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Child Tax Credit and SNAP

EO Guidance Document #
Resource type
Policy Memos
Guidance Documents
Resource Materials
DATE: August 10, 2021
SUBJECT: Child Tax Credit (CTC) and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
TO: All SNAP State Agencies
All Regions

On March 11, 2021, President Joseph R. Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA) providing support for American families, state governments, and communities to rebuild lives and respond to the COVID-19 public health emergency. This letter discusses important opportunities to support low-income families by advising them of the Child Tax Credit (CTC).

This is the largest CTC ever and provides historic relief to working families. Most families will automatically receive monthly payments without taking any action. For those with children, the ARPA increased the CTC from $2,000 per child to $3,000 per child for children over the age of 6 and from $2,000 to $3,600 for children under the age of 6, and raised the age limit from 16 to 17. All working families will get the full credit if they make up to $150,000 for a couple or $112,500 for a family with a single parent (also called Head of Household).

Please help us reach low-income families and in particular, those that did not make enough to be required to file taxes in 2020 or 2019. Families can register online to ensure they receive tax credits to which they are entitled. Even if families don’t file taxes, they can still sign up for the child tax credit through the IRS non filer tool. It is important that state agencies advise clients that the CTC does not count as income or as a resource for 12 months following receipt in determining SNAP eligibility.

FNS encourages state agencies to consider opportunities to promote the CTC, with the understanding that states will use non-SNAP funds, such as adding CTC messaging to call center and interactive voice response (IVR) services; share information provided by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Internal Revenue Service during application intake, recertification, and on your public website; and partnering with state and local organizations to spread the word to use existing communication channels in multiple languages, including social media, to notify clients of the CTC.

Thank you for raising awareness of this ground breaking anti-poverty effort. I look forward to working with you to successfully spread the word regarding the assistance the CTC can provide to help low-income families. Please contact your regional office with any questions.

Jessica Shahin
Associate Administrator
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program

Page updated: April 05, 2023

The contents of this guidance document do not have the force and effect of law and are not meant to bind the public in any way. This document is intended only to provide clarity to the public regarding existing requirements under the law or agency policies.