Monthly child tax credit payments start hitting bank accounts this week. Here’s what you need to know if you’re eligible.

Most child tax credit payments will be deposited electronically until the end of the year. This is the IRS schedule.

(iStock images/The Washington Post)

The IRS says it has started depositing monthly payments this week into the bank accounts of millions of American families, many of whom are struggling to put food on the table.

The agency said it sent $15 billion in first payments to nearly 60 million children. Look for these child tax credit payments to show up on July 15.

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This money couldn’t come at a more opportune time, given the news that the consumer price index rose 5.4 percent in June compared to the same period a year ago.

The last time families saw this big a hike in prices was in the summer of 2008, when the country was dealing with the Great Recession.

To help with the distribution of the payments, the IRS has developed some online tools that guide people in how to claim the money or estimate how much they should receive. You can find the tools at Look for the Child Tax Credit link on the homepage.

Calculate how much you will get from the expanded child tax credit

But, as with previous distributions connected to pandemic-related payments, you might have some questions. Here’s what you need to know about this massive undertaking by the IRS.

Are you having problems with the IRS? Share your story with The Washington Post.

You can also find answers to some of your questions in an online discussion held on July 14 with Ken Corbin, the IRS’s wage and investment commissioner and its chief taxpayer experience officer. He addressed questions about the child tax credit payments.