A new relief bill signed into law in Washington has authorized a series of monthly payments for families with children. The relief bill authorizes money for families to help them deal with the ongoing economic fallout of the past year’s bizarre events. While the bill only earmarks money for families with children under 18, it’s still a huge step toward addressing the needs of struggling families.
Some 39 million families will be eligible for the recurring payments, which are set to pay out up to $300 per month for each child under 6 years old. For children between 6 and 17, there is a credit of $250 per month. This is a similar payment to the stimulus checks that have been periodically sent out since March 2020 to help with the ongoing global situation.
The payments are for families earning $150,000 or less per year. Families will be deemed eligible based on their 2020 tax returns, or their 2019 taxes if the IRS hasn’t received 2020 taxes yet. The IRS has reported that there will be an internet portal for people to claim benefits they’re eligible for even if they are non-filers.
The benefits work out to $3,600 annually for children under 6, or just $3,000 for children over 6.
The payments will start hitting bank accounts on July 15. If you receive your tax return via direct deposit, the IRS has your bank account info and will deposit the money right into your account. Otherwise, you’ll receive the payments however you normally get your tax refunds, such as through a paper check or a pre-paid debit card.
In most cases, direct deposits will arrive on the fifteenth of each month for families who are eligible. This recurring payment will continue for several months, though the exact amount of time it will continue recurring is unclear.
Analysts have stated that this plan could easily cut child poverty in half. Opponents of the plan have noted that it is expensive: It could cost the federal government as much as $100 billion per year. However, it could be serving as a trial run of a universal basic income, a plan that would see the government sending payments to every citizen monthly.
With the ongoing crisis still affecting the global economy, economic policies like this are likely vital to keeping local economies afloat.