End hunger and poverty for thousands of New York’s children
the steps to secure their own benefit.
The Child Tax Credit has been around for
decades. Most parents are familiar with it from
filing personal income taxes each year. Until
this year, it maxed out at $2,000 annually. That’s
hardly enough to cover the costs of raising a
child, but for a low-income household, it can help
cover critical expenses.
Now, because of the pandemic, Washington
has upsized the benefit to $3,000 annually, and
$3,600 for each child under six. That’s a meaningful
increase for families struggling to make ends
But the biggest change is that families who
don’t earn enough income to file income taxes
now qualify for the benefit, too. Until this year,
they were excluded.
It’s counterintuitive, but historically, the families
who needed the Child Tax Credit the most
have never even qualified for it.
Now, every family will see this benefit — but
only if newly eligible families take the time to
enroll. If you didn’t receive this payment in July
or August, go to GetCTC.org/strength to sign up.
Tell your friends and family members with kids.
Make an announcement at your local church or
The beauty of this benefit is that it can be used
for anything — and so families end up using it
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TIMESLEDGER | QNS.COM | SEPT. 3 - SEPT. 9, 2021 13
BY RACHEL SABELLA
The checks are in the mail.
This July, millions of households across the
country and hundreds of thousands right here
in New York started receiving additional money
through the Child Tax Credit secured by President
Biden and the Congress earlier this year.
We’ve seen a wave of new programs, stimulus
money and unemployment benefits flow to Americans
hit hard by the pandemic. But the Child Tax
Credit expansion is different. In fact, it could be
one of the most powerful anti-poverty tools we’ve
ever had in this country.
According to estimates, the changes to the
Child Tax Credit this year could help an additional
39 million households across the country
this year and lift as many as 5 million kids out
And the emerging consensus is that the expanded
Child Tax Credit is so effective, it could
cut child poverty in half.
It couldn’t come at a more crucial time. The
pandemic plunged millions of families into economic
hardship. It erased a decade of progress reducing
child hunger. For a state where nearly one
in five kids is raised in poverty, the Child Tax
Credit could be a game-changer.
But only if the families who need it most take
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on what’s most essential for them. And we see
time and time again that it helps families’ budgets
where they struggle most: putting food on
When families face fixed expenses like rent
and utilities, they are forced to cut back where
they can — and too often that’s food. The latest
data shows one in four kids here in New York
City could face food insecurity this year. Those
are households where mom or dad is forced to
skip meals to give their kids enough to eat, or
days toward the end of the month when there’s
not enough money to buy groceries.
Food insecurity affects how kids do in school.
It affects their physical and mental development.
And it fosters a negative cycle of poverty unless
we break it.
This year’s expanded Child Tax Credit is one
of the most powerful tools we’ve ever had in our
fight against child hunger. We can’t let any family
leave that money on the table.
Spread the word.
The sooner families sign up, the sooner we can
get them benefits.
And the sooner we can decisively turn the tide
against child poverty in New York.
Rachel Sabella is the director of No Kid Hungry