One Week In: Biden Child Tax Credit Bringing Relief to Families, Boosting Local Economies & Making a Difference

July 23, 2021

From the Speaker’s Press Office

From getting food on the table to paying for child care and school supplies, for the past week, the Biden Child Tax Credit has been helping working families make ends meet all across the country.

Thanks to the leadership of Congressional Democrats and the Biden-Harris Administration, the Child Tax Credit is delivering transformative social policy and rare good news after a year of incredible hardships.”  

Given the tremendous impact the CTC is already having, it’s no wonder the policy has earned frontpage stories nationwide.  Here are a few of the many stories that capture what the Child Tax Credit means for so many of America’s families and communities:


Time Magazine: Sneakers, Rent, and Childcare: How Seven Families Plan to Spend the Expanded Child Tax Credit

It felt like Christmas in July for more than 35 million American families this week, when they began receiving a collective $15 billion in their bank accounts in the form of expanded child tax credits.” […]

“For Sarah Heflin’s family, the expanded child tax credit couldn’t have come at a better time.” […] “Her family’s income went down by two-thirds in March 2020, when she was laid off from her job as an e-commerce manager Atlanta due to COVID-19.” […]

“She knows the expanded child tax credit won’t entirely make up for the salary she’s missing out on to be home with her children, but it will help ease the stress she felt when she realized her son’s ‘big hobbit feet’ were outgrowing his sneakers. ‘His feet are so big, he wears man-sized shoes,’ she says. ‘They’re more expensive than kid shoes.’ This month, some of the funds will go towards a new pair of sneakers for him.”


CBS 4 News, El Paso: Advance Child Tax Credit helps El Paso families

“Many parents in the borderland are noticing a little extra money in their bank accounts this week as the first payments of the advance child tax credit are being distributed by direct deposit and mail.” […]

“‘I was hoping for it because it would help me catch up on bills and stuff,’ a mom of two said.”

“One mom said she lost two of her three jobs amid the pandemic. She said these payments would help her provide for her four kids.”

“‘I thought it would be useful and help us month to month with expenses,’ she said. ‘For the kids going back to school, it's going to help out a lot, considering I went from three jobs down to one, so it definitely is going to help with getting them back in school and catching up on bills.’”


WYSO – NPR Dayton, Ohio: Child Tax Credit Payments Hit Bank Accounts

“When $500 hit Toni Sterling’s bank account this week, she was excited and surprised. The Springfield stay-at-home parent knew she would be getting the advance child tax credit payments for her son and nephew, but she thought she would have to wait for it to come in the mail.” […]

“Sterling’s husband lost his job as a cook at a restaurant due of COVID. Her family relied on food pantries and was nearly evicted. Now, with payments coming monthly through December, she plans to shop for school clothes and take the family to the county fair.”

“‘It means that my family is not going to struggle.’ she said. ‘If we get behind, we know we've got a break in the clouds there. We know that there's something good that's going to be coming.’”


New York Magazine: How the New Child Tax Credit Is Already Changing Lives – “There’s very few good news stories, and this is one.”

“Months into lockdown, Maggie Wiggin noticed that her 7-year-old son had become depressed. ‘Lockdown was a nightmare, I think, for a lot of special-needs kids. Just an incredibly difficult time,’ she said, explaining that her son has autism. ‘And then he started getting sick.’ His face began to swell, a sign of edema; his kidneys weren’t working. He spent time in the hospital, took what Wiggin describes as ‘unpleasant medicines,’ and asked his parents if he was going to be okay. The trauma built up over time, and Wiggin, desperate to help him, was pleased when she discovered an effective therapy for her son called Floortime, for which a practitioner came into her home to work directly with her son. There was just one problem: Insurance wouldn’t cover it. The family, which includes her 4-year-old daughter, began to sink into credit-card debt. They felt that if they had a choice ‘between him being perpetually unhappy, and being in credit-card debt, that was an easy choice: to pay,’ she said.

“Then July 15 arrived and, with it, relief: Wiggin received $550 that Thursday morning, thanks to the expanded child tax credit. […] She immediately paid down her credit-card debt. Insurance still won’t cover her son’s therapy, but now it’s easier to afford. ‘I feel like there’s very few good news stories, and this is one,’ she said.”

For families like Maggie’s, the child tax credit expanded by President Biden and Democrats in Congress is both transformative social policy and rare good news after a year of incredible hardships.”


ABC 7 News, Detroit: The child tax credit could help small businesses throughout metro Detroit

“There are more than 2 million children in Michigan, and the monthly credit will mean hundreds of millions of dollars pouring into the state's economy. […] When those families spend the money, the positive impacts will ripple through the economy and even help Michiganders without kids.”

“Cheikh Diop is the owner of African Nubian Hair Braiding on Detroit's Avenue of Fashion. He said business is picking up with back-to-school right around the corner, and parents having extra cash from the child tax credit could mean big business for small businesses like his.”

‘The child tax credit is a good impact because right now, I got a lot of people bringing children to come in to get their hair braided,’ Diop said.


Seehafer News – Manitowoc, Wisconsin: Budget Stabilizer: Child Tax Credit Payments Arrive for WI Families

“Meghan Roh, program director for Opportunity Wisconsin, said aside from the credit amount going up, age limits have been expanded, making more families eligible. ‘Speaking as a parent myself, you know, raising a family is tough,’ Roh remarked. ‘And even with careful budgeting, folks can fall behind on keeping up with their expenses.’” […]

“The Coalition on Human Needs said nearly 1.2 million Wisconsin children will benefit from the overall expansion, and 46,000 kids will be lifted out of poverty.” […]

“‘This new monthly funding will help families across the state put food on the table, pay the bills, save for college,’ Roh outlined.”


Vox: 3 Parents on What The Child Tax Credit Means to Them

David Watson, technician, father of two, New Jersey:

“My shoulders already feel lighter.

“I am a single parent with two children — my son Suleemon, 11, and my daughter Haleemah, 17. Their mother has battled substance abuse and doesn’t provide for them financially. Money is always tight for us since rent and cost of living here is really high.” […]

“Then, on July 15, I was on my last $60 and wondering how to make it stretch for two weeks when I got a text message saying I got a deposit of $500 into my account. The child tax credit came through. I can’t tell you how relieved I was.”

Shakisha Harvell, entrepreneur, mother of two, Virginia:

“In the summer of 2020, [my business] shut down due to Covid restrictions and my income all but dried up. When we reopened, it just wasn’t the same. My usual clients found it a hassle to shop, especially with the then 10-person maximum restriction that was in effect.

“Making it worse, my kids were now doing schooling online. […] Time I would usually spend on my business was now spent sitting through classes with my kids.”

“Eventually, I applied for unemployment and started receiving payments. We were now living on half of my usual income. My kids even got involved and started baking and selling cakes to help make up some money.” […]

“My kids have outgrown their clothes and need a new summer wardrobe, so I’m going to use some money for that. But at some point, I want to use part of it to encourage my children’s entrepreneurial spirit. I want them to learn, from a young age, everything about business. I’m thinking of a popcorn and icee machine to get them started. It can go well with their cake business.”

Melissa Petro, freelance writer, mother of two, New York:

“When day cares closed, working became impossible. Fortunately, I went on employment assistance, which was amazing. I finally didn’t have to kill myself with different jobs. I could just watch my kids and get paid for it. But we still couldn’t afford to get a nanny. We just hired young people to help watch them here and there. So that meant my career was really suffering.”

With the extra money from the child tax credit, we will finally be able to afford some help again. Now, instead of hiring kids who don’t really need the work, we can pay an adequate wage and hire someone who is reliable.”


West Virginia Public News Service: Child Tax Credit Helping WV Families Pay for Transportation, Food

“An estimated 346,000 West Virginia children, 93% of all kids in the state, live in households that likely received their first Child Tax Credit (CTC) payments last week.

“Stormy Johnson, with the Preston County Board of Education and a mother of three children, said the extra cash provided by the CTC will help her make her monthly car payment.

“‘Here in Preston County, if you don't have a vehicle, you don't have a lot,’ Johnson observed. ‘Because we don't have access to public transportation like there are in some different counties.’”


Tri-State News – Evansville, Indiana: Child tax credit could bring additional economic growth to Indiana, experts say

“Kyle Anderson, an economist with the Indiana University Kelley School of Business, said he expects the child tax credit to make a long-term impact on Indiana’s economy, especially in some industries like childcare.”

“‘We should see some pick up there where families are able to afford more outside childcare,’ Anderson said.”

“‘I’m expecting that over the next 6 to 12 months, economic growth is going to be really strong,’ Anderson said.”


NBC 4 News – Albuquerque, New Mexico: Child tax credit begins going out to New Mexicans

“Melissa Martinez, a mother of two, said the payments will help her family and many others like her.”

“‘I come from a small community where a lot of families struggle,’ she said.” […]

The payments will help more than 40,000 households in central New Mexico.”