother has had health problems during her pregnancy, childbirth or postpartum period;
- Two or more babies are born.
The maximum period for which the maternity benefit can be obtained is 140 days.
In the event of a preterm birth, i.e. a birth before the start of the maternity leave, the maternity benefit shall be granted on the same terms, not less than for 112 calendar days.
If an employment relationship is terminated due to winding-up of the workplace, the maternity benefit shall be granted, if the maternity leave has started not later than within 210 days after the termination of the employment relationship.
What is the size of the benefit?
The benefit shall be granted in the amount of 80% of the average insurance contributions salary of the applicant.
The average insurance contributions salary of an employee is calculated for a period of 12 calendar months ending two months before the month in which the pregnancy leave began.
For self-employed women, the average insurance contributions salary shall be calculated in accordance with the average contributions made during the period of the last 12 months ending one quarter (3 months) before the quarter in which the pregnancy leave began.Starting from 1 January 2013, the benefit shall be paid in the following amount:
1) If the benefit granted per calendar day is equal or less than LVL 23.02 - the benefit shall be paid in the amount granted;
2) If the benefit granted per calendar day exceeds LVL 23.02 - the benefit shall be paid in the amount of LVL 23.02 per calendar day plus 50 percent of the benefit amount granted that exceeds LVL 23.02 per calendar day.
These payment terms shall also apply to persons for whom temporary disability due to pregnancy and childbirth has started before or on 31 December 2012 and is continuing without interruption after 1 January 2013.
How and where should I apply for the maternity benefit?
The mother or her authorised representative may apply at any State Social Insurance Agency (VSAA) office by submitting the following documents:
- Work Disability Form B, containing confirmation from all employers regarding the absence from work during pregnancy and the childbirth related disability period. A self-employed person shall issue a self-confirmed statement that she does not receive any income during the disability period;
- Application for receiving the benefit.
The application for receiving the benefit may be sent by mail or in electronic form in accordance with the laws and regulations on electronic documents. When applying for the benefit by mail or in electronic form, one may use the document form available at the VSAA website www.vsaa.lv, or submit a free-form written request including the following information:
1. Name and surname of the person requesting the benefit;
2. Personal ID number of the person requesting the benefit;
3. Declared place of residence of the person requesting the benefit;
4. Phone number or e-mail address of the person requesting the benefit;
5. Account number of the person requesting the benefit in a credit institution or postal payment system (21 characters);
6. Type of the benefit requested (maternity benefit).
By signing the application, the person requesting the benefit confirms that the information provided in the application is accurate.No identification is required when submitting an application at a VSAA office. However, in accordance with the Personal Data Protection Law, upon issuing personal information pertaining to a particular person, VSAA may request and the person is obliged to produce a personal identification document.
The benefit may be requested through an authorised person, provided that the representation rights have been granted in accordance with Article 38 Paragraph one of the Administrative Procedure Law. Representation of a natural person shall be drawn up as a notarised power of attorney, or a natural person may authorise his or her representative at the VSAA office, if both the representative and the authorising person are present.
The benefit must be requested within one year from the first day of the maternity leave.
How long will it take before one receives the benefit?
The decision on granting the benefit will be taken within ten days after the VSAA office has received all documents that are necessary for granting the benefit.
Receipt of the benefit
The benefit shall be transferred to the account in a credit institution or postal payment system (PNS) indicated in your application.