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Potential Barriers to Aboriginal Teenaged Mothers' Access to Maternal and Parental Benefits

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Author(s): Jeremy Hull

Journal: International Indigenous Policy Journal
ISSN 1916-5781

Volume: 4;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 5;
Date: 2013;
Original page

Keywords: maternal and parental benefits | Aboriginal teenage mothers | early parenting | employment | lone parent

ABSTRACT
This chapter uses available data to examine the ways in which federal and provincial maternity, maternal, or parental benefits are likely to receive less income than others because of their lower income and parental leave programs may have a differential impact on Aboriginal teen mothers as compared to other Canadian parents. This is done through analysis of the employment and income characteristics of Aboriginal teen mothers in relation to the benefits and eligibility criteria for maternity and parental leave programs. It is concluded that Aboriginal teen mothers are less able to receive these benefits because they are less likely than others to meet the minimum requirements for hours of insured employment. In addition, those Aboriginal teens who meet the qualifying employment levels may be unable to take advantage of parental benefit options open to couples because they are more likely to be lone parents. It is also found that the Quebec Parental Income Plan is more generous and flexible than those in other provinces and its provisions would be especially beneficial to Aboriginal teen mothers. Recommendations for further research are provided.
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