At an event to increase awareness of the coming credit, Congresswoman Suzan DelBene (D-Medina) said that the enhanced benefits will reach 1.4 million children in Washington State alone, including 642,000 Children of Color.
“The Child Tax Credit has existed for many years, but one-third of kids were left behind because their parents didn’t make enough money to receive the full tax credit, because it was offsetting their taxes,” DelBene told the Emerald. “That never made sense. It was so important that we got it to the folks who needed it most.”
DelBene and others in Congress want to make the enhanced CTC permanent and have for years. Pushing for a permanent change in the CTC is the best move for families, DelBene said.
“Kids don’t grow up in a year or five years, so we need to make sure they know it’s going to be there for them throughout their child’s life and people who are starting families know that it will be available to them as well,” DelBene said.
On July 15, many Washington families will receive the first of six monthly payments from the federal government as part of its newly augmented child tax credit.
From now until December, eligible families can receive $300 per month for each child under 6 and $250 per month for each child between the ages of 6 and 17. This is thanks to a massive COVID-19 relief package that Congress passed in March.
At a press conference in Seattle last month, U.S. Rep. Suzan DelBene (D-Medina) said the tax credit will benefit 1.4 million children across the state.
But how exactly does this work? Who’s eligible? And when will the payments arrive? Keep reading for answers to the questions many families across the state are asking about the expanded tax credit.
DelBene, who pushed for the policy before it was included in the federal aid package, touted how many more families could benefit from the expansion.
“The child tax credit is the largest federal investment that we make in our children,” she said. “But until the American Rescue Plan, it left behind one third of all kids and families who earn too little to earn the full benefit.”
The expanded tax credit will be fully refundable. Families can receive the full amount they’re eligible for as a check, if their income isn’t high enough to receive a large enough tax offset. According to DelBene, this will allow the payments to reach 1.4 million children in Washington, including 642,000 children of color.
On Thursday, the Joe Biden campaign made official the most significant antipoverty proposal of his candidacy: making the child tax credit much bigger, and available to all parents as a monthly check.
The CTC expansion is based on a bill called the American Family Act, which grew out of Sens. Michael Bennet (D-CO) and Sherrod Brown’s (D-OH) offices in 2017 amid the fight over Trump’s tax proposal. The AFA was reintroduced in 2019 by Bennet, Brown, and Reps. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) and Suzan DelBene (D-WA), with substantial support within the Democratic party: 38 of 47 Senate Democrats have sponsored or cosponsored it, as have 187 of 232 House Democrats.
Poverty among children would fall from 14.8 percent to 9.5 percent, meaning 4 million kids would escape poverty. Deep poverty — the share of kids living on half the poverty line or less — would fall almost by half, from 4.6 percent to 2.4 percent. The effects might be larger in 2020, when baseline poverty is likely to be higher in the absence of additional government relief measures to combat the recession.