HENRICO COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — For millions of American families, the first round of the new expanded child tax credit will be sent out on Thursday. Like the stimulus checks many folks got, most families who have filed their taxes don’t have to do anything to get this cash, according to the IRS. 

The IRS said it’s already told eligible families how much they will be getting. Some families, including one in Henrico County, said this will make a big difference.

Henrico mom Abbey Conley and her 3-year-old son Seth are trying their best to smile through a difficult time in their lives. “When the pandemic hit, we were told preschools closed,” Conley said. Childcare and socialization for Seth became an issue. That’s when Abbey lost her part-time income to take care of him.

“I haven’t had any kind of income besides my husbands, and it just feels very depressing just being a drain,” she said. 

Starting Thursday, the first round of child credits that congress significantly ‘beefed up’ will be sent out. She’ll get $300 a month from the IRS for six months. The rest will come when she files her taxes next spring. 
In total, Conley will receive $3600 annually compared to just $2000 in previous years. She called it “a breath of fresh air,” in an interview with 8News on Tuesday. “It’s gonna be a big thing just to help with credit card bills, and food, and all those monthly things.”

On Tuesday, she and other eligible parents joined congresswoman Abigail Spanberger for a roundtable discussion on the tax credits. .”For some families, it’s a choice of what food, and how and when to put food on the table,” Spanberger said. The congresswoman said this is a big step in lifting countless children “out of poverty.”

“And across the scale will ensure that families will have a bit more stability at home,” she said.

Families of eligible children between 6 and 17 years old can get up to $250 a month per child. Half of the total credits will arrive monthly. Families will claim the other half while filing their taxes this upcoming spring.

If you’ve already filed your taxes for 2020, there’s nothing for you to do but wait for your payout. Here is the payment schedule from the IRS:

  • July 15
  • Aug. 13
  • Sept. 15
  • Oct. 15
  • Nov. 15
  • Dec. 15

Families also can check if they’re signed up for direct deposit and see what account the money will go to through the IRS Child Tax Credit Update Portal. They can also sign up for direct deposit or change their bank account through the portal, as well as see payment history.