Child Tax Credit: National survey shows possible link between payments and decline in economic hardship

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INDIANAPOLIS — Before the advance Child Tax Credit (CTC), Britney Taylor says it was hard to get by from day to day.

“It’s kind of rough because I kind of have to budget every paycheck,” she said. “So I’m like, ok, this amount has to go here and there.”

Taylor, who is also a member of the community group, Hoosier Action, is part of the many eligible families to benefit from the CTC. Payments first went out July 15th.

Qualifying households can get anywhere from $250 to $300 per month per child.

“When I got my first one, I actually paid one of my small bills, and then I used the rest for groceries because that’s what we needed,” she said, “and so when I get money like that, I usually will put it toward something beneficial, whether it’s for my son, or for the apartment, or bills or whatever.”

According to the latest results from the Household Pulse Survey, through the U.S. Census Bureau, families are also seeing the same benefit.

Organizers recorded responses from households before and after the first round of payments.

Among adults in households with children, results showed a 3% drop in food insufficiency and a 2% drop in difficulty paying expenses.

In regards to how households spent their payments, results showed around 47% of respondents spent it on food.

Payments are expected to continue through December. However, Taylor is hopeful to see an extension as the pandemic still brings uncertainty for the future.

“If COVID gets worse and people have to lose work time, or school time, and they’re losing money, then that money goes a long way for someone,” she said. “If I lost a week or two of work, what’s going to happen after that? I’m going to be behind on things, or I’m going to have issues trying to pay things.”

Currently, some households are seeing delays in the second round of payments.

The U.S. Treasury cited “technical issues” as the reason, resulting in paper checks mailed out to impacted households. Taylor is among those impacted.

“I have one child, but I know people with multiple that haven’t gotten theirs and it’ll impact families differently, but we still need that money because, like I said, COVID has impacted our communities.”

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