»Child tax credit provides essential help, but does not reach more than 1 in 10 eligible families
ANN ARBOR — In March, Congress expanded the Child Tax Credit (CTC) to provide low- and middle-income families with monthly payments of $ 300 per child under age 6 and $ 250 per child aged 6 to 17. It is already estimated that the expanded CTC has reduces child poverty by around 30%.
While most eligible families received the child tax credit and used it to cover essential household expenses, a new survey indicates that more than one in 10 CTC-eligible families did not receive credit and not sure how to claim it or why they hadn’t received it.
Solutions to poverty at the University of Michigan, in partnership with Propel, surveyed low-income parents who use the Providers app, a free mobile app that helps more than 5 million families manage Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits, and found that more than three-quarters of CTC-eligible users received the child tax credit. payment (68%), were still waiting for their first payment (4%) or understood why they had not received a down payment (11%).
However, around 13% of CTC-eligible users said they did not get the credit and did not know about CTC or the process by which they would get it.
Among Providers app users, parents who responded to the survey in Spanish stood out as being significantly less likely to say they received the initial payment from the CTC, compared to those who responded to the survey in Spanish. English. Just over half of parents who responded to the survey in Spanish reported receiving their first payment, compared to over two-thirds of parents who responded to the survey in English. Spanish-dominant parents were also less likely to have heard of CTC. Five percent of parents who responded to the survey in Spanish said they had not heard of the CTC, compared to just 2% of those who responded to the survey in English.
Additionally, parents with fewer years of formal education are less likely to have received the August CTC payment. Parents who did not have a high school diploma were 13 percentage points less likely to have received the credit in August than those with an associate degree or more education.
“The expanded child tax credit clearly provides essential support for families. This support will almost certainly produce long-term benefits for children and especially children from low-income households, ”said Natasha Pilkauskas, co-author of the policy brief.Receiving and Using Child Tax Credit Payments Among Low-Income Families: What We KnowAnd Associate Professor of Public Policy at UM’s Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy.
“Yet it is important that we take additional steps to ensure that the CTC reaches and supports all eligible children and families who may benefit from this important investment. “
Among the users of the Suppliers app who received the CTC, almost everyone said it was helpful in helping them make ends meet (94%) and that it was important to sue the CTC at the future (92%). The vast majority of respondents who received the CTC reported using the money for basic expenses like paying bills (75%), paying rent / mortgage (9%), paying off debt (4%) and the purchase of food (7%).
A large portion of respondents (42%) also said they used the money for children’s expenses, such as school supplies, children’s clothing, and childcare. Importantly, however, 16% of respondents said the initial CTC payment did not provide enough help.
Data from the US Census Bureau’s Household Pulse Survey, which surveys a nationally representative sample of US households, showed a 30% drop food insufficiency among adults with children following the initial monthly payments; and a 43% decrease in food insufficiency among low-income households who received the initial payment.
“We can see in the data the impact of these payments on families across the country: helping them pay for food, bills and other household expenses,” said Patrick Cooney, deputy director of the policy impact at Poverty Solutions and co-author. of the guidance note. “But we can also see that there is more work to be done to ensure that all eligible families receive this essential benefit.”
This survey was carried out in collaboration with Propel, the creators of Providers (formerly Fresh EBT), between September 1 and September 15, 2021. The analyzes in this report reflect the views of more than 3,000 American parents living with children under the age of 18 who use the ‘Providers application.