Parents hopeful Senate will extend child tax credit for continued help through the pandemic
Parents are hopeful a deal will be struck to extend the child tax credit.
Locust Valley mother Nichole Montenegro has five children under the age of 17. She says the money she gets from the child tax credit has helped pay the family's bills through the pandemic.
"I mean the pandemic was hard, work was shut down," Montenegro says. "My husband and I both figured out how to do it from home, but things did still fall behind. It was used for food and supplies and kid stuff."
She says her family is now getting back on their feet and are thankful for the help in the past six months.
"I'm just very grateful that we did get it," Montenegro says.
The federal program provides direct monthly payments of up to $300 to around 36 million eligible families nationwide. It was passed in March as part of Biden's American Rescue Plan.
Jeffrey Reynolds, of the Family and Children's Association, says people could be in "real trouble" if the credit is not extended.
"That has a ripple effect," Reynolds says. "It affects local businesses and local landlords, and it definitely affects the welfare of kids."
The bill has to be passed by the end of the year in order for payments to seamlessly continue going to families in January.
Rebecca Sanin, of the Health and Welfare Council, says it's been almost two years of struggle for people.
"We really need to do everything we can to make sure that we think with a lens that values children," Sanin says. "That's what this does - values children and families."