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News Update

Fifth batch of child tax credit payments hit bank accounts this week

The Treasury Department and IRS sent out the fifth batch of monthly child tax credit payments, disbursing more than $15 billion in payments to families that include about 61 million children, as The Hill reported

The government has sent out a total of about $77 billion in monthly payments since the program began in July. Families are eligible for payments of up to $300 per month for children under age 6, and up to $250 per month for children ages 6 to 17.

The monthly child tax credit payments emerged as a result of the coronavirus relief law President Joe Biden enacted earlier this year. The relief law also made the credit fully available to the lowest-income families. The child tax credit expansion in the relief law was only for 2021, meaning the payments will end next month unless Congress acts.

The White House and congressional Democrats are hoping to enact a social spending package that extends the expanded child tax credit for one more year, while making the credit fully available to the lowest-income families permanently. 

“The Child Tax Credit is giving families across America the flexibility to pay for household essentials, school supplies, and other child care needs,” Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said in a statement, as The Hill cited. “This tax relief is making a meaningful difference in the lives of millions of children, and it’s crucial for Congress to extend it by passing President Biden’s Build Back Better agenda so families can continue to benefit.”

The expanded child tax credit has already lifted many children out of poverty, experts say. In California, for example, continuing the benefit has cut child poverty from 20% to 13.7% and kept more than 600,000 kids above the poverty line, according to a recent study by the Urban Institute.