WASHINGTON, D.C., USA — (CBS) The fourth monthly payment of the enhanced Child Tax Credit is landing in bank accounts on Friday, with anti-poverty researchers pointing to the ongoing cash deposits as helping to reduce hardship among families across the nation.
After the October 15 payment, there are only two checks remaining under the current incarnation of the Child Tax Credit (CTC). The Biden Administration is seeking to renew the enhanced CTC through 2025, providing a monthly cash child allowance to roughly 60 million children, but its fate may be up in the air amid some pushback from lawmakers about the cost and structure of the benefit.
For now, parents of about 60 million children will receive direct deposit payments on October 15, while some may receive the checks through the mail anywhere from a few days to a week later. Parents of eligible children under age 6 will receive $300 per child, while those with children between ages 6 and 17 will receive $250 per child.
"The evidence from talking with families about how they use the money is they are spending it on savings, on utilities, on clothes and food for their kids," said Jacob Goldin, an associate professor of law at Stanford University and an expert on taxes and low-income households.
Families with children ages 17 and under have experienced an immediate reduction in hardship due to the payments, with anti-poverty advocates saying that the checks are especially important for low-income families. At the same time, most other government stimulus has ended, such as the cash stimulus payments and the enhanced pandemic unemployment aid.
But many Americans are financially fragile as the pandemic continues. About one in five households lost all their savings in the COVID-19 pandemic and now have no savings, according to a survey from NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Harvard's T.H. Chan School of Public Health.
About 4 in 10 households have recently experienced serious financial problems, the poll found.
Read more on the fourth Child Tax Credit payment here.