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.