My name is Krysten Stevenson, and I’m a member of 9to5 Colorado, a grassroots organization that strengthens women’s abilities to win justice for working women. I’m a single mom with two young children. I also take care of my mother, who is older and has suffered from a stroke which requires me to be her caregiver. The Earned Income Tax Credit has consistently provided my family a safety net when we’ve needed it the most.
A few years ago, I was going to school and working part-time. I didn’t always have enough to make ends meet for my daughter and myself. When we got the credit, it went towards paying for childcare, food, toiletries, and some much-needed clothes.
Last year, I lost my job because I needed to take care of my mom. I was already struggling to make ends meet, and then my rent kept going up. We were three months behind on rent. If I hadn’t received the Earned Income Tax Credit, we would have been evicted. The EITC has helped me keep a roof over my daughters’ heads.
In years where I have had a little more stability, I treat the tax credit as an emergency fund. I split it into 12 and use that money each month for whatever unexpected expenses come up. These savings have provided me some security.
This year, I have had a lot of medical bills because my 9-year-old daughter, Jaidah, has needed vision therapy. Her eyes have some clarity issues, and these problems with her vision have been affecting her behavior. Paying for this vision therapy is really important for her while she’s young. This necessary treatment costs $119 per session, and Medicaid doesn’t pay for it. 10% more would mean I wouldn’t get behind on bills and Jaidah wouldn’t be at risk of losing her vision therapy sessions.
Being able to provide my children with a happier, healthier life means the world to me as a parent, and that’s why I’m so excited for this state Earned Income Tax Credit.
This year, I’m going to make sure I file for the state EITC so that I can get 10% more back on my refund. I want to make sure all of Colorado’s working families like mine claim the federal and the state EITCs when they file their taxes, so that all qualifying families can receive these useful tax credits.