COVID-19 Justice

COVID stimulus could be a lifesaver for children in poverty

The bill, signed Thursday by the president, increases child tax credits, providing more money to those in poverty.

On Thursday, President Joe Biden signed a $1.9 trillion COVID relief bill. The new bill promises to provide financial support to a range of different groups, from shoring up local government budgets to providing $1,400 direct payments to many Americans.

Provisions that provide direct aid to individuals – especially individuals with children – could be a lifesaver for families living on the edge. The non-partisan Center for Budget and Policy Priorities estimates that could pull 117,000 Michigan children out of poverty.

What It Does: Among the most immediate effects of the bill will be the $1,400 stimulus payments to many Americans. That would provide a one-time influx of $5,600 to a family of four.

But changes to the child tax credit could be even more effective. The provision increases the amount of tax benefit a family will receive for each child – to $3,600 for children under 6 and to $3,000 for children age 6 to 17.

It also would allow those payments to be spread out over the course of the year, rather than forcing parents to wait until tax time to receive a lump sum.

The provision will only be effective for one year, but Democratic lawmakers suggest it could be made permanent in subsequent legislation.

You can read more on Bridge Michigan.

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