AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – A new law in Georgia, signed in the spring by Governor Brian Kemp, allows expectant mothers to receive more welfare benefits.

“We’ve been needing a lot of help and everything, and right now, I’m a stay-at-home mom, so it’s very important,” benefits recipient Celine McLean said.

The Temporary Assistance for Needy Families has been helping mothers in the state of Georgia for years, but House Bill 129, recently signed by Governor Kemp, expands those benefits so expectant moms can also benefit. 

“I think it’s great that they have that assistance. It relieves all that stress off of them like, ‘Okay, I have the resources I need. Now I can effectively parent,’” McLean said.

Aside from expectant mothers, the program also supports low-income families with children under the age of 18 and children aged 18 attending school full-time, and if you are a mom in school, this could help you too.

“It’s awesome. They don’t necessarily have to worry about saying, ‘Okay, can I study, or do I have to clock in so I can make sure my baby has everything that he or she needs?’ So, having that assistance to those moms, especially in school, is just great,” Peach State Health Plan worker Yahnea Gregory said.

The Georgia Department of Human Services says close to 15,000 children in the state of Georgia are supported by the TANF program each year.

Celine McLean has two children of her own and can testify. 

“Like I said, I’ve been struggling, and it just helps so much. It alleviates a lot of my stress. I know it’s not great to talk about, but I’ve been going to therapy because I’m so stressed, and it helps a lot.” 

The government assistance does have certain requirements that should be met, but it is open for anyone to apply. 

“We kind of provide that guidance and that map so like, ‘Okay, this is how you get to here.’ So, they’re relieved, they’re able to tell their friends about it, and they’re able to educate their friends. So, when you protect the moms, you protect the whole community,” Gregory said.

Those I spoke with who currently receive benefits tell me it’s a great help.

To find out more about how you can apply, visit this website.