Child tax credit: Poverty increased by 41% after benefit program ended


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Enhanced Child Tax Credit payments issued in the second half of 2021 were intended to help struggling families afford basic necessities during the COVID-19 pandemic – and for many, that’s exactly what ‘they did. Now that advance payments are no longer being sent, there has been a sharp rise in poverty, according to a new report from the Columbia University Center on Poverty and Social Policy.

See: Canceling the Child Tax Credit: These relief programs can help you if you’re struggling to pay for childcare
Find: The Child Tax Credit Slows Your Refund – Here’s Why

The February 18 report found the country’s child poverty rate rose to 17% in January 2022 – after the CTC’s monthly payments stopped – from 12.1% in December 2021, the last month’s payments. have been distributed. This represented an overall increase in child poverty of 41%, meaning that 3.7 million more children were living below the poverty line in January 2022 than in December 2021.

The enhanced CTC payments were part of the US bailout and paid out six months of credits worth up to $250 per child aged 6-17 and up to $300 per child under 6 . The program has reached more than 61 million children in approximately 36 million households.

The Center on Poverty and Social Policy estimates that the monthly CTC alone kept 3 million children out of poverty in July 2021. By December, that figure had risen to 3.7 million children.

Research found that monthly CTC payments “have protected families’ finances amid the ongoing pandemic, increased families’ ability to meet their basic needs, reduced child poverty and food insufficiency. , and had no discernible negative effect on parental employment,” the report said.

Learn: Why some say the child tax credit is welfare friendly
Explore: 38% of Recipients Say Child Tax Credit Reduces Their Reimbursement – Will it be for you?

At the same time, the overall poverty of the entire US population also increased at the start of the year, from 12.5% ​​in December to 14.7% in January. As previously reported by GOBankingRates, the Biden administration had hoped to continue improved credit in 2022 with the Build Back Better Bill. But the bill in its original form hasn’t garnered enough congressional support — in part because some lawmakers want to see an end to stimulus programs like the CLC — meaning the CLC may not be revived.

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About the Author

Vance Cariaga is a London-based writer, editor and journalist who has previously held positions at Investor’s Business Daily, The Charlotte Business Journal and The Charlotte Observer. His work has also appeared in Charlotte Magazine, Street & Smith’s Sports Business Journal, and Business North Carolina magazine. He holds a BA in English from Appalachian State University and studied journalism at the University of South Carolina. His reporting has won awards from the North Carolina Press Association, the Green Eyeshade Awards and AlterNet. In addition to journalism, he has worked in banking, accounting and restaurant management. A North Carolina native who also writes fiction, Vance’s short story “Saint Christopher” placed second in the 2019 Writer’s Digest short story competition. Two of her short stories appear in With One Eye on the Cows, an anthology published by Ad Hoc Fiction in 2019. Her first novel, Voodoo Hideaway, is published in 2021 by Atmosphere Press.

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