Maternity grants are funds given to women who are about to give birth to a child. This money is often meant to assist the woman while she is pregnant and also after she has given birth so that she may spend the days following the delivery recovering from the procedure and caring for the newborn. Generally speaking, there are two different types of maternity grants. On one hand, there are grants funded by certain government agencies, and on the other there may be grants provided by employers. The qualifications, availability, and methods of maternity grants differ from location to location, depending on law and social services provided by respective governments.
Grants for maternity that are provided by governments tend to come in one single payment. In most cases, an individual who is eligible for a maternity grant is not able to apply again for the same birth. If the woman gives birth to another child, however, then in certain instances another grant may be available.
When maternity grants provided by a government are available, an applicant usually must fill out an application. The information provided can help determine the amount of money that the applicant is eligible to receive. Information regarding income, health, and any personal, financial, or medical complications may be required.
Money for maternity grants provided by employers normally come in smaller amounts periodically over a predetermined span of time. In counties such as the United Kingdom, for example, the payments come weekly. There is often a maximum number of payments that can be received by the individual who is eligible for maternity grants. In the UK, there is a maximum of 39 weeks for which the employee can receive grant payments.
In cases when employers can provide employees with maternity grants, there are normally prerequisites for eligibility. For example, a woman who is expecting must normally give an employer several weeks notice prior to going on maternity leave. Likewise, the woman normally must have worked for the employer for a minimum number of weeks. If these rules are followed and an employer denies money to an employee for maternity, an employee may have the right to sue an employer in locations where employer-funded grants are considered to be legal obligations.
A number of jurisdictions exist in which both government and employer maternity grants are available to women who are about to give birth. Often in these contexts, individuals are ineligible to receive simultaneous grants from both the government and the employer; such individuals should consider which program offers more security before deciding to apply to one or the other. In some cases, though, individuals may not be eligible for either type of grant. If this is the case, that individual may seek assistance from a government social services programs to learn about other grants and benefits.