July 15, 2021
By: Elysia Murphy
Across the nation, most recent pre-pandemic census data reveal that there are 10 million children live in poverty and in New York State that number hovers at 700,000.
The American Rescue Plan, which was signed into law in March 2021, included robust reforms designed to put more income in the pockets of Americans at a time when job loss and declining incomes have harmed so many and child poverty is rising.
One crucial effort in this plan is the expansion and improvement upon the federal child tax credit – which helps families afford the everyday expenses of raising children.
The American Rescue Plan increased the Child Tax Credit from $2,000 per child to $3,000 per child for children over the age six; and from $2,000 to $3,600 for children under the age of 6. The age limit was also raised from 16 to 17. All working families will get the full credit if they make up to $150,000 for a couple or $112,500 for a family with a single parent. Families whose earnings are over this income threshold may still be eligible for a credit, and we have outlined these details below.
Critically, the expansion would also ensure that families whose earnings were too low to file for taxes would qualify for these benefits.
The American Rescue Plan also changed the way that the benefit would be available to families this year. Traditionally, families would wait until they filed their taxes to receive this reimbursement. In the enhanced Child Tax Credit, families can receive an “advance” cash benefit on the credit through monthly payments of $250 to $300 per child, set to begin July 15, 2021.
Nationwide approximately 89% of families with children are expected to receive tax credits this year, with 3.5 million children benefiting in New York State alone. This sorely needed monthly inclusion of funds is estimated to result in cutting child poverty in half nationwide and lifting 250,000 New York children out of poverty. The enhanced CTC will make a world of difference to families that have been disproportionately impacted by falling incomes and job loss during COVID-19.
Read on below to learn more about the enhanced child tax credit and how you can join us in the fight to end child poverty.