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What financial aid options are available for parents in 2022?

Despite the ending of most pandemic-era support last year, there remains a significant number of Social Security plans that can help you this year.

Overall consumer prices rose by seven percent over the course of 2021, an inflation rate not seen since 1982, and the data for January, due out Thursday, is expected to show the yearly increase continued.
 American shoppers saw prices for meats, poultry,
Stefani ReynoldsAFP

One month into 2022 and the economic news is already bleak. High inflation is driving up prices for everyone, and wage growth is not rising to meet it.

While elements of government support like stimulus checks are a thing of the past, there remains a few elements of Social Security that parents can access for them and their children. None of the plans are new for this year, but most include a substantial increase in funding for families for 2022.

Final part of Child Tax Credit

If you were eligible to receive the Child Tax Credit at any stage of 2021, filing your taxes this year will give you access to more funds. This will be either the six-month sum of money or the full credit, if you chose not to receive it last year. For the former, you could receive up to $1,800 per child, or $3,600 per child for the latter.

The IRS has sent out millions of letters to eligible households offering guidance on how to process the Child Tax Credit on your tax return, ensuring you can receive the money you are owed.

Child and Dependent Care Credit

The Child and Dependent Care Credit (CDCC) has been nearly quadrupled allowing taxpayers to write off a portion of up to $8,000 for one child or dependent and $16,000 for two or more of those expenses. Taxpayers can now claim up to 50 percent of those expenses in the credit up to a certain eligibility income threshold. Additionally, only for 2022, some who have no income but “work” will now be eligible.

To apply, complete Form 2441, Child and Dependent Care Expenses and attach to your 2022 tax return.

SNAP benefits

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is America's largest food support benefit. The total you can receive has been greatly expanded for 2022.

For families of four people living in the 48 contiguous US states, including the District of Columbia, the maximum payment for the year will be $835.

The maximum is between $1,074 and $1,667 in Alaska, while people in Hawaii can receive a maximum of $1,573.

In two US dependencies, families in Guam can receive a maximum of $1,231, while those in the US Virgin Islands can receive up to $1,074.

If your state meets certain criteria, you will automatically be given the maximum payment.