CHICAGO (CBS) — The Child Tax Credit is meant to help families make ends meet as the COVID-19 pandemic lingers on.
But many payments are delayed, making it anything but helpful for parents on a budget. On Thursday, CBS 2’s Marie Saavedra found there are a few glitches in the system – and she shared one Chicago father’s frustration.READ MORE: Man Shot In Leg In West Rogers Park
“I spend four hours a day calling the IRS – every single day – waiting for an update,” said the Rev. Rich Flynn.
Rev. Flynn has made a part-time job out of dialing up a notoriously hard to contact government agency.
He is trying to track down his money from the Child Tax Credit – owed to him, his wife, and their 8-year-old daughter.
“We’ve been really waiting on the money to buy her all of her school supplies,” Flynn said.
Flynn said he hasn’t received the last two months of payments, or many answers from those phone calls. So we went digging.
Checks are supposed to go out the 15th of each month. But on Sept. 17, the IRS said it was “aware of instances where some individuals have not yet received their September payments. They agency said it is looking into the problem.
So that’s one issue. But it turns out Flynn was hit with a double whammy from the IRS.READ MORE: Chicago Weather: Heavy Rain, Possible Flood Watch
The Agency admits 15 percent of recipients who had signed up for direct deposit ended up getting mailed a paper check in August. Flynn is one of them, and he has no idea where in the mail that check is now.
“You’re depending on the money. You’re expecting the money, and it doesn’t come,” Flynn said.
On a volunteer minister’s salary, that check matters.
Parents who qualify with kids under 6 receive up to $300 per child each month, while those with kids between 6 and 17 it’s $250 per child.
“At some point, they need to give some sort of reasoning behind what’s happening,” Flynn said.
The IRS website says this was expected to be resolved by the September payments, but Flynn said that has not happened. We asked the agency when people waiting can expect those checks, but haven’t heard back.
And until Flynn gets that answer, he’ll keep calling.MORE NEWS: Man Dies After Being Shot In West Garfield Park
“Yes, I realize now I’ve spent probably 120 hours-plus on the phone with the IRS trying to chase down 500 bucks – which doesn’t seem like a lot of money – but to us it is,” he said.