The government offers many benefits and loopholes that few people know about, and fewer people know how to maximize them. The Department of Public Social Services (DPSS) wants readers to know that families with kids under 18 are missing out on money that can aid them during these times of inflation. 

The IRS Child Tax Credit (CTC) offers $3,600 for each child under the age of six and $3,000 for each child ages 6-17. Sebastian Cervantes, a representative of DPSS, explained why people don’t know about this credit hack. 

“While most people who typically file tax returns may be aware of the CTC, there are many whose income is very low and don’t typically file because they rely on public assistance benefits like CalWORKs,” he said. “They may not be aware they are also eligible to receive the tax credit.”

Cervantes also wants families to know that applying for the tax credit will not affect their benefits or taxes. 

“People may be reluctant to receive the benefit because they are concerned that they may be disqualified from receiving public assistance benefits,” he added. “They should know that the federal Child Tax Credit payments are exempt from resource consideration for CalWORKs applicants/participants for 12 months, starting with the month of receipt of the payment.” 

Cervantes also wants families to know they have nothing to worry about getting any blowback from the government. 

“According to the IRS Fact Sheet: Under current law, receiving the Child Tax Credit or other federal tax credits that you are eligible for will not affect your immigration status, your ability to get a green card, or your future eligibility for immigration benefits,” Cervantes said. “Use of federal tax credits is not considered for purposes of a ‘public charge’ determination by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.”

Cervantes and DPSS are informing people of the tax credit from various places like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and their Essential DPSS email subscribers. This includes community-based organizations, with other fellow County departments, and engaging traditional media to help reach those DPSS customers who have not yet claimed their CTC. 

Families unsure about the requirements for the tax credit can visit https://tinyurl.com/4s538cvc to see if they qualify and how much they can receive. For families ready to apply, visit https://tinyurl.com/vzpse8sb to understand more about the tax credit.

“We STRONGLY encourage people to request that their CTC payment be securely delivered to them via direct deposit. Anyone who does not have a bank account (because they’re afraid of fees, or don’t have an SSN, for example) should visit https://tinyurl.com/29jfkxzy to learn how and where they can open a checking account with zero fees, even if they don’t have an SSN.” Cervantes said, noting that that is the best option for receiving checks. 

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