Most do not plan to become the parent of a child when they are still in their teenage years. It is not what society expects from them, and it is not what most people want in their own lives either. Based on this, it is necessary that we as a society be understanding of those who do become mothers when they are still teenagers and try to do what we can to support these individuals.
There are certain welfare benefits available to teenage mothers that are granted by the State under certain circumstances. It is vital to know what these circumstances are as well as what the benefits are if you hope to apply for them or help someone you know to do so.
Those who are pregnant and under the age of twenty must be enrolled in school full-time or must have already graduated. If one is under the age of eighteen there are special living arrangement qualifications that may apply as well. If you under the age of 18 and you are not married you must either live with your parents or a legally recognized guardian.
There are variations not only to the rules state by state but also to what benefits one can expect to receive. What this essentially means is that whatever state one is in is where they should check on the particular guidelines. The overall money for these benefits comes from something known as the Temporary Aid For Needy Families Bureau, but each State is given the right to administer the program as they see fit. It is therefore somewhat a variable of where a person resides as to how many benefits they can receive and under what circumstances.
The WIC program is another Federal program that can be applied for by teenage mothers. The name of this program stands for "women, infants, and children" and is designed to help those who have young families and not a lot of income. The purpose is to provide for them some basic staples of food that they need to just get by.
In order to get WIC, one must either be a pregnant mother or a new mother who has a child that is under the age of 5. That is the cutoff point for this particular program.
Individual states sometimes have their own plans that are designed to help young mothers as well. Once again, this can vary by state but some of the plans are generous in the aid they provide. Not every state has any program at all set up, but it is worth looking in to just to be sure.
Another state by state thing to look into is child care programs. Child care can be one of the most expensive and most burdensome parts of being a teenage mother. If one does not have a support system just built in and ready to go for them from day one, it can be hard to get things rolling. Child care is extremely expensive for young mothers and availability can be spotty as well. State programs designed to help young mothers get the child care that they need are incredibly important.
If one applies for benefits as a teenage mother and is turned down for those benefits they do have the recourse of the courts. This type of ruling can and should be challenged in some cases. People make mistakes and sometimes those mistakes have to do with how exactly they rule in a case of benefits distribution. An attorney that works in this particular area of the law may be called for if you are denied some benefits that you believe you are entitled to.
Benefits from the government for teenage moms are meant to be a temporary solution. They are supposed to be used as a way to help out that new mom who is likely scared and not sure what to do with her life situation. Those who use them like this are noble people who are just trying to get their life in order. Although such programs take a lot of heat in certain circles, they really do help a lot of people get their feet back on the ground and get them moving in the right direction.