Help Is on the Way: Families to Receive Child Tax Credit Payments Starting July 15

By Kelly Campbell

Starting on July 15, families across the country will start receiving monthly tax credit payments thanks to the American Rescue Plan. On March 11, President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act into law. Among other things, the law provided critically needed help to families still struggling with the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, including the $1,400 stimulus payments and extended unemployment insurance. Also included in the law, while less discussed, was an expanded Child Tax Credit — a potentially transformative benefit that could lift 4.1 million children out of poverty and provide immediate relief for nearly all working families.

Under the American Rescue Plan, families can receive Child Tax Credit payments of up to $3,600 per child under 6 years of age, and $3,000 per child ages 6 to 17. Previously, the maximum a family could receive was $2,000 per child of any age up to 16. In addition, nearly every family will now qualify for the full credit, including families that have no earned income. What does this mean? The tax credit is now available for 27 million children in families who would have previously been eligible only for a partial credit or no credit at all. This includes 9.9 million Latino children and 5.7 million Black children who, cruelly, would not have previously qualified for the Child Tax Credit because their parents’ incomes were too low. Overall, the credit expansions would reduce child poverty by more than 40 percent.

How does one receive the tax credit? If you filed tax returns in either 2019 or 2020, or signed up to receive a stimulus check from the IRS, you will receive the credit automatically. If you did not file taxes or are not required to file taxes, you can still sign up to receive the credit at Families will receive monthly advance payments of the credit starting July 15 until December. And, if you haven’t received your cash stimulus payments yet, you can still claim those, too. Receiving the tax credit payments will not impact any payments received with other federal benefits (including unemployment insurance and Medicaid).

The Child Tax Credit will allow millions of families to make ends meet — helping to cover the cost of food, rent, transportation, health care, and more.

Spread the word! Make sure your friends, family, and community members know about this important benefit. Visit, the IRS page on the Child Tax Credit, or this helpful White House fact sheet to learn more.

Kelly Campbell is a summer 2021 legal intern at The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights.