Experts Say Historic Step In COVID-19 Relief Package Will Reduce Child Poverty

Included in President Joe Biden's massive COVID-19 relief package is a historic step experts say will reduce child poverty; CBS2's Christina Fan reports.

Video Transcript

DANA TYLER: Included in President Biden's massive relief package is a historic step experts say will reduce child poverty. CBS 2's Christina Fan has more on that part of the story.

CHRISTINA FAN: Karla Velasquez with Bronx works helps thousands of the city's poorest file for taxes every year. It's why she's so invested in the major transformation of the country's child tax credit, hoping it will be a game changer for low income families.

KARLA VELASQUEZ: It gets to be a big number, right? And it can be as equal as much as what a person makes for the year.

CHRISTINA FAN: Families have been receiving a tax credit of $2,000 a year per child. The American Rescue Plan bumps that amount up to $3,600. Jason Cone with the nonprofit Robin Hood believes the move will lift 4.5 million kids out of poverty nationwide including more than 22,000 in New York.

JASON CONE: It's probably the single biggest poverty alleviation effort in the history of the country, to be honest.

CHRISTINA FAN: The overhaul correct a key flaw in the old law. Previously, families with low income weren't eligible for the full credits. Those limits have now been lifted.

JASON CONE: And that can go towards things like child care, which can allow a family member to work. It can go to covering supplemental education for children, particularly in COVID.

CHRISTINA FAN: Velasquez says most of the families she serves make between $15,000 to $24,000 a year. The financial pressure directly affecting kids at home.

KARLA VELASQUEZ: When you hear your mom crying in the bedroom because I don't know if we're going to be on the streets tomorrow, that's the stress that you take everywhere with you as a child.

CHRISTINA FAN: The monthly payments from the federal government to try and alleviate that stress beginning in July. As of now, the expansion of the child tax credit is only designed to last for one year. In the South Bronx, Christina Fan, CBS 2 News.