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Why some eligible families aren’t getting Child Tax Credit payments

Yahoo Finance’s Denitsa Tsekova breaks down preseasons behind eligible families not receiving Child Tax Credit payments.

Video Transcript

- Millions of parents are receiving their fourth child tax credit payment today but a new study finds that some eligible families are still not receiving that federal money. Yahoo Finance's Denitsa Tsekova tells us more now about which families may not be getting those payments and why. Fill us in, Denitsa.

DENITSA TSEKOVA: Yes, starting with the good news today, the fourth rounds of the advance child tax credit payments was disbursed. So 36 million families have already got the payments or expecting it, and this is total of $15 billion worth of payments.

But as you said, while those families are getting their payments, there are still quite a few families that are not getting theirs, and unfortunately, many of those are low income Americans. So more than 3 in 10 eligible low-income American families haven't received the August payments. This is based on a survey that's done a month later.

And what is worse is that while some of those may be waiting, there may be delay, problems with payments, and things like this, 1 in 10 families are not expecting to get the payments. So some of them are unfamiliar with the credit, others are unfamiliar with the way to get the credit. This is based on poverty solutions data that surveyed 3,000 low-income adults with children in the US.

One distinctive trend we see is that Spanish speaking parents were more likely to not receive the payments for various reasons compared to their English speaking counterparts. And then parents with fewer years of formal educations are also less likely to have received the August CTC payments. Those families, it's important, specifically for them to receive the payments because this survey was done among low-income adults.

So as we know, the CTC's milder measures that was supposed to reduce poverty and many of those families are either below the poverty line or very close to it. So getting a $3,600 monthly payments will obviously make a very big difference. One positive trend we've seen is actually an increase in recipients from July to August. So maybe going forward, the trend will continue to get better.

- And what about going forward? How many more of these payments are going to be distributed and do you think that parents can expect that those payments will continue into the future even beyond the pandemic?

DENITSA TSEKOVA: Yeah, so there are only two more payments that we expect. One of the payments is going to be distributed in November and then the last one is coming in December. Of course, this is only half of the expanded child tax credit. Recipients will get the other half of their credit when they file their taxes next year. So there are more payments to be expected.

But going forward, obviously, that's the biggest question. Congress is thinking about that. There is a legislation moving through Congress that will extend the credit through 2025 or 2024. So there's definitely movements. It's very likely for the credit to be expanded.

But the question is for how long is it going to be fully refundable, reaching all those low-income households? There was a discussion about the work requirement. Is that going to be included? We don't really know the answers to all those questions but that's something we'll continue to follow as we see what's the future of the CTC.

- All right, we know that you will. Denitsa Tsekova, thanks so much for that report.