March 12, 2017
USCCB Department of Justice, Peace and Human Development reminds us that the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church notes:
"250. In order to protect [the] relationship between family and work, an element that must be appreciated and safeguarded is that of a family wage, a wage sufficient to maintain a family and allow it to live decently. Such a wage must also allow for savings that will permit the acquisition of property as a guarantee of freedom. The right to property is closely connected with the existence of families, which protect themselves from need thanks also to savings and to the building up of family property. There can be several different ways to make a family wage a concrete reality. Various forms of important social provisions help to bring it about, for example, family subsidies and other contributions for dependent family members, and also remuneration for the domestic work done in the home by one of the parents."
Millions of working poor families find it increasingly difficult to meet their daily needs and achieve financial security. The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Child Tax Credit (CTC) are two of the “important social provisions” to which the Compendium refers that help struggling families escape poverty. These powerful antipoverty initiatives deliver income support to millions of workers in low-wage jobs. Claiming these tax credits can aid in securing better housing, pursuing quality education, obtaining dependable transportation, covering out-of-pocket health care costs, or paying for quality childcare.
In fact, research shows that in 2015, the EITC and CTC together lifted 9.8 million out of poverty, making them the most potent tool the government has for fighting child poverty. Congress recently made permanent several critical provisions of these two programs, which ensured that millions of families and their communities will continue to receive this benefit.
To find out if you qualify for the EITC or the CTC, go to