85% of Respondents Said it was “Extremely Important” for Their Families for Child Checks to Continue Past This Year
75% Disagree With Senator Manchin’s Proposed Work Requirement, Say They Will be More Likely to Vote for Him if He Supports CTC Expansion
September 29, 2021 — According to a new survey of West Virginia parents released by ParentsTogether Action, a family advocacy organization representing 2.5 million parents from across the United States, parents who have received the Child Tax Credit (CTC) monthly payments expressed widespread concern about the payments stopping at the end of the year. Parents overwhelmingly (86%) reported that the monthly payments have made a “huge difference” for their families and 88% said they made them less anxious about their finances. Less than 4% of respondents said the payments don’t make much of a difference.
After passage in Biden’s American Rescue Plan, the expanded Child Tax Credit has sent families monthly payments of up to $300 per child since July, and Congress is currently deciding whether to extend it past this year as part of the Build Back Better Act.
When asked how their financial situation will change if the CTC payments stop after December, 39% said they would no longer be able to meet their family’s basic needs and an additional 48% said it would be “more difficult” to meet their family’s basic needs. If Congress does not act to extend the payments after December 2021:
- 36% said they would no longer be able to pay for extracurricular activities for their kids
- 30% said they would no longer be able to afford their rent/mortgage
- 27% said they would need to start spending their savings just to meet their family’s most basic needs
- 26% said they wouldn’t be able to buy enough food
- 21% said they would no longer be able to save money for their child’s future
The survey results made clear that not only is the expansion of the CTC successful in eliminating poverty and financial anxiety, but also a smart political choice. 76% of respondents said they would be more likely to vote for politicians who supported the extension of the monthly payments, and 77% said they would be more likely to vote for Sen. Manchin when he is up for reelection in 2024 if he supports extending the new Child Tax Credit.
When asked about Senator Manchin’s comments suggesting parents should face work requirements to get the CTC, 75% disagreed, saying stay at home parents, or sick caretakers, or parents/caregivers who can’t work for other reasons should still qualify for the Child Tax Credit. And for many families, the monthly CTC payments are actually allowing caregivers to work more, not less. More than 9% of respondents said that without the monthly payments, they would actually have to cut down on their work hours because they couldn’t afford childcare.
“West Virginia families are struggling, and that’s why parents overwhelmingly support and rely on the monthly Child Tax Credit payments to help them stay afloat. West Virginians have made it clear that if Congress fails to extend the new CTC after this year, families will pay the price — and they’re watching carefully to make sure their elected leaders have their backs,” said Justin Ruben, co-Director of ParentsTogether.
In their own words, parents expressed the importance of the monthly payments:
I’m a single mom of 3. I’m currently staying with family due to losing my home because of COVID-19. The checks have helped me with school clothes for the girls, school supplies, shoes. They’ve helped me pay my daughter’s cell phone bill and keep food on the table. I’m grateful that I’ve received the last 3 checks, I really don’t know how we would have made it the last 3 months without it so I hope we continue to receive them even after December thank you. — Jacqueline, Parkersburg, WV
They are extremely helpful and are a huge relief for someone like me who’s a single mom and doing everything on my own. I lose pay when my child is sick. I always make sure the electric and water bills are paid and it usually takes some extra but the $300 is a huge help and makes me not stress as much which is incredible for my health and it ensures my daughters got essentials. — Kay, Letart, WV
The child tax credit checks have enabled me to buy a vehicle and help to make those monthly payments. This is a true life saver for us and an answer to long standing prayers. They offer breathing room for myself as a single parent, as well as so many others with children at home. — Eliza, Dille, WV
Parenting and homeschooling is a very hard job. With the extra money I am able to not have to scratch change up to get gas for doctor appointments and give my children the things they need. — Terri, Beaver, WV
My wife and I both work, but there was a time due to the pandemic that my wife had to stay home with our daughter when schools were closed. She became a full time caretaker, cook, teacher, custodian, etc. It was definitely a full time job that was not paid for. These families deserve the CTC as well as working families. — Tom, Clarksburg, WV