Chinara Johnson is pictured (lr) near her home in downtown New Haven with her children Zavad Morton (5), Azania Johnson (8) and Zakai Morton (5) (twin brother) / p>

When her car made a noise more than a year ago, Chinara Johnson parked the vehicle and has not used it since

As the New Haven mother of 5-year-old twins, one of whom is on the autism spectrum, and an 8-year-old daughter, Johnson doesn’t have the money to get the car working properly again

She also had no money to care for children as she underwent breast cancer treatments including surgery and chemotherapy and is now faced with increased electricity and food bills with the children at home during the pandemic

For the past several years, Johnson has not been eligible for child tax credits for not making enough money

But under the American Family Act – sponsored by US. Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-3rd District, and others – Johnson would opt for direct payments of 3 each600 USD for the boys and 3$ 000 to qualify for their daughter in federal child tax credits

Currently, the child tax credit expansion would not be available until tax year 2021 as part of the U-approved Pandemic Aid Act House of Representatives on Saturday According to law, the IRS would have until July to begin processing direct payments

Nearly 11 million (one in seven) children in the US live in poverty, according to the Center for American Progress The proposal would lift nearly 5 million children out of poverty, reports the Columbia University Center on Poverty and Social Policy This would increase the child poverty rate black children by 52% and in Hispanic children by 45% (61) 5% for Native American children and 38% 6% for white children

The one-time extended tax credit for children would be 132, according to the Institute for Taxes and Economic Policy (ITEP)000 Connecticut children whose families are less than 23Earn $ 000 a year According to ITEP, a total of 721300 Connecticut children in income brackets from lowest to highest would benefit nationally for families less than 21Earning $ 300 a year, seeing a 374% increase in income due to the expanded child tax credit, the organization says

Emily Byrne, executive director of CT Voices for Children, said the state should provide similar tax credits for children

The one-year version of the American Family Act is part of the $ 1 $ 9 trillion US bailout plan ahead of the US. Senate’s larger bill funds a wide range of programs to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, keeping families and businesses afloat until the health crisis is under control

For Johnson, expanding the child tax credit is a breeze. “I know there are other parents who are going through tough times,” she said. “Grocery bills have gone up because the kids are at home with the remote devices Children are charging What about detergents? Where is all this extra money coming from? “

The payments would change the 38-year-old mother who needs to find creative ways to buy teaching materials for her son after he hasn’t been in a classroom in a year

“He was having trouble writing so they said it would benefit him if he had an easel,” said Johnson. “He gets services at school, but it all stalled when schools closed me had to buy the easel. I have a steady income, but he needs comforting toys and other things to help him study. I usually forego making sure the kids have what they need ”

Johnson is hardly alone According to a January census poll, around 874 indicated000 Connecticut residents reported having difficulty covering household expenses, and 174000 parents and guardians reported that their children did not eat enough because they could not afford to eat

“I think the data points show just how much we need federal and state budgets that prioritize people and prioritize justice,” said Emily Byrne, executive director of Connecticut Voices for ChildrenBrynes group, supports DeLauro’s efforts to eradicate child poverty and recommends the state provide similar tax credits for children

For 18 years, DeLauro has advocated the idea of ​​expanding child tax credits to low-income families to “harness the power of the federal government to care for the least of us,” she said in an e- Mail

But the plan didn’t take off until this year when several factors suddenly changed the political landscape, DeLauro said, “I think part of the reason this is happening now is because there is data out there that has the widespread impact “Furthermore, the coronavirus pandemic has not only shed light on, but exacerbated child poverty, adding to the need – and urgency – to expand and improve child tax credits.”

Proposal helps families by lifting the income threshold required to benefit from child tax credits, reducing the amount of credits for children under 6 to 3600 USD and for children 6-17 years old to 3$ 000 increases and puts the money in the hands of families through direct payments rather than reducing their tax burden

Under the current child tax credit, families must meet an income threshold to receive the full benefit Only 1$ 400 of 2$ 000 can be returned as a tax refund. DeLauro’s bill would be a tax credit for anyone with children up to 150000 USD per year and all married couples who are less than 200Earn $ 000 a year, provide

“We are at a moment where passage is possible,” said DeLauro. “We have a presidential leadership, strength in Congress and the urgency of the pandemic that calls for action We can make lasting changes that lift children out of poverty – this and the following generations ”

The direct payments would help people like Juana Islas, who along with her husband has a full-time job and a part-time job to support their three children aged 14, 11 and 9, despite being an undocumented immigrant, Islas pays state-owned and state taxes, but gets little in return, she says

Her family is entitled to child tax credits because the children were born in New Haven, where they live. But she cried as she explained her situation in life. “I have two jobs to work because I have three children to support and none of me Government support is available because I’m undocumented, “she said

The whole family contracted COVID-19 because she and her husband had no choice but to go to work during the pandemic. “We didn’t have the option to stay home,” Islas


The family was not eligible for stimulus checks or unemployment due to the couple’s immigration status. “Taxes are deducted from our paychecks but the money is not returned to us for the safety net,” she said

Islas hopes child tax credits will be expanded so that she and her husband can work less. “In the situation we are in, we leave our children because we work day and night,” she said can’t help our kids with their homework or online classes. We wouldn’t stop working if we had government support because we’re hardworking people, but we’d spend more time with our kids ”

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Child Tax Credit 2021

World News – US – Child tax credit expansion plan offers hope in addition to direct payments