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There are many state funded pregnancy benefits that are targeted at enhancing the quality of life and opportunities for pregnant women. This, however, depends on the country in which the pregnant woman is residing. For example, in the UK pregnant women are entitled to free prescriptions and NHS dental treatment. These benefits ensure that the mother and the baby both receive proper care during and after pregnancy. Therefore, all pregnant women should speak to their doctor or midwife and obtain the FW8 form, fill in the required information and send it to the relevant Health Authority. There is a separate form used if the claim is not made during pregnancy. This is the Form A in leaflet P11 NHS prescriptions. This can be obtained from a doctor. An Exemption Certificate is sent to the mother that lasts up to one year after the birth of the baby which can be utilized later on during the validity period. There are many more benefits for pregnant women, depending on the country of residence.
As hospitals and child care is costly, maternity grants for pregnant women help them prepare for the costs involved with the confinement. Pregnant women who are more than 25 weeks into the pregnancy are eligible to apply for these grants. Eligible pregnant women will receive a sum of money deposited directly into their account upon the birth of the baby. The Sure Start Maternity Grant is to assist new mothers with the care of their baby. This grant is applicable to first time mothers only. The grant is not applicable if there is a child under the age of 16 years in the family. It is applicable if the child depends on the applicant and he or she has a child of their own. It is also considered if the child is a twin. The expectant mother will receive a lump sum of £500. The mother will receive £500 for each child if it is a multiple pregnancy. Further information on maternity grants for pregnant women can be obtained through the relevant online sources.
Statutory Maternity Pay
Another benefit for pregnant women is the eligibility of statutory maternity pay. This is a weekly payment from the place of employment of the pregnant woman. In order to be eligible for this payment, pregnant women should have worked in the same organization for at least 26 weeks into the 15th week before the due week. In addition, the expectant mother’s average earnings should be at least equal to the Lower Earnings Limit for National Insurance contributions. SMP entitles expectant mothers to 90% of their average weekly earnings for the first six weeks. If the expectant mother does not qualify for SMP, she will be able to claim Maternity Allowance through Jobcentre Plus. Maternity Allowance pays a standard weekly rate of £129 or 90% of the average gross weekly earnings.
Benefits for Pregnant Women in the USA
In the USA too there are benefits and special support programs targeted at pregnant women and their babies once born. These programs are mostly executed through state governmental departments. The assistance ranges from financial, information, health care and other essential support needed during pregnancy and at the time of birth as well as post-pregnancy. Websites such as Child welfare agency and Medicaid operate in each state and can be contacted for necessary help. Women, Infants and Children (WIC) Program offers needy mothers food provisions and guides on nutritional requirements during pregnancy and the lactation period. NGO programs operate Food Banks and Food Stamp programs that are available in every state in the USA. Any other federal government benefits can be sought out by logging into Benefits.Gov.
Each country has its own programs aimed at providing benefits for pregnant women. By considering these benefits, pregnant women and their families will be able to provide the best they can for themselves and the child during and after pregnancy.