But President Joe Biden’s administration is making sure that financially struggling parents will continue to get the help they need via the expanded child tax credit.
It appears that this new benefit from the $1.9 trillion legislation could not come at a better time, as millions of Americans are still feeling the financial effects of the ongoing pandemic.
According to the latest data from the U.S. Census Bureau, it shows that about thirty-four million people live in poverty in the United States. And to lift twelve million of them out of such living conditions, a recent report by the Economic Security Project said that more rounds of stimulus checks could do just that.
It is true that the child tax credits aren’t technically stimulus checks, but the total amount sent out to Americans will easily eclipse the current third round’s $1,400 payments.
Know that Biden’s stimulus bill enabled the expansion of child tax credits that generally allowed families to claim a credit of up to $2,000 for children under the age of seventeen.
But now, they qualify to collect 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. That means these parents can collect a $250 or $300 payment each month through the end of the year.
Moreover, eighteen-year-olds and full-time college students who are twenty-four and under can give parents a one-time $500 payment.
“About 90 percent of families with children will get this new tax relief automatically, starting in July,” Biden said in a statement.
“For working families with children, this tax cut sends a clear message: help is here,” he added.
Another notable perk from the American Rescue Plan is that parents who pay out of pocket for child care services now can claim those expenses in tax credits of $8,000 for one child and the maximum of $16,000 for two or more children.
Also, keep in mind that the child tax credit could be extended well beyond this year to 2025, as Biden and dozens of Democratic lawmakers are pushing for this to become a reality through the American Families Plan.
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki in a recent press briefing touted the bill’s potential reach if it receives Congress approval.
“If passed, the families of tens of millions of children will continue to get regular payments,” she said. “Obviously, we’re continuing to evaluate what their needs are—to continue to get the pandemic under control, put people back to work, but we think that’s a proposal with a long-term benefit.”
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.