Groups Call on State and Local Governments to Help Enroll Families in the Expanded Child Tax Credit

Enrolling eligible families for up to $3,600 per child under the American Rescue Plan's Child Tax Credit is a "win-win" for families and local businesses

Common Sense Media
Tuesday, September 14, 2021

SAN FRANCISCO (September 14, 2021) — Leading children's advocacy groups are calling on elected officials to use a portion of the state and local aid they are receiving under the federal American Rescue Plan this year to help enroll low-income families who are eligible for the newly expanded Child Tax Credit but who are unaware of the benefit or are having trouble navigating the online sign-up process.

In a letter, led by Common Sense and its Campaign for America's Children, the groups call on governors, mayors, and county officials to use some of the billions of dollars from the American Rescue Plan's state and local aid to hire and train navigators to help publicize the new benefit and enroll families online.

The letter to elected officials states: "We are writing to seek your support for families with children and for businesses in your community and state by dedicating a portion of your funds from the federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) to hire and train navigators to assist families to enroll in the newly improved federal Child Tax Credit (CTC). Doing so would be a win-win."

Those who need the most help, the letter continues, "are predominantly lower-income families, concentrated in communities of color — the very families who would most be helped by these funds. Because lower-income families typically spend their checks right away, the more families that start to get these checks, the better it is not only for them but for local businesses and workers. And, helping caregivers sign up for the CTC is an eligible use of state and local fiscal relief funds under ARPA."

The letter is signed by Common Sense, Economic Security Project, Children's Defense Fund, Center for the Study of Social Policy, Community Change, Mi Familia Vota, Stand for Children - Arizona, California Association of Food Banks, and SaverLife — all of which have been part of extensive collaboration with dozens of groups across the country helping to make all Americans aware of the new benefit while also advocating to extend the newly improved child tax credit in the budget reconciliation package that Congress is considering right now.

It is estimated that several million families across the country are still not enrolled and will be leaving cash on the table that they need to help pay for basic expenses. Meanwhile, Congress is actively considering extending the new child tax credit beyond the one year approved in the Rescue Plan.

Read the letter here.

Read background on the Child Tax Credit here.

More information is available at the campaign's website:

About Common Sense

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Ilana Lowery, Director, Common Sense Arizona

Phone: 623-341-0177

Email: [email protected]

Jason Maymon, VP, Communications

Phone: 347-931-1633

Email: [email protected]