New Report Recommends EITC and CTC Expansion to Support Families and Kids During COVID-19

By Katrina Schmidt

A recent report highlights the need to expand the federal Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Child Tax Credit (CTC) to offset the pandemic’s economic impact on families with children. 

The Annie E. Casey Foundation’s new report, Kids, Families and Covid-19: Pandemic Pain Points and the Urgent Need to Respond, analyzes how COVID-19 has affected children’s health, education, and economic well-being. Using data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s weekly surveys to American families, the report details how American families are faring and highlights the holes in the social safety net meant to support them. The report also provides state-by-state data across several key indicators. 

The report offers several policy recommendations for how federal and state governments can prioritize families and children in their COVID relief packages, such as expanding the EITC and CTC. Together, the EITC and CTC lift 5.5 million children out of poverty annually and help 6.4 million more families access greater financial resources, according to the report. However, the credits’ designs limit their accessibility and reach – for example, the families of 27 million children do not have high enough incomes to claim the full CTC.  The report recommends expanding both federal credits to provide families with the resources they need to achieve financial stability and ensure greater equity in the federal COVID-19 response. 

This report joins a growing body of research highlighting the EITC and CTC as an effective policy to combat the COVID-19 economic recession. Read the full report here.