220.127.116.11 SpB for expectant mothers
There should be very few occasions when there is a need for expectant mothers to be paid SpB.
As with all claims for SpB, all avenues of support should be explored and exhausted before the claim is granted. SpB may be paid to expectant mothers subject to all the usual SpB provisions, i.e. IF they:
- are in hardship, AND
- have no alternative means of support, AND
- meet the other qualification criteria.
Policy reference: SS Guide 18.104.22.168 Qualification for SpB
Confirmation of circumstances
The person needs to provide confirmation of the circumstances leading to their claim for SpB.
Policy reference: SS Guide 22.214.171.124 Special payments - documentation required
Factors to consider for expectant mothers
The delegate should consider the following issues when determining whether payment of SpB is appropriate.
|If the person is …||then they …|
|living with their parents||would NOT generally be considered to be in hardship if they are living with parents, who are providing and will continue to provide food, accommodation and monies for necessary expenses. This might be viewed differently if the person had established an employment history.|
|on paid maternity leave or received a lump sum payment||should NOT be paid SpB during the period of the paid leave UNLESS they have incurred unforeseen expenses.|
|under 16 years of age, and living with their parents||should NOT be paid SpB, as their parents have a legal responsibility to provide support. SpB is ONLY payable where the parents are unable to provide that support.
Example: If the parent was in receipt of a social security payment.
|under 16 years of age, and NOT living with their parents||should only be paid in accordance with guidelines for under 16 year olds.|
|a former student living in a residential facility for young pregnant women||can continue with some studies and will not be regarded as a full-time student for the purposes of the Act. This means the person may qualify for payment.|
All people under the age of 16 years, and former students should be referred for social worker assessment.
Act reference: SSAct section 5(1)-'parent', section 23(1)-'social security payment'
Newly arrived residents
Pregnancy is NOT a change in circumstances for a newly arrived resident who is serving the NARWP.
Duration of payment
Payment may be made from 6 weeks before the expected DOB, to 6 weeks after the DOB. This applies, irrespective of whether the child is adopted or stillborn, UNLESS eligibility for SpB ceases.
Example: If the person resumes paid employment or full-time studies, or ceases to be in hardship.
Possibility of other benefits
Some expectant mothers would be able to qualify for another allowance, pension or benefit.
Example: JSP (incapacitated) or YA (incapacitated) may be paid if there are complications during the pregnancy and JSP or YA may be paid during this period, with an activity test exemption.