Damaris Nazario was one of millions of parents who woke up to a tax credit direct deposited in her bank account Thursday. It's for her two-year-old son Elliot, as part of the new Expanded Child Tax Credit.
"In my case, I'm not working, and I know for a lot of families it means a lot, too, because they're not working or whatever," Nazario said.
Under the new credit that's part of the American Rescue Plan, income-eligible parents are now receiving monthly payments of up to $300 for children under 6 --adding up to $3,600 annually, and $250 monthly for children 6-17-years-old, or up to $3,000 annually.
"It's meant to help families, hard-working families with children, feed their kids, put food on the table, keep their roof over their heads, afford child care," said Congresswoman Lori Trahan, D-Mass.
Congresswoman Trahan was at the Merrimack Valley Food Bank in Lowell Thursday morning handing out flyers to families who may be eligible but didn't automatically receive the funds.
In fact, helping connect families who need the money the most to the resources to get it has been a big push for social service organizations like the Worcester Community Action Council.
"If you didn't file your taxes because perhaps you thought you didn't make enough money or no money, you can still apply for these funds," said Marybeth Campbell, the council's executive director.
"If I can figure it out to try to get it, I definitely will," said April Martin of Worcester.
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Martin is a mom of two teens, who's working two jobs but generally doesn't make enough to file taxes. But she plans to sign up now.
"It would just help me out just trying to get to work everyday," said Martin, "like basic stuff, I'm kind of recovering just like everybody else from COVID."