Started in 2015, California’s program has had bipartisan backing, though some critics have questioned whether the state can afford it.
The payments have averaged about $520, with families getting more: as much as $2,700.
In the first year of the program, estimates suggested more than 200,000 eligible Californians failed to claim the credit.
That number could grow. This summer, state leaders agreed to expand the program to more workers, meaning nearly triple the number of Californians could qualify — roughly 1.7 million altogether.
The toughest challenge has been to reach those workers who don’t submit tax returns at all, said Alissa Anderson, senior policy analyst with the California Budget and Policy Center.
Many low-wage workers are not required to file, so they don’t. That means tax services that might otherwise flag the earned income tax credit never get the chance.
That’s where nonprofits like CalEITC4Me are trying to step in.
Mr. Sanberg, the founder, was in Compton on Tuesday to announce a partnership with the city’s school district.
Speaking to a gathering of parents at Dickison Elementary, he cited statistics that suggest most Californians couldn’t manage a surprise expense in the hundreds of dollars — whether to deal with a broken wrist, or a busted pipe.
Imagine that anxiety, he said, “It shouldn’t be like that and it doesn’t have to be like that.”