Government of New Brunswick

The Prenatal Benefit Program was developed in conjunction with Early Childhood Development Agenda and is intended to help expectant mothers in NB have healthier babies.

Parental Benefits are available to pregnant women living in New Brunswick. There are two significant factors to consider at screening and needs assessment:

The Prenatal Benefit Program is delivered outside the authority of the Family Income Security Act

The Household Income Policy is not used in the determination of eligibility for this benefit.

Keep in mind that an application to the Prenatal Benefit Program may be an application for prenatal benefits only. If the prenatal benfit is for an existing SA client or someone looking for basic assistance in addition to prenatal benfits, then the normal application process and necessary documentation would be followed as per existing policies and procedures.

In general, the expectant father should be part of the Prenatal Benefit Program application, not only to determine the income for benefit purposes, but to involve both parents in the process, to encourage the unit to be part of the process and to help maintain a sense of family. Ideally, involvement of the father will assist in keeping the unit together as the application also enables SD to make referrals to other departments and agencies. If the father is not known, involved or participating during the pregnancy, then an application would not be refused based on the father's non participation. In taking this approach, it is hoped that the application process will be less stressful for applicants, staff will be clearer regarding expectations, and New Brunswick's unborn children will be better served.

 

Eligibility

In order to be considered eligible for the Prenatal Benefit the expectant mother must,

  • Be a resident of New Brunswick,
  • Provide proof of pregnancy from a doctor

Individuals living on a Federal Reserve are not eligible.

Students from outside the Province are eligible for the period of time they are residing in New Brunswick.

Students from New Brunswiuck are eligible when studying outside of the Province if they maintain ties to a New Brunswick residence.

Expectant mothers younger than 16 years of age must apply with parents.

Expectant mothers who are 16 to 18 years of age inclusively apply with parents if living at home unless the expectant father is also living in the household. In this case the expectant mother applies with the expectant father.

Expectant mothers who are 16 to 18 years of age inclusively apply with the expectant father if a Social Assessment indicates the parental home is not appropirate.* The mother cannot apply with her parents as the assessment would have determined that the parental home was unsafe. The expectant father is part of the application for income determination purposes.

Expectant mothers older than 18 years of age and who are living with the expectant father, must apply with the expectant father.*

**If the expectant father is not known, is not living with the expectant mother or refuses to apply with the expectant mother, then the expectant mother may apply alone. After the birth of the child, if the mother becomes a SAR, details regarding the father will have to be divulged for purposes of pursuing child support. Failure to comply will result in termination or refusal of benefits.

Pregnant teenagers,18 years of age and under, who are in the care of the Minister are not eligible for the Prenatal Benefit Program.  They should be referred to their Social Worker.

 

Income

The amount of the monthly benefit is dependant upon the monthly net income of the applicants. The income to be used in the determination of the benefit would be that of the parent(s)/guardian, of the expectant mother (if in the parental home), or the income of the expectant mother and expectant father, if he is part of the application and if the couple are living outside the parental home.

All income is considered with the exception of

  • Assistance with Rental Costs subsidies
  • Child Tax Benefit
  • Foster Home Payments
  • GST Credit
  • Subsidized Adoption Payments
Rates

 

Monthly Net Income
Monthly Prenatal Benefit
$0 - $1,833
$81.44
$1,834 - $1,917
$74.14
$1,918 - $2,000
$64.89
$2,001 - $2,083
$55.64
$2,084 - $2,166
$46.39
$2,167 - $2,250
$37,14
$2,251 - 2,333
$27.89
$2,334 - $2,416
$18.64
$2,417 - $2,500
$9.39
$2,501
$0.00
Payment of Benefit

The beneift may be paid for up to a maximum of 6 months starting in the fourth month of pregnancy.

If the expectant mothers due date is in December the benefit would be issued starting in July. All benefits would be issued on the first business day of the month with the possible exception of July. If the expectant mother applies after July 1 then the benefit would be issued once eligibility is established. The monthly benefit would be issued in the full amount even if the application is made after July 1.

If the expectant mother applies in September with a due date in December then the benefit would be issued for 4 months. The September benefit would be issued once eligibility is established and the remainder of the benefits would be issued on the first business day of the remaining months.

An additional benefit may be issued if less than 6 benefits have been issued and the expectant mothers due date is extended into the next month.

Requested benefits will be readjusted if the net income of the case changes. Issued benefits will be deleted if the case was not eligible to receive the benefit. Issued benefits will not be readjusted to reflect a change in income.

Overpayments are not to be created for issued benefits if the expectant mother miscarries.

Benefits will be paid separately from any other social assistance benefit the expectant mother may be receiving.

 

Educational Services

Expectant mothers receiving the Prenatal benefit are also eligible and should be encouraged to take part in courses dealing with healthy pregnancies.