Beginning July 15, tens of millions of American households will receive monthly payments of up to $300 per child, according to President Joe Biden
The checks are the result of Democrats
including a strengthened child tax credit
program in the American Rescue Plan
, the $2 trillion COVID-19
relief bill signed into law by Biden in March.
The law not only increased the benefit amount for families earning $150,000 or less, but it also directed the IRS
to pay the money
in advance, effectively converting the credit into a monthly child allowance.
Families with a joint income of less than $150,000 will receive $3,600 per child under the age of six, and up to $3,000 for children
aged six to seventeen in 2021, distributed monthly, which means eligible families will receive up to $300 per month for each child under the age of six, and up to $250 per month for each child aged six and up.
Periodic payments of $2,000 per child would still be made to two-earner households earning up to $400,000 per year.
These checks are in addition to three rounds of stimulus payments made to Americans during the COVID-19 pandemic
. Direct cash assistance programs such as the stimulus checks
and increased unemployment
insurance have been credited with keeping millions of Americans out of poverty during the pandemic.
The IRS announced Monday that the checks for parents will be distributed on the 15th of each month via direct deposit, paper check, or debit card.
According to the Department of the Treasury, the payments are expected to reach 39 million American households, covering 88 percent of all children in the country.
This policy will significantly reduce child poverty in the United States, not only because of the increased dollar amount, but also because the law eliminated the income-based phase-in for the benefit, meaning that Americans do not need to have any income to qualify for the monthly payments.
However, the American Rescue Plan only extended the program until 2021, and parents will no longer receive these payments after this year unless Congress
passes another bill to extend them.
Already, in its “American Families Plan
,” the Biden administration
has asked Congress to extend the program through 2025, a four-year extension that would significantly reduce childhood poverty in the United States.
Democrats such as Reps. Suzan DelBene (Wash.), Rosa DeLauro (Conn.), and Ritchie Torres (N.Y.), as well as Sens. Sherrod Brown (Ohio
), Cory Booker (N.J.), and Michael Bennet (Colo.), have been lobbying Biden to agree to a permanent expansion of the child tax credit.
In a statement last month, they called the program “the most significant policy to come out of Washington in generations, and Congress has an historic opportunity to provide a lifeline to the middle class and permanently cut child poverty in half.”
doubled the child tax credit to $2,000 per year through 2025 in their Tax Cuts and Jobs
Act, opting to phase it out along with a slew of other individual tax breaks.
The Biden administration appears to be sticking to the same 2025 deadline, ostensibly to keep the overall cost of the “Families Plan” under control; the checks will cover roughly 65 million children and will cost roughly $100 billion per year.