BALTIMORE (WJZ) — It’s no question that families have been struggling to make ends meet during this pandemic but help is on the way.

Next week, the second round of child tax credit payments is expected to hit bank accounts. It’s all a part of Biden’s American Rescue Plan to help families stay afloat during this difficult time.

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“This has been a big, big blessing,” said recipient, Charmaine Stern.

For Stern, it’s been a struggle making ends meet during the pandemic.

“During the pandemic, unfortunately, I was laid off and it was an unexpected financial crisis for me and my family,” said Stern. Next week, she’ll finally get some help.

On Friday, the second round of child tax credit payments will be hitting bank accounts — putting money back in Stern’s wallet.

“Now I am able to be more prepared moving forward as far as getting the kid’s school supplies and getting on top of bills I fell delinquent behind,” said Stern.

Eligible families with children under six will get $300 per child. Families with children six to 17 will receive $250 per month.

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“This will help people put food on the table, make rent and car payments, put clothes on their children’s back,” Said Mayor Brandon Scott.

Officials said so far over $260 million in payments have been dispersed to Maryland families pulling over 52,000 children out of poverty.

“This is an incredible help to families,” said Senator Ben Cardin.

Senator Ben Cardin said each family averages about $400 per month — bringing some much-needed relief to those struggling to stay afloat.

“Being able to pay those bills in advance using that credit has been very helpful for families such as myself” said recipient, Renita Dorsey

This second payment is one of six. The payments will extend through 2021 but Senator Cardin said he’s pushing to make them permanent.

The updated credit is based on parents’ modified adjusted gross income (AGI), as reflected on their 2020 tax filing. The amount phases out at a rate of $50 for every $1,000 of annual income beyond $75,000 for an individual and beyond $150,000 for a married couple.

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Families are allowed to use the Child Tax Credit money however they see fit. To learn how to get the credit for your family, visit getctc.org 

Kelsey Kushner