Are you a pregnant woman who is struggling to maintain financial independence? If so, you are not alone.
According to a Harvard Study, known as the Consumer Bankruptcy Project, having a child is now an unfortunate, but leading predictor that a woman will end up filing bankruptcy and struggling financially.
The study showed that women with children, regardless of whether they are married, divorced, or single, are much more likely to file bankruptcy than childless single women.
Further studies by the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy also shed light on the financial situation affecting pregnant women.
According to their studies, seven out of ten pregnancies that occur among single women in their 20s are not planned. 61% of these women who are enrolled in college drop out or fail college as a result.
By these staggering numbers, we can clearly see that mothers are often unable to reach their educational goals. Without an education, a cycle of low paying employment, lack of health insurance, and living below poverty level is likely to begin. Fortunately, there is help.
Financial Assistance Opportunities for Pregnant Women
If a woman is pregnant or has had a child, she may be struggling just to get by. For this reason, many different types of maternity grants have been established.
These grants help low-income women afford the cost of having a child:
Sure Start Maternity Grant
This grant is provided in the United Kingdom for women who are pregnant with their first child or children. Up to £500 may be awarded for each child born at the same time, however, the child must be less than 20 years old and the household must not have any other children under the age of 16.
To qualify for this maternity grant, you or your partner must receive at least one of the following:
- Income Support
- Pension Credit
- Income-related Support and Employment Allowance
- A higher Child Tax Credit than the normal family element
- Working Tax Credit that includes an award for disability is included
- Job Seeker’s Allowance
One of the following must also apply:
- You must be pregnant and expect to give birth in the next 11 weeks
- You must have had your baby within the last 3 months
- A dependent child is going to give birth in the next 11 weeks or has had a baby within the last 3 months
- You have become the primary caregiver for a child less than a year old and are not the mother
- You have adopted a child or had one through surrogacy that is less than a year old
To claim this grant, you will need to download the claim pack SF100. Once you have filled out your claim pack completely, you must print it out and mail it Jobcentre Plus.
Women, Infants, Children
The Women, Infants, Children, or WIC, program was developed and is run by the U.S. government. This program serves women who are pregnant, postpartum, and those who are breastfeeding, along with infants and children up to 5 years in age.
The government does not set aside a certain amount of funds for each eligible women, but instead allocates a specific amount each year for each of the program’s operations. This is what makes it a grant program, rather than an entitlement program.
With WIC, women receive vouchers or checks that can only be used to purchase certain WIC foods, such as eggs, formula, milk, whole grain breads, peanut butter, dried beans, and fruits and vegetables.
In order to receive this grant, you must meet certain guidelines.
- Income – Applicants must have an income at or below the 185% for the poverty guidelines of the United States. This number is currently $41,348 a year for a family of four. If you are already participating in other programs like Medicaid, TANF, or SNAP, you automatically meet the guidelines for income.
- You must demonstrate nutritional risks like low weight, high weight, anemia, dietary risks, or a history of complications during pregnancy.
- You must be pregnant or have a child less than five years of age.
To claim this maternity grant, visit your local Department of Human Services office or speak to your doctor.
Growing Family Foundation
The Growing Family Foundation is a non-profit organization that is dedicated to assisting parents struggling under the financial pressure of having a new child. Grants are limited to on per family and can range from $50 to $250.
In order to qualify for this grant, a health care provider, doctor, or nurse must nominate you and fill out a Growing Family Foundation application. The application must then be submitted for review by the Foundation’s board members who will determine which families are in real need of this maternity grant.
Are you struggling with all of the expenses that come with having a child?
See if you qualify for one of these helpful maternity grants, take the time to apply and relieve some of your financial burden.