Congressman Kwesi Mfume holding a flyer announcing payments to parents.

By Congressman Kweisi Mfume

Raising children is hard enough by itself—bringing human beings into existence is no small feat—but it has been especially difficult throughout the pandemic. Over the past sixteen months, families across America have struggled to put food on the table, to provide for their children, to save for their children’s futures. Many parents work multiple jobs and still can’t make ends meet for their children. This shouldn’t be frustrating just for parents who try their hardest to carve out bright futures for their children: this should be frustrating for all of us.

This is why I’m excited for and proud of the new child tax credit, which I helped usher through Congress. It’s my hope that this tax credit will provide much needed relief to families who’ve had a tough go of it over the past year. But this tax credit isn’t just economic relief: it’s also an acknowledgment of the ever-important and ever-challenging work parents do when they raise their children and build a bright future for us all.

Starting this month and extending until the end of 2021, the IRS will send monthly payments to eligible families with children seventeen and younger. Families are eligible for the full tax credit if they make up to $150,000 as couples or $112,500 as single parents.

Eligible families will receive monthly checks of $300 per child for children five and younger, and monthly checks of $250 per child for children between the ages of six and seventeen. Overall, this will increase the child tax credit from $2000 for all children to $3600 for children five and younger and $3000 for children between six and seventeen.

If you filed taxes in 2019 or 2020 or if you signed up to receive stimulus checks from the IRS, you will receive these checks automatically, starting this month. If not, go to and click on the button partway down the page labeled “Non-Filer Sign-Up” to sign up to receive monthly checks. You will need a social security number, email address, and mailing address. If you sign up after the deadline for receiving checks by July 15th, you will still receive the full tax credit, but monthly checks will start coming a bit later.

The last sixteen months have been burdensome for families. It’s my hope that this new tax credit will ease some of that burden. This tax credit will go through the end of the year, but the Biden-Harris Administration’s American Families Plan, of which I am a staunch advocate, would continue this tax credit well into the future. The pandemic might be ending, but for many families a return to normal is still a return to things being very tough.

As a country, we should do all we can to support families and children, especially during tough times such as these. That’s what the child tax credit is all about.

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