Alberta premier Jason Kenney announced Wednesday that his government would commit $390 million will be spent over the next four years to ensure 99 per cent of Albertans have a link that meets the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications (CRTC) standard for acceptable broadband service. (Photo by Government of Alberta)

New prenatal benefit for Albertan women on AISH and income support

Alberta’s government will implement the new prenatal benefit for pregnant women on Assured Income for the Severely Handicapped (AISH) and income support.

Eligible clients will be provided with $100 per month, beginning in their second trimester until the baby is born, for a total of $600.

This is on top of a one-time natal benefit of $256 for expectant mothers at 36 weeks of pregnancy.

This new benefit, highlighted in the recent Speech from the Throne on Feb. 22, will provide mothers with more funds to put toward their health and wellness.

The speech stated that “Many vulnerable women and girls have inadequate support during pregnancy, which can affect their child’s health and life chances. In order to assist low-income mothers and improve health outcomes for their babies, the government will significantly increase and expand prenatal benefits to mothers receiving AISH and income support.”

“Providing more support for vulnerable expectant mothers is a positive, common-sense step and compassionate step. This is about helping moms facing poverty while improving health outcomes for their babies,” said Premier Jason Kenney in a press release on March 10.

The government is providing businesses and families with the help they need to get back on their feet as the economy recovers as part of Alberta’s Recovery Plan.

“The research is clear. Providing support early in a woman’s pregnancy can result in both healthier pregnancies and babies and better long-term outcomes. Initiatives like this help Alberta’s Recovery Plan ensure we’re not only helping people today but we’re building a stronger foundation for tomorrow,” said minister of community and social services, Jason Luan.

“Every woman who is on AISH and is pregnant is deeply in need of support to have the best outcome for her baby. A little extra cash enables the mother and her support staff to pay for all things a baby needs,” said Dr. John Lilley, co-chair, Pregnancy Pathways.

“Every baby needs great nutrition and a low-stress home environment to start growing in. The most important developmental period for a child starts in utero and extends into the preschool years. Good nutrition and a low-stress home environment set a baby up for a great start. The baby with a great start becomes a teen finishing high school and an adult with job skills. The additional funds announced by the Premier today will provide much-needed extra support for a mother and her baby at the time of her birth.”