Publication Date



Center for Social Innovation in Social Work & Health, Catalyst Center, 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.

Nationally, 19.5% of children have a disability, representing 14.1 million children. Prior research suggests that families raising children with disabilities face higher financial risks due to higher healthcare costs, higher routine expenses, and loss of employment income due to the higher levels of care required by their children. The cash infusion offered by the expanded Child Tax Credit payments may have presented an opportunity for these families to meet their expense burdens while investing in their child’s wellbeing. In this research brief, we summarize findings from a study on the impact of the CTC on families raising children with disabilities using a nationally representative survey of US families. This two-wave survey, developed by the Social Policy Institute, Appalachian State University and NORC/Amerispeak, was sent to respondents immediately before the first CTC payments went out and immediately after the payments ended.

Document Type

Research Brief


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