The payments are projected to cut the child poverty rate in half, putting the U.S. in league with other wealthy countries that pay a guaranteed income for children. Anti-poverty groups say the program will do more to close racial equity gaps than any single policy in decades.
Republican critics describe the payments as a resurrection of the “failed welfare system” and say they further strain the nation’s finances. Supporters say it’s a much-needed incentive to families in need. According to federal estimates, one in every five Georgia children – nearly 500,000 – live in poverty.
The incentives boost the existing child tax credit to $3,600 per child for most families with children under 6 and $3,000 for children up to 17. Families will receive the payments automatically, either through a direct deposit, a check or a debit card.
A majority of Georgia families will get the credits. Monthly payments of $250 or $300 per child per month begin today and will finish out in 2022 in Georgians’ 2021 tax returns.