The federal Child Tax Credit (CTC) payments have arrived. But before you spend it, it is important to be sure you received your money or know how to get it.

Beginning July 15, the IRS began paying half the total credit amount in advance monthly payments for families who qualify. (Learn more at https://www.irs.gov/credits-deductions/advance-child-tax-credit-payments-in-2021)

For some families, the CTC payments have been easy to get. For other families, often the most vulnerable, it’s been a struggle to receive the tax credits.

Historically, navigating the tax system has been confusing and difficult for many communities.   

And, before the pandemic, the tax season was just one period of time in the year. Now, taxes are an everyday conversation and they are confusing.   

YWCA Evanston/North Shore and our team of helpers, including financial coaches, educators and advocates, are on the financial front lines and can help navigate this complex system. We can help make sure that any family who is eligible gets the CTC.

Fortunately, sites like Get My Payment Illinois  www.getmypaymentil.org also are a good source of information and can make it easier to get payments.    

Additionally, there is hotline (available in Spanish): (888) 553-9777 and email help desk (available in Spanish): help@getmypaymentil.org.   

Of course, each of us has the freedom to choose how to use the CTC in a way that is most appropriate for our own families.   

But YWCA’s economic empowerment programs, along with staff members and volunteers, are here for anyone who would like guidance and someone to walk alongside them as they secure their CTC payments.

Learn about our economic empowerment programs, including Basic Money Management, at https://www.ywca-ens.org/economic-advancement/.    

We encourage families who have questions regarding their CTC to reach out. You can email me directly at falfonso@ywca-ens.org.  

By Fabiola Alfonso 
Economic Empowerment Educator at YWCA Evanston/North Shore