New Survey Reveals Rising Family Poverty and Child Hunger As Second Month without the Expanded Child Tax Credit Approaches
Original Post: https://parentstogetheraction.org/2022/02/10/new-survey-reveals-rising-family-poverty-and-child-hunger-as-second-month-without-the-expanded-child-tax-credit-approaches/
According to a new survey from ParentsTogether Action, a family advocacy nonprofit with more than 3 million members nationwide, as the date of the second missed monthly Child Tax Credit payment approaches, parents and caregivers expressed widespread concern about their finances and conveyed real desperation for the payments to continue.
The survey laid bare the devastating consequences that ending the payments have had, especially on mid to lower income American families. When respondents were asked about their family’s finances in the two months since the payments stopped:
- 57% of respondents said it has been more difficult to meet their family’s basic needs
- 22% said they have been unable to meet their family’s basic needs
When broken down further:
- 41% of respondents said they had to/will need to spend their savings or other money saved for emergencies
- 34% said they can no longer afford extracurricular activities for their kids (sports, music, etc.)
- 29% said they can no longer save for their children’s future
- 22% said they can no longer afford enough food for their kids
- 19% said they can no longer afford their rent/mortgage
- And 15% said they had to cut back on work hours because they couldn’t afford childcare
The survey made clear that parents were reliant on these payments: a large majority (75%) said the payments made a “huge difference” for their family. 87% of respondents said they used all of their CTC payments, indicating the urgency in which parents are operating as the pandemic continues to ravage the nation. 77% of respondents said the monthly CTC payments made them less anxious about their finances, and 89% of respondents said it was “somewhat” or “extremely” important for the payments to start up again.
80% of survey respondents had household incomes of less than $100,000; 74% of respondents had incomes of less than $75,000.
“Thanks to opposition from Senator Joe Manchin and all 50 Republicans, the Senate failed to pass the Build Back Better Act in December, effectively abandoning millions of American parents relying on the expanded Child Tax Credit to survive as the pandemic raged. Parents have used this money to pay for the basic necessities: food, housing, and childcare,” said Justin Rubenn, co-Director of ParentsTogether Action.
“Now, as the second missed payment approaches, millions of families are on the brink. Ending these lifesaving payments drove up childhood hunger and family poverty, hurting children across the country in a time of great need. American families need the Senate to extend monthly Child Checks now, before more kids suffer.”
ParentsTogether Action’s survey was conducted from February 4-9, as the second missed monthly payment approached. The last monthly Child Tax Credit (CTC) payment was on December 15, 2021, after the Senate failed to pass the Build Back Better Act passed by the House in November.
In their own words, parents expressed the importance of the monthly payments:
“Child checks took the fear of my children experiencing food insecurity away. I was able to provide nutritious food for them throughout the month bc of the child checks. It meant everything to our family.” Karese, NC
“As a young mother, I just need some extra help. I work full time and even extra hours to make ends meet. I am only making enough to survive. We are living paycheck to paycheck and just extremely grateful for the help I did receive.” Dana, NV
“[Child checks] make a huge difference for struggling families, which helps children twice because if they don’t have to worry about basic needs, they can focus on school and emotional development.” Kate, MN
“Child checks have had such a positive impact on our lives! My daughter has hemiplegic CP and does horseback riding therapy that is not covered by insurance. We make just over any set limits for help or reduced fees… it allowed my daughter to gain invaluable help, which we now have anxiety worrying about how we are going to pay for this going forward. We have used those funds for our car payment as well, allowing us to not have to worry about paying for our car so we can drive to work or pay for other necessities and other medical services for our daughter.” Michael, IA
“The check offered stability, where we didn’t have to choose between a roof & utilities vs having food & transportation too. Even still, we didn’t have breathing space, luxuries, or niceties. Now, without it, we’re back to sacrificing one need to maintain another.” Jenny, WI
“Financial security appears to be a thing of the past. These checks have helped our family with expenses that we normally cover with income obtained between 2 people. With random school closings, recurring sickness brought home due to unavailability of child vaccination and lack of child care availability, our household income has been majorly impacted.” Christina, OK