The US families missing out on Biden's child benefits

Asia's Tech News Daily

© Getty Images

When Joe Biden expanded the US Child Tax Credit (CTC) this summer, it immediately slashed America’s high child poverty rate by a third. Yet while about 67 million children are eligible for the benefit, many of the most vulnerable families are still missing out.

The amount parents could claim jumped from $2,000 (£1,464) per child annually, to up to $3,600.

The benefits are also paid out monthly, rather than just when families file their annual taxes, meaning the poorest get help sooner.

However, you have to be registered with the Internal Revenue Service, the US tax agency, to claim the help. And up to 2.3 million families are not, according to the government.

What’s more, experts say these families are likely to be the ones most in need of help.

‘We’re struggling’

Kimberly (not her real name) from Oxon Hill, Maryland is eligible to claim the tax credit for her one-year-old daughter, but hasn’t received a single payment since July.

The former waitress, 22, hasn’t worked since the start of the pandemic and relies on her husband, a painter, for support. They are struggling to pay their rent and healthcare bills.

“It’s really unfair,” she says, pointing out she wants to use the money to buy things like nappies and baby milk.

“So many parents are already getting this money yet we all have the same needs.”

© Getty Images A family visiting an Orlando food bank in December

An undocumented immigrant from El Salvador, Kimberly can claim the tax credit because her daughter was born in America. But she needed to have a special tax number called an “Individual Taxpayer Identification Number” (ITIN) in order to get the money.

She applied for one back in April, but it took the IRS five months to process due to Covid-related backlogs.

Kimberly has now missed out on the first four CTC payments, which should have been paid automatically into her bank account. What’s more, she says the IRS still can’t tell her when she’ll start getting the cash.

An IRS spokesman told the BBC it could not comment on individual taxpayers, but added: “For eligible people who don’t receive advance Child Tax Credit payments this year for any reason, they will be able to claim it when they file their 2021 tax return next year.”

‘Imperfect participation’

In the US, children are considered poor if they live in a household with an annual income below the Federal Poverty Line of $25,701 (or $2,141.75 per month) for a family of four. Often they miss out on vital basics like having a balanced diet, a warm enough home, or the right clothes for school.

Elaine Maag of the Urban Institute, an economic think tank in Washington DC, says the CTC scheme has been a “tremendous success” overall. All social security programmes have “imperfect participation”, she adds.

  • Why the US is launching a $300 monthly child benefit
  • Coronavirus: US poverty rises as aid winds down

Yet she says it is typically the poorest in America who are not registered in the tax system – and these are the ones missing out on the CTC.

Alongside immigrants facing ITIN issues, those missing out include parents who have never filed taxes due to having a low or no income, new mothers whose children don’t yet have social security numbers, and those who have simply have never heard of the benefits.

In addition, some eligible immigrant families don’t claim because they wrongly think it might jeopardise their right to stay in America.

Language barriers

The Biden administration is aware of the problem and has launched a sign-up portal with the IRS to make it easier for so called “non-filers” to access the CTC.

It’s also running awareness campaigns and making the information available in Spanish after initially only doing so in English. Research shows households in which Spanish is the dominant language are less likely to have received a CTC payment, or to have even heard about the tax credit.

Yet Tyler Hill at charity GiveDirectly says the administration needs to go much further.

“These families are often the most marginalised and can’t be reached by conventional advertising. They are not reading the president’s Twitter,” he says.

He thinks people not in the tax system face too much burden when applying for the benefit, which puts some off.

© Getty Images

“They have to find the White House’s webpage, click through three external sites before creating an account, file with the IRS, and set up a direct deposit,” he says. “That’s a high bar given that only half of non-filers own a computer, nearly a quarter don’t have a bank account, and many lack a permanent address.”

He says developing African and Asian countries can disburse aid to the poorest much more effectively using simple text message systems, or easy-to-use apps. He’d like the Biden administration to try something similar.

Pablo Blank, head of tax at Casa, an immigrant advocacy organisation in Maryland, thinks officials should invest more in helping immigrant communities who disproportionately miss out on the CTC. Faster processing of ITINs would be a start, he says, noting that many others are in the same boat as Kimberly.

A US Treasury spokeswoman said that US government departments from education to housing were working together to tackle the problem. Uptake of the CTC is also increasing each month and 60 million children will successfully benefit from the fourth advance payment in October.

The IRS said it was “taking every action to minimise” ITIN processing delays, but was still trying to clear applications filed in late May.

Will the current CTC be extended?

Congress has only expanded the Child Tax Credit for a year under the American Rescue Plan, which was designed to help the US get through lockdown. But the Biden administration wants to see it extended until 2025.

Despite the political rancour on Capitol Hill, Ms Maag is quietly confident the benefit won’t be reversed.

“The Child Tax Credit has been expanded many times since it was introduced in 1997 and has never gone back to being smaller even though some of the increases were scheduled to be temporary,” she says. “If history is a predictor of the future we’re in good hands.”

Internet Explorer Channel Network
Asia's Tech News Daily
News Related


Jeremy Hunt and Labour attack ministers' social care plan

Tory MP says proposals will do nothing to stop hospital wards being full of people who should be discharged The former Tory health secretary Jeremy Hunt and Labour launched stinging ... Read more »

Travelzoo's best Christmas deals including UK staycations from just £69

FROM UK staycations to day experiences, Travelzoo has revealed their best gift package ideas in time for Christmas. With hotel stays from £69 and day trips from £13, there is ... Read more »

1MDB: Banyak persoalan belum terjawab berhubung pembabitan Zeti, bekas Menteri, kata Puad

© Provided by Free Malaysia Today Puad Zarkashi berkata, banyak persoalan belum terjawab berhubung peranan Zeti Akhtar Aziz dan suaminya, Tawfiq Ayman, dalam skandal 1MDB. PETALING JAYA: Lebih banyak persoalan ... Read more »

Sasi Challenge: OPS-EPS Cement Position But Can They Hold The Fort?

© Provided by News18 Sasi Challenge: OPS-EPS Cement Position But Can They Hold The Fort? AIADMK’s dual leadership comprising Edappadi K Palaniswami and O Panneerselvam made amendments to the party’s ... Read more »

Karan Johar introduces his new chef Yash Johar & here's what's cooking at home; Watch the video

© Provided by Pinkvilla Ace director Karan Johar has recently announced his directorial Rocky Aur Rani Ki Prem Kahani release date. The film stars Alia Bhatt and Ranveer Singh in ... Read more »

The best RTX 3060 laptop deals in December 2021

As one of the cheaper cards available from Nvidia, an RTX 3060 laptop won’t break the bank but still offers the next generation of mobile computing. If you’re looking to ... Read more »

Red Bull's Christian Horner reveals moment Max Verstappen showed he could handle pressure of F1 title fight

© Getty Images GettyImages-1338257271.jpg Max Verstappen is showing “impressive maturity” as he battles Lewis Hamilton for the F1 title, Red Bull team boss Christian Horner has said, and the Dutchman ... Read more »

Breaking: India beat Belgium to set up semi-final clash with Germany in hockey men's junior world cup

© Provided by Zee News India beat Belgium in the quater-finals of the junior men hockey World Cup 1-0 to enter the semi-finals on Wednesday (December 1). India will meet ... Read more »

Best Budget Video Camera

Video is so in right now, but do you know the best budget video cameras to get you in on the action? With the explosion of YouTube and social media ... Read more »

Inside the world's most fearsome special forces from Iraq's skull-faced commandos to Russia's secret death squads

IRAQ'S skull-faced commandos and Russia's secret death squads are among some of the world's most fearsome special forces. ISIS has rampaged across the Middle East in recent years, but the ... Read more »

The Cardiff City transfer activity you can expect to see in January

After a torrid start to the season which hinted towards the dread of a battle to avoid the drop, Steve Morison’s appointment has steered City into calmer waters ahead of ... Read more »

New PS5 software update improves system performance yet again

The latest PS5 software update continues to just improve the system’s performance following two previous updates that did exactly the same.  © Provided by GamesRadar PS5 The 21.02-04.50.00 update – ... Read more »

Omicron variant: CDC asks airlines for names of passengers from travel ban countries

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has asked airlines to turn over passenger manifests and other contract tracing data for all travelers who have arrived in the US from ... Read more »

‘Knew a film would bring me to you': Dulquer Salmaan bids Himachal farewell with new PICS as he wraps shoot

© Provided by Pinkvilla Dulquer Salmaan is a romantic at heart and his new post dedicated to the mountains is proof. A few hours back, the Bangalore Days actor took ... Read more »

WW2 bomb explodes during construction near train station in Germany; four injured

Four people were injured when an old aircraft bomb exploded at a bridge near Munich’s busy main train station on Wednesday, police said on Twitter, raising the number of wounded ... Read more »

Squid Game marbles? Taylor Swift's stolen scarf? It's the culture Christmas gift guide 2021!

Vintage Wagner throw Want to snuggle up with Wagner? It’s not the usual response to the man whose name is synonymous with epic, monumental and (for many) impenetrable grand opera, ... Read more »

Biden offers words of encouragement to young girl with stutter

A young girl named Avery in Massachusetts got some words of encouragement from President Joe Biden over the weekend when she met him and said that, like him, she has ... Read more »

Vir Das is all praise for Shah Rukh Khan as he reminisces how actor performed his jokes way better

© Provided by Pinkvilla There is rarely anyone who is not impressed or charmed by Shah Rukh Khan. King Khan has a magical impression over almost everyone and Vir Das ... Read more »

Shah Rukh Khan victimised like many others in Bollywood, says Mamata Banerjee

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday claimed that Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan was victimised like many others in the film industry. The TMC chief, who is on ... Read more »

6 test Covid positive on Day 1 of new guidelines, samples sent for Omicron test

© Provided by Hindustan Times Passengers at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport in Mumbai on Wednesday, on the first day of Centre’s travel guidelines. (ANI Photo) The Centre said ... Read more »

Man ‘jumps' barrier into parliament in major security breach

© Elliot Keck Parliament armed police – Elliot Keck Parliament has been hit by a major security breach after an intruder jumped a barrier to gain access to Palace of ... Read more »

Centre monitoring situation before resuming international flights

© Provided by The Statesman Centre monitoring situation before resuming international flights The Centre is closely monitoring the situation before making any final decision on the resumption of international flight ... Read more »

Spotify Wrapped 2021: How to access, most streamed artists and more

It’s that time of year again when the world’s biggest streaming platform lifts the lid on what exactly we’ve all been listening to for the past year. © Spotify SpotifyWrapped2021a ... Read more »

Congress alleges conspiracy, shifts rally against price rise to Jaipur after Delhi denies permission

© Provided by The Financial Express Congress president Sonia Gandhi and former party chief Rahul Gandhi are likely to address the rally. The mega ‘Mehangai Hatao Rally’ by the Congress ... Read more »

Gang rams vehicles into prison, springs 9 inmates

MEXICO CITY — A gang rammed vehicles into a prison in central Mexico and escaped with nine inmates Wednesday in one of the most dramatic prison prison escapes the country ... Read more »

LG Surround 3D Multiroom Home Cinema System review

Have you ever found it difficult to hear some of your favourite TV shows and films clearly? Although modern day TV sets are very technologically advanced, they still benefit from ... Read more »

Erm, Selling Sunset's Davina Potratz Still Hasn't Sold That $75Million Mansion

Feeling like you need to treat yourself? Then you could buy Davina Potratz’s $75million (£57million) listing from season three of Selling Sunset – as the mansion is still on the ... Read more »

EU chief calls for debate on making COVID-19 jabs mandatory

The Associated PressEuropean Council President Charles Michel gives a speech via a video conference during a special session of World Health Assembly at the European Council building in Brussels, Tuesday, ... Read more »

Could humanity send astronauts to Alpha Centauri like in 'Lost in Space'?

Will humans ever find themselves at home at Alpha Centauri?  © Provided by Space This artist’s impression shows the exoplanet Proxima b, which orbits the red dwarf star Proxima Centauri. ... Read more »

Watch fashion icon Paris Hilton's journey to the altar in exciting new docuseries, Paris In Love

© Getty Images Stream Paris in Love, exclusively on hayu from December 3 Paris Hilton is a beloved media personality, as well as being a socialite, businesswoman, model, singer, DJ ... Read more »

How Did Clint Get The Pym Arrow In Hawkeye Episode 3?

Marvel Studios/Disney+ Contains spoilers for “Hawkeye” Episode 3 The third episode of “Hawkeye” is here, and as their uncomfortable buddy cop chemistry shifts toward seamless cooperation and complimentary skillsets, it’s ... Read more »

The Daredevil Connection You Missed In Hawkeye Episode 3

Marvel/Disney+ If you were unsure about whether Hawkeye’s solo Disney+ show was going to pick up the pace following its double-episode debut, the third installment of Marvel’s latest had a ... Read more »

New Manchester United manager Ralf Rangnick gets first look at Old Trafford

Ralf Rangnick has been at Old Trafford for the first time on Wednesday as he prepares to begin work as Manchester United manager. The 63-year-old was shown around the ground ... Read more »

Belarus targets journalists, activists with mass raids

KYIV, Ukraine — Authorities in Belarus raided the homes of dozens of journalists and activists Wednesday, according to a human rights group, in what appeared to be the biggest one-day ... Read more »

Listeners in stitches as Radio 4 presenter makes X-rated horse racing gaffe live on air

A Radio 4 presenter made an X-rated gaffe live on air when giving horse racing tips, to the glee of listeners. Garry Richardson was naming his picks for Wednesday’s racing ... Read more »

A&E doctor quit his career to start £225m business with 10,000 employees

It’s never easy seeing someone you love in pain but for Dr Ben Maruthappu, this is what led him to create a business worth £225m. Dr Maruthappu, 33 from Stanmore, ... Read more »

Russia boots US Embassy staffers amid diplomatic row, Ukraine tension

The U.S. Embassy in Moscow, pictured this spring. Russia has ordered staffers employed at the embassy for over three years to leave by Jan. 2022. AP The Russian government has ... Read more »

Daytime TV hosts look VERY different in these throwback pics – can you pick out stars like Holly Willoughby & Lorraine?

THEY'RE some of the most recognisable faces on our television screens each morning – yet these famous daytime hosts look very different in their younger years. Last week, This Morning ... Read more »

9 Best Kids Subscription Boxes 2021

IF you've got little ones, chances are you need a little extra help entertaining them at times. Kids subscriptions boxes are a great way to bridge the gap and will ... Read more »

Province orders new probe after second arrest video by Quebec City police goes viral

Quebec’s public security minister has ordered a second investigation into the Quebec City police over another video of a violent arrest. © Provided by The Canadian Press Geneviève Guilbault announced ... Read more »
On you will find lots of free English exam practice materials to help you improve your English skills: grammar, listening, reading, writing, ielts, toeic