The expansion of the child tax credit is coming to an end, presenting new challenges for families.
Economists warn that the one-two punch of expiring aid and rising cases could put a chill on the once red-hot economic recovery and cause severe hardship for millions of families already living close to the poverty line.
“It’s going to be hard next month, and just thinking about it, it really makes me want to bite my nails to the quick,” said Anna Lara, a mother of two young children in Huntington, W.Va. “Honestly, it’s going to be scary. It’s gong to be hard going back to not having it.”
Ms. Lara, 32, lost her job in the pandemic, and with the cost of child care rising, she has not been able to return to work. Her partner kept his job, but the child benefit helped the couple make ends meet at a time of reduced income and rising prices.
“Your children watch you, and if you worry, they catch on to that,” she said. “With that extra cushion, we didn’t have to worry all the time.”