Susanna Birdsong is a Family Economic Security Fellow at the National Women's Law Center. Her work at the Center includes advocacy to preserve and strengthen tax credits and other economic supports available to low-income families. She is a graduate of the University of North Carolina and American University Washington College of Law. Before law school, Susanna worked for the North Carolina Coalition to End Homelessness and Habitat for Humanity International, focusing her efforts on increasing access to affordable housing and support services for low-income individuals and families.
Susanna Birdsong is a Family Economic Security Fellow at the National Women's Law Center. Her work at the Center includes advocacy to preserve and strengthen tax credits and other economic supports available to low-income families. She is a graduate of th
Blog Post List
July 23, 2014
Improvement. It’s a subjective word, I guess. Otherwise how does H.B. 4935 get to call itself the Child Tax Credit Improvement Act of 2014? The House is set to vote on the bill this week , and although it sounds like a winner, for millions of low-income working families it is exactly the opposite. First, a little background. The Child Tax Credit was created in 1997 to help families meet the expenses of raising children. Since then, it has had a couple of edits (dare I say improvements ?) that make it more valuable to lower-income families. In 2003, the credit value was raised from $500 to $1,...
June 9, 2014
Newsflash: Child care is expensive . In a majority of states, the cost of child care for an infant exceeds the cost of public college tuition . That cost pinches the wallets of all families with young children in paid child care. For low-income families, it’s much more than a pinch— on average, families in poverty who pay for care spend nearly one-third of their income on that care . Child care costs in Colorado are particularly high relative to median income—on this measure, Colorado ranks among the least affordable . But parents will have help with these costs thanks to new state...
May 8, 2014
When I was in elementary school, my mom (an artist) and I (decidedly not an artist) entered a recycled art contest being held in a local park.
April 21, 2014
Thanks to recent IRS guidance —and an extended deadline (through May 30!) to sign-up for health insurance—domestic violence survivors who are living apart from an abusive spouse can now access subsidies to help them afford the cost of health insurance. Until now, unless a married couple was legally separated or met very narrow head of household filing status requirements , they had to file their taxes jointly in order to be eligible for subsidies to help them afford health insurance through the Obamacare Marketplace — no exceptions . The new IRS guidance makes it clear that domestic violence...
March 28, 2014
Most people shopping for health insurance through the Obamacare Marketplace will be eligible for financial assistance—called the Premium Tax Credit —to help them cover the cost of insurance. We’re talking real help—the average amount of financial assistance per family is estimated to be $5,290. Time is running out to sign up this year— the deadline to get started is next Monday, March 31 ! Read on to get answers to some commonly asked questions about the Premium Tax Credit—and then dash on over to healthcare.gov or call (800) 318-2596 and get started on your application today! Am I eligible?...
February 26, 2014
Did you recently sign up for health insurance through your state’s health care marketplace ? If so, hurray! I’m sure I don’t have to tell you why having affordable health insurance is a great thing . (If you or a loved one doesn’t currently have health insurance, and you haven’t signed up through the Marketplace yet, it’s time to start shopping —the open enrollment period ends in a little over a month, on March 31 .) But wait, you ask—what do taxes have to do with signing up for health insurance? Quite a bit, it turns out. The IRS just released some health care tax tips —from those, here are...
February 25, 2014
Fact: There are more households with working parents than ever before. Fewer than 1 in 3 children today have a full-time, stay-at-home parent . Fact: Child care is incredibly expensive—disproportionately so for low-income families. The average cost of full-time care ranges from $3,900 to $15,000 a year, depending on where the family lives, the type of care, and the age of the child. Low-income families who use paid child care spend over 32 percent of their income on child care every month [PDF] (five times the percentage that families living above 200% of the federal poverty level spend)...