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.

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 irs.gov. Look for the Child Tax Credit link on the homepage.

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.

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.