Benefits for multiple-birth families
Multiple-birth families are families with two or more children born at the same time; twins, triplets, quadruplets etc. In this context, multiple-birth families also refers to families with two or more children adopted at the same time. Certain Kela benefits are paid at a higher rate, or for longer, to multiple-birth families.
Sickness allowance and special maternity allowance during pregnancy
In the case of multiple-birth pregnancies, the mother usually goes on maternity leave earlier than mothers expecting only one baby. Mothers expecting twins or triplets can usually go on sick leave even earlier, although the pregnancy has been problem-free. If you have to take sick leave during pregnancy, consult your terms of employment to see if the sick leave will be paid or unpaid. If it is unpaid, you can claim sickness allowance from Kela.
If the mother cannot continue working during the pregnancy because of a work-related health risk, she can be granted special maternity allowance.
Maternity grant multiplied
If you give birth to two or more children at the same time, you will get the normal maternity grant multiplied by two for your second child, the normal maternity grant multiplied by three for your third child, etc. This means that for twins, you will receive three times the maternity grant, for triplets, six times the maternity grant, etc.
You can choose how you wish to take out each maternity grant: in cash or as a maternity package, in whatever combination you want. For example, if you give birth to twins, you can choose to have two maternity packages and one cash payment.
Maternity and paternity allowances
Maternity allowance and paternity allowance are not increased if more than one child is born at the same time. If the babies are born prematurely before the maternity leave begins, payment of the maternity allowance starts the day following the birth.
Parental allowance for an additional 60 days
Parents with multiple children born at the same time are entitled to an additional 60 working days of parental allowance for each child starting with the second. For one child, parental allowance is paid for 158 working days; for twins, for 218 working days (158 + 60 working days); for triplets, for 278 working days (158 + 60 + 60 working days), etc. The additional days can be used to extend the period of maternity allowance or parental allowance or to allow both parents to stay home to care for the children.
The parental allowance period, including the extension for multiple births, can be taken out in a maximum of 2 periods by each parent.
Both parents staying home at the same time
Both parents can stay home at the same time after childbirth to look after their children. For example, fathers can use 18 working days of their paternity leave entitlement, followed by the additional days of parental allowance (60 working days). A father of twins could thus stay home at the same time with the mother for a total of about 16 weeks. Fathers can also take paternity leave or other family leaves later on, but not at the same time as the mother takes out leave.
Child benefit is paid according to the number of eligible children in the family.