EITC Lifts Financial Burden on Working Families

EITC Lifts Financial Burden on Working Families


Good morning, everybody. Well, first thanks
for being here and I also like to thank Brenda if we’re inviting me
to share my story. I thank her for the work that she does
for the VITA program which is just such a self helpful program that I can
use me for four years so far and every single volunteer that has helped to get
my taxes done has been so knowledgeable and helpful. Plus, the fact that I also
take calls for all those families who need to make appointment through 211.
I work for the 211 helpline. So when they call to get their EITC credit, most of the times they call in urgency
hoping to get into the first appointment possible because they need that money
to either pay their gas bill that has been disconnected in winter times
or get caught up on rent because they’re going through an
eviction and sometimes they don’t qualify for the programs available
because they’re slightly over the income guidelines but still facing poverty and that’s
something that rarely gets acknowledged. So those are all the calls that we get
and I can feel like the huge impact that that is in my community not just for me
but for all the callers that we get every tax season which is thousands of callers
that we get. I would just like to share
a little story about myself. My name is Rebeca. (laughs)
I was introduced already. I am 33 years old. I am Mexican-
American and I’ve been living in Kentwood, Michigan, for 15 years so far. I’m a community resource specialist
with 2-1-1. And also I am a proud single mom of an amazing 10-year-old boy. His name is Marco. When my son Marco was born, I thought I was never gonna be a single mom but then two years after he
was born his dad had to leave, leaving me with just my income to support my son
after the fact that childcare is not the most affordable option at all.
That was not an option for me or like in general like for me, a single mom, I was able to finish a bachelor’s degree. I am 85% done with my degree for community development. However, due to more responsibilities, bills to pay and the fact that my son started going through depression because his dad was
gone you know he was no longer part of his life. That extra time that I could
have to focus on finishing my degree unfortunately was not an affordable option,
was not an option for — a priority for me, you know. My son was my priority at that
point so I had to put a pause on my school. However I still have bills to pay.
Plus, all those basic needs, you know, all the meals the bills, you know,
housing, utilities, car insurance while living paycheck to paycheck
it actually makes it extremely hard for me to save for unexpected bills,
you know, like accidents, medical bills, school loans, property taxes. I have no
way for me to actually have like that savings extra for me to pay
the property taxes from my home without getting the EITC. So thanks to that Earned Income Tax Credit, that is pretty much for me it’s a basic need. It gives me a peace of mind knowing that when I get my
refund I’ll be able to put that towards my school loans, towards unexpected bills like
medical bills or car repairs. Plus is what
I always used to pay my property taxes so pretty much thanks to getting the EITC,
I managed to keep my home to give security and stability to my son.
Thanks to the VITA program I have the flexibility to get my tax return when I’m
at work and just make it so much easier you know if it’s after Christmas season
and the fact that I live paycheck to paycheck probably without the VITA free
service I would not even be able to get the tax return as soon as I’m able to do
so. So, yeah, I’m really thankful
for this program. Thanks for everybody to take their time
to listen to not just my story but it’s just like a basic story that I know a
lot of people is going through or even some people even worse, so I’m thankful
that I’m not at that extreme. I’m thankful. Thank you. (laughs)

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