Unlike government programs that create a large bureaucratic structure to administer them, the child allowance that is part of President Biden’s $1.9 stimulus plan has a simple premise: It will send checks directly to families. With that, the administration hopes to put a big dent in the nation’s rate of child poverty.
The program is approved for just one year, but Democratic lawmakers hope it catches on and they can extend it. The full impact will not be fully evident after 12 months, but in a city like Buffalo — which in 2019 had the nation’s second-highest childhood poverty rate — the effects should be profound.
Under the legislation, families will receive up to $3,600 annually for each child under age 6 and as much as $3,000 for those up to 17. The payments start to phase out for individual parents earning more than $75,000 and couples making $150,000.