Throughout the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, it has been widely reported that low-income Americans with children have been some of the hardest hit in terms of declining financial and mental health.
But on July 15, President Joe Biden seeks to alleviate some of that suffering via his $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan, which will direct the Internal Revenue Service to begin disbursing recurring monthly payments to eligible Americans from the expanded child tax credits.
This newest federal government-issued cash windfall will now allow parents to bag as much as $3,600 per year for a child under the age of six and up to $3,000 for children between ages six and seventeen. What this means is that a $250 or a $300 cash payment for each child will be made available to these parents every month through the end of the year.
“This tax cut will give our nation’s hardworking families with children a little more breathing room when it comes to putting food on the table, paying the bills, and making ends meet,” Biden said in a statement.
“Nearly every working family with children is going to feel this tax cut make a difference in their lives,” he added.
What recent polls, reports, and studies are showing is that this type of federal assistance—seen in some circles as an unofficial version of a fourth stimulus check—can’t come soon enough. And there already has been plenty of calls among Washington lawmakers and ordinary citizens to make the credits permanent.
Around 95 percent of Americans polled admitted that stimulus checks have helped improve their financial health over the past year, according to a recent survey conducted by doxo. And roughly nine in ten respondents felt confident that stimulus payments will help the U.S. economy improve between “a little” and “a great deal,” while 63 percent said their own financial health will recover within the next twelve months.
A separate report put together by the Annie E. Casey Foundation shows that a permanent expansion of the child tax credits has the potential to lift more than four million children out of poverty. Around thirty-four million people, including ten million children, live in poverty in the United States, according to the latest data from the U.S. Census Bureau.
“Every child needs food, health care and safe and stable housing. Millions of households with children already lacked these necessities before the pandemic,” the foundation noted in the summary report.
“To continue on progress already made on recovery, the foundation recommends: making the expansion of the federal child tax credit permanent; strengthening state and local policies affecting kids and families; and prioritizing racial and ethnic equity in policymaking,” it adds.
Ethen Kim Lieser is a Minneapolis-based Science and Tech Editor who has held posts at Google, The Korea Herald, Lincoln Journal Star, AsianWeek, and Arirang TV. Follow or contact him on LinkedIn.