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IRS distributes third child tax credit payments, around $15 billion, to 35 million families

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Are you having issues with your September child tax credit payment? Email money reporter alicia.adamczyk@nbcuni.com.

The third advance child tax credit, or CTC, started hitting bank accounts Wednesday, but some recipients are reporting issues receiving their payments.

Most eligible families received up to $300 per child under age 6 and $250 for each child ages 6 through 17. Three more payments will go out this year, and parents will get another lump sum when they file their 2021 taxes. The IRS said in a release it distributed approximately $15 billion to 35 million families Wednesday.

Early data indicated many families have used the cash infusions for necessities such as groceries. In fact, food insecurity fell after the first payments went out in July.

But the monthly deposits haven't come without issues. Last month, around 15% of payments that should have been direct-deposited were sent via paper check instead. That led to a lag in some families receiving the funds.

And this month, some social media users reported the direct deposits were not made available to them on the 15th, as scheduled. CNBC Make It reached out to the Treasury Department to see if there is a known problem with September's payments.

"The IRS distributed more than 35 million payments yesterday, and there is no indication of widespread issues," an IRS spokesperson said. "As always, we look into any reports of people not receiving their payment."

Those who don't get their payment by direct deposit will get it by paper check. Parents can use the Child Tax Credit Update Portal to see how it will be distributed this month.

The aim of the enhanced payments, which are part of the Democrats' American Rescue Plan, is to help reduce child poverty in the U.S. As federal unemployment insurance and other coronavirus pandemic benefits end, the CTC payments have become critical for some households still struggling.

Eligible families who haven't received a payment yet can sign up using this IRS portal. They may be able to receive larger monthly catch-up checks through the end of the year if they register now. The IRS said families who did not receive a July or August payment will see up to $450 per month from September through December for each child under age 6 and up to $375 per month for each child ages 6 through 17.

Democratic lawmakers have called for a permanent extension of the enhanced CTC, and hundreds of U.S. economists have also come out in support of extending it.

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