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CASH-strapped parents could get a "surprise" boost of $300 in their final child tax credit payment this December.

The last check as part of the expanded Child Tax Credit program will be sent out to eligible American families on December 15.

1Families could get a boost of $300 in the December paymentCredit: Getty

President Joe Biden expanded earlier this year to offset some of the financial burdens many Americans were feeling due to Covid-19.

Families who are currently getting payments that are below the maximum amount could be in line to get a boost next month.

In order to qualify a parent must have lost their job in 2021 or one household salary must have substantially decreased in the calendar year.

Americans are urged to update their financial information on the IRS portal so that the change can be noted ahead of the December check.

Parents receiving the highest amount from the child tax credit scheme will not be able to receive an increased payment.

The maximum a family can receive is $300 per month for each child under the age of six and $250 per child up to age of 17.

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The deadline has passed for families looking to apply for the child tax credit scheme.

It comes after the news that parents with two kids could receieve a payment worth up to $8,000 in the new year.

Parents that have kids under 13 and an income of less than $125,000 can claim the extra cash.

The support is known as the child and dependent tax credit, which aims to help working families offset expenses when financially providing for their kids.

Read our child tax credit live blog for the very latest news and updates...

Qualifying expenses include transportation, housekeepers, babysitters, before and after school programs, as well as day camps and daycare.

The cash can also be used to care for dependents with disabilities.

They can be claimed when you file your tax return next year.

Meanwhile, people are calling on Congress to send out a $2,000 stimulus check after Thanksgiving as 35million families are set to lose their Child Tax Credit cash in just three weeks.

If Congress does not move to extend the program the December 15 check will be the last monthly payment.

The calls for more cash come as the American Farm Bureau reported that the prices for this year's Thanksgiving meals will climb by 14 percent compared to last year.

While some of this increase is due to inflation, according to The Hill, it's also partially due to the fact that many people skipped Thanksgiving, or had much smaller gatherings, last year because of the pandemic.

Last year's Turkey Day food prices were actually down 4 percent from 2019.

New 'stimulus check' is headed your way, make sure you're enrolled in child tax credits
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Tags: cash child tax credit child tax credit the maximum the december the maximum get a boost could get

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Three iPhone settings that you should NEVER change – check yours now

YOU'VE likely heard endless advice about the settings to fiddle with to get more from your iPhone – but what about the ones you shouldn't touch?

Tweaking your mobile's setup can in some cases stop it from connecting to the internet and damage your display. Here are three settings to avoid.

1Avoid tweaking these crucial iPhone settings if you canCredit: Getty - Contributor 1) Display auto-brightness

Auto-brightness is activated on your iPhone by default and does what it says on the tin, adjusting brightness levels based on the light conditions around you.

An ambient light sensor near the selfie camera lowers brightness in darker locations and raises brightness in lighter locations.

Turing the feature off – particularly to set your display so it's at maximum brightness all the time – can reduce your battery life and damage your device.

That's because your iPhone uses up far more power when displaying at full brightness than at low brightness.

Switching off auto-brightness can also be bad for your eyesight.

Trying to squint at a dark screen in bright sunlight, or looking at a bright screen in a dark location, strains your eyes, leaving them feeling tired and irritated.

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You can turn auto-brightness on or off in Settings > Accessibility > Display & Text Size.

To reset the auto-brightness settings, turn off auto-brightness and then turn it back on.

2) Date and time

Altering the date and time on your iPhone might feel like a cheap way to time travel, but it can cause serious problems.

A common reason for doing this is to accelerate time in a game on iOS that requires a real-world time-lapse for progression.

However, altering the date and time on your iPhone can cause problems when trying to connect to some websites.

I can also mess with apps and features such as Screen Time, which tracks the amount you use your iPhone over time.

To make sure your iPhone time and date is correct at all times, turn on Set Automatically in Settings > General > Date & Time.

3) MMS and SMS messaging

Every message you send that's not an iMessage is either an MMS (Multimedia Messaging Service) or SMS (Short Message Service).

An MMS has a file such as a picture or video attached while an SMS contains just plain old text.

You can turn SMS and MMS messaging off in your settings – but we wouldn't advise it.

Doing so will mean you can't send SMS or MMS messages to friends of yours who don't have iPhones.

You'll still be able to use iMessage, but texts sent to Android smartphones won't get through to their recipients.

You can swap around your MMS and SMS settings by heading to Settings > Messages > SMS/MMS.

Secret iPhone codes unlock cool effects in iMessage – how to use them

In other news, Apple has announced that it will let customers fix their own iPhones for the first time starting next year.

The UK is fighting an epidemic of hack attacks targeting consumers and businesses, according to officials.

NASA has slammed Russia after a missile it fired into one of its own satellites forced the space station to perform an emergency swerve.

And, a 75-year-old Brit has told of his anger after scammers on WhatsApp fooled him into sending them hundreds of pounds.

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