John Burton Advocates for Youth (JBAY) was recognized in a recent article about California’s $600 per household pandemic relief payment, which was approved by Governor Newsom and legislative leaders on February 17th.
The pandemic relief payment will be distributed to all families who receive the California Earned Income Tax Credit (CalEITC), which provides a tax credit to low-income workers.
JBAY is doing its part by conducting outreach to the 3.8 million 18- to 24-year-old youth who became newly eligible for the CalETIC in the 2019 tax year. Outreach activities include the development of a publication, public trainings, a social media toolkit and the creation of a tax preparation checklist for transition age youth.
Senior Project Manager Anna Johnson leads the CalEITC work at JBAY, “The CalEITC, Young Child Tax Credit, and Golden State Stimulus will provide hundreds or thousands of dollars in refundable credits and payments to youth that can be used to cover immediate needs related to housing, food, bills, and school. It is critical that young adults are directed to file for free and with support from VITA or Free File.”
This is the second year JBAY has worked to expand access to this essential anti-poverty strategy. In 2020, JBAY launched the Cash Back for Transition-Age Youth Pledge which reached 2,326 across California. Collectively, these young people claimed approximately $4 million. JBAY’s work helping foster youth access the CalEITC in 2020 was recognized with a “One in a Million Award” from Multiplying Good.
In 2021, JBAY is continuing this important work and expanding it by deepening its focus on the nine counties of the San Francisco Bay Area and adding an innovative pilot project with Santa Clara County.
JBAY’s pilot with Santa Clara County will increase the rates of CalEITC receipt among foster youth. Specifically, JBAY will help the Santa Clara County Social Services Agency implement strategies to ensure all youth in foster care receive assistance preparing to file and scheduling a tax appointment from their county child welfare worker. JBAY will evaluate the impact of the pilot and determine if a similar approach should be taken statewide in 2022 by adding the requirement to state law.
For more information about JBAY’s work helping young people access this important anti-poverty strategy, follow this link.