An August analysis based on Census data released after the first Child Tax Credit (CTC) was issued in July indicated that the percentage of American families with kids who report not having enough to eat fell dramatically. The data offer proof that the monthly payments are having a major and immediate impact on millions of households.
Before the first CTC payments were sent to family bank accounts in mid-July, about 11 percent of households with children reported that they sometimes or often did not have enough to eat in the past week. After CTC payments, the rate dropped to just over 8 percent — a decrease of nearly 24 percent — and the lowest rate recorded since the beginning of the pandemic.
The census has some near real-time data on how households are faring during the pandemic through the Household Pulse Survey.
Hunger rates peaked in December 2020, several months after additional pandemic relief funding was delayed and before Congress passed a final December package. Last December, more than 18 percent of households with children reported that they sometimes or often did not have enough to eat in the past week. After that, December relief was adopted, and after the first relief measure under President Biden in March (along with a 15 percent increase in SNAP benefits), overall hunger rates plummeted 40 percent.
Under the American Rescue Plan signed into law in March, the CTC was made fully refundable and increased from $2,000 to $3,600 per year. To provide immediate relief, families receive half that credit in monthly installments of up to $300 July-December 2021. Families can then claim the remaining half on their 2021 income tax filing.
Families that have not filed their taxes can access a new simplified filing portal to claim their Child Tax Credit. GetCTC.org, developed by Code for America in partnership with the IRS, launched today! GMMB has created resources that can help you spread the word to families who have not received their payments. Go to thesocialpresskit.com/ctcoutreach to find outreach messages for social media, text messages, emails and more. We will continue to update this site with new resources in the weeks ahead.
Organizations interested in helping families use the GetCTC.org portal can also access Code for America’s Navigator Resources, featuring training guides, videos and frequently asked questions.
Families can visit the Child Tax Credit Update Portal to see if they’re receiving a direct deposit or paper check this month. Broad outreach alone is insufficient for those who need these benefits the most. We need all child-serving agencies, families, and parents to be promoters. Below are some resources for you and your network; please share broadly. Make sure you check out CWLA’s Twitter Account for social media tools you can share with your network as well.
- GetCTC.org landing page with up-to-date information, clear next steps, and FAQs in English and Spanish
- GetYourRefund.org free tax prep services and FAQ for clients who want to file a full return in English and Spanish
- How to fill out the IRS Non-filer form provides step-by-step instructions and other helpful tips to complete the IRS non-filer form, presented by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities’ Get It Back Campaign. The site also features several other helpful toolkits!
- How to use the IRS Child Tax Credit Update Portal (CTC UP) provides step-by-step instructions and helpful tips to utilize the CTC Update Portal, presented by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities’ Get It Back Campaign.
- IRS CTC Helpline: (800) 908-4184 The helpline connects clients to an IRS operator to get answers to basic CTC questions and is available in English and Spanish. The operators can only provide general information and are not able to access individual accounts.
- gov landing page with up-to-date information from the White House
- https://www.irs.gov/credits-deductions/2021-child-tax-credit-and-advance-child-tax-credit-payments-frequently-asked-questions FAQs page for the IRS
- https://www.momsrising.org/childtaxcredit landing page from MomsRising