January 15: The Day Help Didn't Come

For the last 5 months, millions of families have received a Child Tax Credit benefit on the 15th of the month, helping them to make ends meet while food prices increased, schools were disrupted and uncertainty abounded. 

But this month, help is not on the way. 

That’s because the Senate has failed to act on plans to extend the Child Tax Credit and as a result, millions of kids will pay a devastating price. 

The Child Tax Credit is a benefit designed to help families with the expenses of raising a child. In 2021, the federal government did something amazing for families and kids. It temporarily expanded the Child Tax Credit to help families with the most need, even if they had little or no income. It also changed when families received their benefits, making a portion of the refund available each month, helping hard-hit families make ends meet. 

But tomorrow, as many as 35 million families will not receive their monthly payment and millions no longer qualify for the credit at all because efforts to extend the expanded Child Tax Credit have stalled in Congress. 


This couldn’t happen at a worse time, as harsh weather and COVID-related school closures are causing fresh economic havoc for families and kids. 

The expanded Child Tax Credit has been a game-changer. Census data shows that it lifted 3.8 million children over the poverty line and had an immediate impact on hunger, cutting the number of families reporting not having enough to eat by nearly one-third. And it stood to have a disproportionate impact on Black and Latino children, communities who, previously, were left behind from receiving the full benefit. The updates to the Child Tax Credit made significant strides in addressing the inequities in the structure of the benefit. 

If the Child Tax Credit reverts to its previous form, it will provide the least help to the children who need it most. Wealthier parents will still receive the credit; it’s those with the lowest incomes who will no longer qualify because they don’t meet the minimum income requirements. 

This means that some 27 million kids will only get partial help, or none at all.

But it’s not too late to help. The Senate can still support and prioritize extending the expanded Child Tax Credit. But they need to hear from you, and they need to hear from you today. Click here to contact your senator.