Child Tax Credit: 22% of Families Can No Longer Meet Basic Needs Without the Advance

Kid playing with mother in public park.
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As parents in the United States enter the third month without the enhanced, advance Child Tax Credits, families say they are feeling the crunch. One-in-five parents revealed they haven’t been able to afford enough food for their family, while 22% say they can no longer meet their family’s basic needs, according to a survey from ParentsTogether Action. Another 57% said it has been “more difficult” to meet their family’s basic needs.

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Meanwhile, 89% of parents agree it’s important for monthly child payments to start again. Only 6.1% of American parents polled said the payments are “not that important.” Of the survey respondents, 80% had household incomes of less than $100,000, while 74% earned less than $75,000 annually.

In what ways is the lack of monthly CTC payments affecting families? Roughly 86% said the monthly deposit made them “less anxious” about finances. Close to 20% said that, without the payments, they can no longer afford to pay their rent or mortgage and more than 22% said they cannot afford to buy enough food for their children.

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Without the payments, more than 41% had to tap into savings accounts to pay for basic needs. On top of that, more than 33% had to cut back extracurricular activities for their kids, such as music or sports, because they can no longer afford these activities. Another 10% say they can’t afford health insurance, medical bills or medication without the advance CTC checks.

The loss of CTC payments also highlights another pressing problem for American families — lack of access to affordable childcare. Of parents surveyed, more than 15% said they had to cut back their working hours because they can’t afford childcare.

Whether the checks paid for extracurricular activities or necessities, they alleviated some financial worries for parents and, in some cases, helped them focus on their child’s education and emotional development. Now, many parents are put into the spot of just working to make ends meet again.

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Jenny, from Wisconsin, told, “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.”

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About the Author

Dawn Allcot is a full-time freelance writer and content marketing specialist who geeks out about finance, e-commerce, technology, and real estate. Her lengthy list of publishing credits include Bankrate, Lending Tree, and Chase Bank. She is the founder and owner of, a travel, technology, and entertainment website. She lives on Long Island, New York, with a veritable menagerie that includes 2 cats, a rambunctious kitten, and three lizards of varying sizes and personalities – plus her two kids and husband. Find her on Twitter, @DawnAllcot.
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