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July 25, 2021

Monthly benefit for families with children starts Thursday

WATSONVILLE—Congressman Jimmy Panetta visited Watsonville Monday to announce the first payments of the expanded Child Tax Credit included in President Joe Biden’s American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). 

Starting July 15, eligible parents will receive their first monthly payment of up to $300 per child under the age of 6, and up to $250 per child aged 6 to 17. In California’s 20th district, which includes all of Monterey and San Benito counties and portions of Santa Cruz and Santa Clara counties, the expansion is projected to benefit 158,000 children and lift 15,000 children out of poverty, Panetta said.

“The Child Tax Credit will provide working parents with the financial tools necessary to lift their children out of poverty and invest in their future,” Panetta said. “By focusing on families, responsibility, and equal access to opportunity, the Child Tax Credit affords working parents the chance not only to recover from the pandemic, but also the foundation to focus on the future of their family and giving back to our community.”

Single parents making more than $75,000 annually and married couples with a combined yearly income above $150,000 will see fewer benefits.

Under the umbrella of the Economic Security Project, the Child Tax Credit will cut child poverty nearly in half, experts say. Though the payments are largely unprecedented in the U.S., scores of other countries already provide guaranteed income for families with children.

Many Republicans opposed the plan’s inclusion in the ARPA, claiming it will drive more people to live off the system and encourage some to not seek employment.

The payments are said to expire in a year and will cost about $105 billion.

“This is basically a tax cut for working families,” Panetta said. “And you don’t have to wait to file your taxes; you’re going to get it every month.”

Nearly nine out of 10 of the country’s 74 million children will qualify for the payments.

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