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Tax bill would improve lives of former foster youth
Madeline Daniels (Former Staff)Child Abuse & Neglect Poverty & Family Economics Tax Policy
Washington – First Focus Campaign for Children today applauded the introduction of a U.S. Senate bill that would expand eligibility of the earned income tax credit (EITC) for former foster youth.
The Foster EITC Act, introduced today by Sens. Bob Casey (D-PA), Patty Murray (D-WA), and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), would lower the age that former foster youth can claim the EITC from 25 to 18. Among other things, the bill would also expand eligibility to all childless adults over age 21.
The EITC is a tax credit for low-and moderate-income working individuals and families. It is one the largest federal anti-poverty programs and lifted 10 million Americans out of poverty in 2013.
Former foster youth earn between half and a quarter of the earnings of their peers at age 24. Most are not living with a biological or foster parent, and often lack the family financial support that many other young adults receive. Allowing youth formerly in care to claim the credit during the time they are transitioning to adulthood creates parity with young adults of the same age.
First Focus Campaign for Children Bruce Lesley made the following statement in support of the legislation:
“We applaud the leadership of Senators Casey, Murray, and Warren in serving former foster youth by expanding their eligibility for the lifechanging Earned Income Tax Credit. Young adults formerly in foster care earn as little as half that of their peers, and this bill would even the playing field. It’s just common sense that we should help secure a bright future for America’s most vulnerable youth and lead them towards economic security.”
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The First Focus Campaign for Children is a 501(c)(4) nonprofit organization affiliated with First Focus, a bipartisan children’s advocacy organization. The Campaign for Children advocates directly for legislative change in Congress to ensure children and families are the priority in federal policy and budget decisions. For more information, visit www.campaignforchildren.org.