U.S. Sen. Maggie Hassan recently hosted a discussion on a series of monthly payments under the expanded Child Tax Credit that are expected to begin reaching families today.
Hassan said the idea behind the expanded tax credit was to “do everything we can to ensure families have everything they need.”
She said that the American Rescue Plan expanded the existing tax credit from $2,000 to $3,000 for older children and $3,600 for children under the age of 6 and that the tax credit was set up to be fully refundable, thus equipping the Treasury Department with the ability to make monthly payments to qualifying families.
Hassan said that the expansion recognizes the incredibly high cost of raising children and will provide desperately needed support to families, especially those who faced additional challenges during the pandemic.
Hassan said that about 200,000 children in New Hampshire would see benefits as part of the expanded tax credit, noting that many state residents would begin seeing deposits in their bank accounts as early as today.
As part of the discussion, Hassan spoke with members of the Moms Rising Together of New Hampshire to discuss the effect the legislation would have on families in the state.
Moms Rising New Hampshire Director Christina D’Allesandro said the legislation was a “revolutionary change for families.”
Echoing the senator’s comments, D’Allesandro said that the change acknowledges the high cost of raising children, and specifically the rising costs of many necessities like food, child care and other related expenses.
D’Allesandro said the current framework of the tax credit would help families that may have never received the benefit. She also said that the fact the payments are provided to families over a period of time means they can better plan to use the funds when they are most needed.
Moms Rising Campaign Assistant Nancy Glynn of Manchester said that the payments would make a tremendous difference in her family. She said it would help with such things as the cost of food and child care, but would also beneficial for things like activities for her son to participate in.
Parent Mary Osborn with Moms Rising said the funds give her peace of mind that she will be able to provide for her family. She said that her son has a number of interests that he wants to be involved in and the funds could help her to provide him with a variety of opportunities.
The concept that the funds would provide peace of mind to parents was a common one.
D’Allesandro gave an example of another Moms Rising parent whose family struggled during COVID-19 with work hours being cut back as a result of the pandemic and the cobbling together of funds to provide for the family. She said this family now has more options as a result of the funds.
Dr. Keith Loud, chair of the Department of Pediatrics at The Geisel School of Medicine, Dartmouth said that the tax credit is crucial to New Hampshire families.
He said poverty is one of the major driving factors of poor health outcomes in children and that he was excited to see the expanded tax credit legislation pass in full.
Loud said that a recent community health needs assessment from Dartmouth-Hitchcock said that one in three families in New Hampshire cannot meet their monthly bills.
He said the stress resulting from financial and other related anxieties can have a detrimental impact on family health, specifically for children.
During the discussion, Hassan said that the U.S. Senate is currently working to make the tax credit permanent.
She said the Biden Administration has proposed extending the tax credit until 2025, but that she would like to see it become a permanent part of the tax code.