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(WJW) – Many parents who have opted in to receive the Child Tax Credit payments say it has given them a lifeline to keep their families afloat.

There are currently 3 payments left.

Those will expire at the end of this year if Congress doesn’t move to extend them.

Changes made in the American Rescue Plan (ARP) gave eligible households who opted in up to 50% of the total credit in six advance payments through 2021.

The rest will be paid with a tax refund in 2022. 

The next payment is October 15, and it could be one of the last.

The Child Tax Credit is tied in to the debate over government funding and the debt limit.

President Joe Biden signed legislation late last week to avoid a partial federal shutdown.

It only keeps the government funded through Dec. 3, so both the U.S. House and Senate will have to reach an agreement soon to fund the government into the new year.

Here are the dates for the final three Child Tax Credit payments:

  • October 15
  • November 15
  • December 15

President Biden has proposed making the Child Tax Credit permanent as part of the American Families Plan.

A recent MagnifyMoney survey found parents who receive the monthly checks are mostly putting the money toward necessities.

They cite the top 3 uses for the payment as groceries (45%), school supplies (44%) and savings (38%).

According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, the Child Tax Credit this year would cut the number of children in poverty by 40%.