Publication Date



Catalyst Center at Boston University


The 2021 expanded Child Tax Credit (CTC) provided temporary enhancements to the existing CTC for the tax years 2021 and 2022. Under the expanded credit, families with children under the age of 18 were eligible to receive a credit of up to $3,000 per child ($3,600 for children under the age of 6). In addition, half the credit was paid out on a monthly basis rather than as a one-time payment at tax time. This provision was designed to provide more immediate financial support to families with children during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, it also supported families who were at higher risk of financial strain, such as those raising children with disabilities. In this report, we use a nationally representative survey of US families to explore the impacts of the CTC on families raising children with disabilities. This survey was administered immediately before the first CTC payments went out and immediately after the payments ended. We find that, compared to other families, families caring for children with disabilities were:

  • More likely to report an array of hardships before the monthly CTC payments started, including difficulty paying bills, skipping needed medical care due to lack of money, evictions, difficulty affording child essentials, and food insecurity.
  • More likely to report receiving the CTC.
  • More likely to use the monthly CTC on routine expenses, more and better quality food, healthcare expenses, and moving or improving their home.
  • Less likely to use the CTC payments for childcare expenses.
  • More likely to agree that the CTC helped support their family financially, afford routine expenses, housing, and tutoring.

Document Type

Report or White Paper


CTC, Child Tax Credit, Social Policy, Financial Security, Children, Disabilities