When I found out about President Biden’s expanded Child Tax Credit, I felt relieved and grateful. My monthly CTC payments went towards car insurance, bills and gas. With a newly licensed teen driver, our insurance alone is nearly $500. I can breathe easier knowing I have a little more security every month.

As a single mother of two and a full-time student, it is hard to stay ahead on monthly bills. I’m always waiting for that other shoe to drop. I can’t get too comfortable. I check my bank account several times a day, like checking the fridge when one is hungry, even though nothing is in there.

I prefer to receive the CTC monthly, as opposed to once at tax time. For those who have dealt with scarcity for so long, when you receive the lump sum, there is a desire to get everything we need at once. A lot of the things we need feel like luxuries – cleaning supplies, new clothes for my kids, or even new tires for our car. Receiving it monthly helps me to manage this extra money and put it towards the monthly expenses I get behind on.

I consider myself fortunate to have what we need. There are families who don’t know when they’re going to eat next, families who have to decide whether to pay the rent or make their car payment. These payments are life preservers for many who are drowning financially just trying to provide for their families.

Congress needs to make the monthly advance payment option permanent. For far too long big corporations have enjoyed tax breaks while families struggle. The CTC isn’t a hand-out. It is my tax dollars. I should be able to access it when it works best for my family. I want my representatives, especially Senator Manchin, to know how important the monthly advance option is for hardworking families like mine.

Jocelyn Diaz

Weirton

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