The pandemic demonstrates how caregivers serve as frontline and essential workers, filling the gaps in our health care system. Even before this crisis, around 43.5 million Americans worked as unpaid caregivers to their children, aging parents or adult family members with a disability. The WRCR Act updates the definition of work to recognize the uncompensated care these individuals provide, which is estimated at $500 billion annually.from the Letter to Leadership re. the Worker Relief and Credit Reform Act (WRCR HR 5271)
Policymakers are starting to take note of what we’ve always known – that mothers and other unwaged primary caregivers are also essential workers, counted on for everyone’s survival but not paid for this work.
The Worker Relief and Credit Reform Act, WRCR HR5271, introduced by Reps Gwen Moore (WI) & Marcia Fudge (OH), would expand the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) to make it fully refundable and available to more people, including mothers and other unwaged primary caregivers, and get cash directly into mothers’ and families hands. It redefines workers to include unpaid family caregivers & students.
Highlights of WRCR HR 5271:
Treats caregiving and higher education as work:
- It provides a credit to unpaid family caregivers & low-income students
- They would be treated as though they have enough income to qualify for the maximum credit.
Makes the credit fully refundable: you don’t need to have a waged job or income to get it.
You can get this credit on top of other benefits, such as TANF.
Increases amount: provides up to $4,000 for a single filer, $8,000 for married filers.
Gives the option of getting the payment monthly: although at a reduced 75%.
Expands the age range: eligibility starts at age 18 (instead of 25), and extends to employed people older than 65 (instead of only to 65 and under).
Dramatically decreases poverty: it would benefit nearly half of people in the US (154 million), and cut the poverty rate by one-third. · Goes hand in hand with the American Family Act and other bills making the Child Tax Credit fully refundable and increasing the amount.
As massive numbers rally against institutional racism including economic inequality, it is important to underscore the impacts on caregivers of color. 57% of Black caregivers and 45% of Latina caregivers spend 30 hours/week on caregiving. That’s a full time job! 33% of white caregivers spend 20 hours a week (Family Caregiver Alliance). The WRCR Act, introduced by members of the Congressional Black Caucus, reflects in part the global call for a Care Income for People & Planet.
We urge you to join with us in supporting this historic bill, help alleviate the poverty of women and children, particularly but not only Black, Indigenous, Latinx and other women and children of color, and finally recognize mothers and other unwaged caregivers as workers with financial support. It is a green bill in that it focusses on the caring of people, which in turn will be a resource for family farmers and those working to stop environmental degradation. [See here for a companion bill to improve the uptake of the EITC to reach the 20% of those eligible who don’t claim.]
Call for support issued by the Global Women’s Strike, Women of Color Global Women’s Strike and the Every Mother is a Working Mother Network
East: 215-848-1120 firstname.lastname@example.org
West: 323-276-2833 email@example.com