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Help is on the way for low-income households struggling financially

Monthly child tax credit advance payments are set to start going out to eligible parents Thursday, July 15.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Starting July 15, some of you will be getting extra money in your wallet. Monthly child tax credit advance payments are set to start going out to eligible parents this week.

The payment installments are part of the American Rescue Plan COVID relief bill signed back in March.

With Knoxville's poverty rate sitting higher than the national average, this money is a big deal for many struggling families.

The United Way of Greater Knoxville said Knoxville's poverty rate sits at 24%. Knoxville's black community poverty rate sits around 40%. Looking at the national poverty rate, that sits around 19%.

"To have access to these benefits on an earlier basis, monthly basis is really going to be  a game changer for some of these families to stay afloat," United Way of Greater Knoxville CEO Matt Ryerson said.

The child tax credit is not new. Eligible parents have already been receiving $2,000 from the government for each qualifying child when they receive an annual tax refund. The difference now is that the amount has increased, and there will also be the ability to receive up to half of the money, in advance, in the form of monthly payments this year. 

For each child under age 6 it is $3,600. That breaks down to $300 per month. For children ages 6-17, it is $3,000, or a breakdown of $250 per month. Children who turn 17 in 2021 are among those who qualify.

The payments will go to those with these adjustable gross incomes:

  • $75,000 or less for single households
  • $112,500 or less for heads of household
  • $150,000 or less for married couples filing a joint return and qualified widows and widowers

"The last year and a half for many families have been very dark and these payments can create a little light and hope in their lives that otherwise may not have been there," Ryerson said.

Payments will continue through December on the following dates:

  • Friday, August 13
  • Wednesday, September 15
  • Friday, October 15
  • Monday, November 15
  • Wednesday, December 15