Biden's new stimulus plan features family benefits that include an annual credit of up to $3,600

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Ayelet Sheffey
·3 min read
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Joe Biden
Kevin Lamarque/Reuters
  • President-elect Joe Biden's American Rescue Plan expands the Child Tax Credit to include $3,600 yearly benefits for families with children under the age of 6.

  • The child and dependent care tax credit will also be expanded, covering half the cost of childcare up to $4,000 for one child.

  • The plan will have significant impacts on reducing child poverty in the United States, cutting it nearly in half.

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Related: Biden stimulus proposal expected to include expanded child benefits

President-elect Joe Biden's economic relief package unveiled on Thursday included yearly benefits for families with children, marking his first official step toward addressing child poverty.

According to Biden's American Rescue Plan, the Child Tax Credit will be expanded so that families with children under the age of 6 will receive $3,600 per year, along with $3,000 per year for every child between the ages of 6 and 17. In addition, this credit will be "fully refundable," meaning that taxpayers will get a refund check even if the tax credit is greater than their tax liability.

Families can currently claim a maximum of $2,000 per child under the age of 17.

"We are facing an acute, immediate child care crisis in America, which is exacerbating our economic crisis," Biden said in a statement.

He continued: "If left unaddressed, many child care providers will close - some permanently - and millions of children could go without necessary care, and millions of parents could be left to make devastating choices this winter between caring for their children and working to put food on the table."

Biden also plans on expanding child and dependent care tax credit for a year, covering half the cost of childcare up to $4,000 for one child and $8,000 for families with two or more children making less than $125,000 a year. As with the Child Tax Credit, this credit will be fully refundable, as well, further assisting low-income families.

This proposal will have significant impacts on child poverty in this country. The Center on Poverty and Social Policy at Columbia University projects that Biden's plan will cut total child poverty by 45%, poverty for Hispanic children by 45%, poverty for Black children 52%, and poverty for Native American children by 61%.

Increases to child benefits have already received the support of Democrats in Congress, Insider previously reported, and Sen. Michael Bennet of Colorado said in a statement that he is "thrilled" of the inclusion of child benefits.

"Families have borne the brunt of the pandemic, with parents often having to balance work in dangerous conditions with a lack of in-person schooling or available child care," Bennet said. "We need to do everything we can to ensure kids don't suffer long-term damage from this crisis, to support middle-class families, and to cut child poverty."

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