Saturday, Jan. 15, marks the first month since summer 2021 that more than 1.2 million Ohio families will not receive a monthly child tax credit payment.
The expanded child tax credit, part of the American Rescue Plan, gave parents $300 per month for children ages five and younger, and $250 per month for children ages six to 17, totaling $3,600 for one year for younger kids and $3,000 for older kids. The payments were divided into monthly payments from July through December of 2021.
Parents can still claim the remaining half as a lump sum when they file their federal tax returns. However, the monthly payments expired when Congress did not pass the Build Back Better Act by the end of 2021.
There is still a possibility Congress could act to reinstate those payments going forward, according to Will Petrik, budget researcher for Policy Matters Ohio—by passing Build Back Better and including the monthly child tax credit payments in that. Petrik said the payments made a big difference for many Ohio families, as well as millions of families across the nation.
“Ultimately, I believe no child should have to go to bed hungry,” Petrik said. “No parent should have to worry about keeping a roof over their head. Ultimately it’s about security, stability and basic human dignity, and we have the resources to do that.”
Petrik said the payments helped families pay for rent, childcare, food, utilities and more. In Ohio, 2.1 million children received the payments.
“There’s so much at stake for families right now, particularly with the emerging omicron variant,” Petrik said. “Parents are having their kids back at home. And that means struggling to find childcare, struggling to work while caring for their kids at home. But it also means that parents are actually paying more for food because [of] those meals [that] their kids were having at school.”
With that monthly payment going away, Petrik said a lot of families will “struggle with those basic expenses to support their kids.” But it’s also “about people’s dreams.”
“Parents have a dream when you have a baby, you want the best for your kid and you work hard to provide and want the best for your kid,” Petrik said. “For some families, it’s a dream of owning a home, and that might be further away when there isn’t that monthly child tax credit payment coming in to families.”
That’s the case for Jason Carter and his wife. The Cincinnati-area couple, parents to a one-and-a-half-year-old daughter, said this was going to be the year they could take the next steps toward their dreams.
“This is something that we’ve talked about for years, something that we’ve dreamt about for years,” Carter said.
That dream: home ownership, somewhere their little…