Earned Income Tax Credit
- Melinda LewisMelinda LewisMelinda Lewis, LMSW, received her Master of Social Work degree from Washington University in St. Louis, MO. She worked as a nonprofit policy advocate, grassroots organizer, and community researcher for several years and now teaches social policy, organizational theory, global poverty, and community practice courses in the School of Social Welfare at the University of Kansas. She also brings her more than a decade of policy analysis, applied research, and advocacy experience to nonprofit organizations throughout the state of Kansas through her consulting practice—Melinda K. Lewis, LLC—where her work focuses on advocacy capacity-building for social service organizations, advocacy evaluation, and strategies to integrate advocacy into direct services. She also serves as a public policy consultant to nonprofit organizations in the areas of immigrant rights, anti-poverty, economic equity, and human services, monitoring legislative developments and advising nonprofit executives in advocacy strategies and messaging. She is a consultant to a social work policy textbook series and provides advocacy expertise to a university-affiliated research initiative. She also blogs actively about nonprofit organizations and advocacy issues at www.melindaklewis.com and can be found on Twitter @melindaklewis. Her areas of scholarly interest and practice include strategies for effective policy advocacy by nonprofit organizations, advocacy evaluation, and advocacy capacity-building for individuals and social service organizations.
- and Sondra G. BeverlySondra G. BeverlySondra Beverly is Senior Scholar at the Center for Social Development at Washington University in St. Louis and has researched asset-building in low-income families for over 14 years. She has helped design and implement a large quasi-experimental study of children’s savings accounts as well as smaller multi-method studies of programs that offer low-cost savings accounts and refund-splitting during tax season. Current research projects involve SEED for Oklahoma Kids, an experimental study of universal, progressive Child Development Accounts. Beverly received her M.S.W and Ph.D. from the Brown School of Social Work at Washington University and an M.A. in economics from the University of Missouri - St. Louis. She was an assistant and associate professor in the School of Social Welfare at the University of Kansas from 2000 to 2007. In 2003, Beverly received the Outstanding Research Award from the Society for Social Work and Research for research on material hardship.
The federal Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) is a refundable tax credit for working families with low and moderate incomes. The credit provides a substantial income supplement to families with children and thus helps families finance basic necessities or invest in longer-term household development. In recent years, political support for the EITC has declined. Social workers should be prepared to advocate against policy changes that would reduce the impact of the EITC. Social workers could also support EITC outreach campaigns and advocate for more and expanded state EITCs.