You asked

How and where do I apply for Maternity Benefit?

Successful application for Maternity Benefit depends on how long you have been working and how much you have contributed to the PRSI fund. Your application for maternity leave should be given to your employer in writing.
 
If you need any information about maternity leave, you can contact the Equality Authority. The details are as follows: Address 2 Clonmel Street, Dublin 2, Dublin2, Ireland; Telephone +353 (0)1 417 3333; 1890 245 545 (Locall); Fax +353 1 417 3331; Homepage: www.equality.ie ; email: info@equality.ie.
 
If you have any disputes you may have with your employer regarding maternity leave, you need to make a complaint to a Rights Commissioner. Use a Rights Commissioner complaint form, which is covered by the Maternity Protection Acts 1994-2004.
 
Applications for Maternity Benefit need to reach the Maternity Benefit Section of the Department of Social Protection, at least six weeks before your baby's due date.
 
The contact details for the Maternity Benefit Section are as follows: Address Department of Social Protection, McCarter's Road, Ardarvan, Buncrana, Donegal, Ireland; Telephone (01) 471 5898; 1890 690 690 (Locall); Homepage http://www.welfare.ie

More questions

There really is no such thing as starting saving too early for your child’s future. 
When you become a parent it is more important than ever to build a nest egg to cope with any unexpected expenses such as doctor’s bills or expensive car or home repairs.
Updating your will (or putting one together) is a necessity when you have a baby
Applications for Maternity Benefit are handled by the Department of Social Protection.
Although you are entitled to maternity leave, and can qualify for Maternity Benefits, these are subject to specific rules.
If you thought going back to work, or being a stay-at-home parent were your only options, think again.
Plan your weekends well and do the necessary preparation during the week to ensure that there is time for fun – not just chores – on Saturday and Sunday.
It is important to remember that you are only human and it is impossible to have a perfectly balanced work and home life. Unexpected things do happen and it is at times like these that you should simply take a deep breath, relax and accept that you are doing the best you can.
Join up with other stay-at-home moms and dads in your area. Getting together with them regularly will make up for the adult company you are so accustomed to in the workplace.
It’s surprisingly common for stay-at-home mums to resent having to stay home and care for children.

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