All you need to know about claiming your maternity benefits

Claiming maternity leave benefits in South Africa is easy.

Bringing a child into this world can get really expensive. Here's how you can ensure you still get paid while you're on maternity leave.

South Africa offers working mothers up to 4 months of paid maternity leave. There are a few documents you need, and a few visits to the Department of Home Affairs you'll have to endure. Here's our 'How To' guide to ensure that you receive what you’ve earned so that you can take care of your new bundle of joy with one less worry.

Are you sure you qualify to claim UIF maternity benefits in South Africa?

You qualify to claim if you are:

  • a South African citizen and have a bar-coded ID Book;
  • a foreign national with a valid passport (and you fulfill all other UIF criteria for a claim);
  • a mother that pays UIF every month;
  • adopting a child under the age of two years;
  • self-employed and a member of a Closed Corporation or a Company.

That excludes:

  • workers working less than 24 hours a month for an employer;
  • learners;
  • public servants;
  • foreigners working on contract to be repatriated at the end of the contract;
  • workers who get a monthly State (old age) pension;
  • workers who only earn commission.

If you are a domestic worker, you too are eligible to claim. A worker who has miscarried in the third trimester or has had a stillborn child also qualifies to claim for six weeks.

What documents do you need to claim UIF maternity benefits in South Africa?

In addition to actually having a baby, you’ll need 8 different documents to apply for UIF Maternity benefits:

1. Your 2 most recent payslips

2. A bank statement

3. Identification

Your original ID or passport or a certified copy.

4. Banking Details

To have the money paid directly into your bank account, download and complete form UI-2.8.

5. A record of monies received by a worker whilst in employment

Download form UI-2.7. This needs to be completed by your employer.

6. Application Form

To apply for South African UIF Maternity benefits, download and complete application form UI-2.3.

7. Medical Certificate

Collect a medical certificate or the baby's birth certificate from your doctor.

8. Follow-up form

Download and complete form UI-4. This application form will allow for the continuation of payment of maternity benefits.

Where do you go to claim UIF maternity benefits in South Africa?

You need to go to a labour centre nearest to you to submit the aforementioned documents. If you’re unable to go, send the documents with a close friend or family member.

Sometimes, the labour centre’s staff asks the mother to revisit the doctor or requests she revisits the labour centre at a later stage.

How much are you entitled to if you claim UIF maternity benefits in South Africa?

You should receive between 38% and 58% of your gross salary per month.

For every 6 months you’ve worked, you will be entitled to 1 - 4 months. Don’t worry, if you have changed jobs in the last 4 years. You previous employer just needs to complete a UI.19 form in order for you to receive the maximum credit of 4 months UIF payment.

If you're doubting your self-control and spending habits, Careers24 has great advice because we know that money matters