Will getting the EITC or CTC lower government benefits?

Generally, no.


For many public benefits, your eligibility is determined based on household income.

Congress created legislation that permanently excludes any federal tax refund from counting as income in determining eligibility or the amount of benefit for any federally-funded public benefit program. The refund can include benefits from the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), Child Tax Credit (CTC), other tax credits, or refund of other withheld income tax.

Asset limits

Many benefits come with asset limits. Asset limits require that you must own resources under a set limit to receive certain benefits. Any refunds you save do not count in the resource limits of any federally-funded public benefit program for 12 months after the refund is received.

Safe harbor

Tax credit refunds sent to certain types of Individual Development Accounts (IDAs) and Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) accounts do not count as a resource in determining eligibility for federally-funded public benefit programs, including state cash assistance (TANF) programs.

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