May 17 (UPI) -- Almost 40 million American families will begin receiving the new monthly child tax credit payments in less than two months, the federal government announced Monday.
The White House said the payments, part of the expanded child tax credit program in President Joe Biden's $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan, will begin on on July 15.
Child tax credit payments are normally included in a person's tax refund, but they are now being distributed monthly for the first time. Since the first payments will begin in July, families will get the second half payments as tax refunds, officials said.
Qualifying families will receive a monthly payment of $300 per child under 6 and $250 per child older than 6.
The American Rescue Plan increased the maximum payouts families can receive from $2,000 to $3,600 for 2021.
Parents making higher incomes will receive gradually smaller amounts.
Most families will receive the payments through direct deposit, and about 20% will get them by check or debit card.
"For working families with children, this tax cut sends a clear message: help is here," President Joe Biden said in a statement Monday.
Biden wants to extend the expanded payments through 2025 in his $1.8 trillion American Families Plan.