The rising cost-of-living, a long-standing trend, has been intensified in recent years by the impact of the pandemic economy, inflation and the national housing crisis. These challenges have left many American families, especially single- parent households, fighting hard to provide for their families.
Stories of parents juggling multiple jobs, mothers leaving the workforce due to the expense of childcare, and single parents skipping meals to cut costs are unfortunately becoming commonplace across America.
While the end of pandemic-related assistance such as stimulus checks have parents bracing against the cost of daily life, there is one bright spot for families most in need right now. An updated portal called GetCTC.org has been relaunched to help families who did not receive last year’s Expanded Child Tax Credit get the money owed to them.
Think you might qualify for the GetCTC portal? Here are a few FAQ’s, and read on for more:
What is the additional Child Tax Credit for 2021?
Who is eligible for the additional Child Tax Credit?
Will there be more CTC accessibility moving forward?
When will the CTC be open in 2022?
How do I know if my family may be owed the additional 2021 Expanded Child Tax Credit?
Beyond basic eligibility as laid out above, in order to be eligible, a family must include children and must not be required to file taxes due to low income.
Families with a valid Taxpayer Identification Numbers (ITIN) instead of Social Security numbers are also eligible, so long as their children have Social Security numbers. An update focused on opening up the portal to Puerto Rican filers is also expected over the coming weeks.
So, what’s this expanded GetCTC portal about?
Since low-income families do not file taxes, they need a way to claim their credit, which is why the GetCTC portal was created last year and made available for a 10-week application period.
While many eligible families applied and received their CTC money through the portal in 2021, some families did not due to complicated cases or simply missing the window to apply. Because of this, it’s been reopened and extended again.
Ok, so how does the GetCTC Portal work?
The free portal can be accessed through mobile devices or desktop in English and Spanish from now until November of this year. Just complete a simple question-and-answer form that asks for just the information needed to issue the missing credit. The process takes about 10-15 minutes, and once complete, payment may be received within weeks.
Most families who filed through the portal found the process quite easy; however, improvements have been made to address issues that some experienced due to complicated cases and the short application period.
What if I still need more money to keep things running for my family?
Unfortunately, the financial challenges that families are facing this year are not new. This is where other resources like Steady may be able to help.
Dedicated to helping workers stay in control of their income, Steady is a free app that features flexible ways for members to earn more and income insights that help you stay on top of their earnings. On average, Steady members bring home an extra $5,500 each year.
For some parents in the Steady community, this has meant the flexibility to bring income while they stay home to care for children. For others, it has meant being able to find the money for everyday essentials like groceries, bills, and car repairs.
Here’s what some of these parents had to say about how Steady was able to help:
Amber K. “It's wonderful to have help nowadays. I lost my job last year and had to rely on unemployment, stimulus and child tax credits that ended to survive. Now I have a job that pays nowhere near what I was earning.”
Saul V. “This app has made me thankful for the things it's been able to do for me and my 10-year-old little boy during the pandemic financial struggles I've faced.”
Sherry B. “This app is outstanding. I love all the ways it helps with finding a job to savings for, not only you, but also your children. It helps you out in so many ways.”
As families continue to face the rising cost-of-living in 2022, resources like the GetCTC portal can make all the difference.
If your family or someone you know has not received their 2021 Expanded CTC, the GetCTC portal is open now until November. If you find that you still need a little more to make ends meet, then Steady may be able to help.