How much money you could really get in a third stimulus check? See for yourself

March 4, 2021 0 By boss



You can calculate how much money you and your family could expect with a $1,400 stimulus check maximum.

Sarah Tew/CNET

The details of the third stimulus check are shifting, as the Senate takes up the nearly $2 trillion COVID-19 relief bill this week. Senate Democrats are looking to lower some of the income requirements needed to qualify for the $1,400 payment, which could change how much money some who the Senate defines as “higher earners” would receive. While nothing is settled as Congress works to hit a mid-month deadline for passage of the bill, we know enough right now about the proposed Senate guidelines to help you quickly estimate the amount of stimulus money you may be eligible for.

With each of the three stimulus checks (you can compare them here), lawmakers have adjusted not just the dollar amount but the eligibility rules around who would qualify. So that you don’t have to keep track of all the complicated and shifting changes yourself, you can use our payment calculator to plug in your individual information and get a personalized estimate. Among the changed factors determining the size of your payment are citizenshipnumber of dependents, and individual and family income caps.

Here’s more information on how you could potentially get a significantly larger third stimulus check, as well as how it’s possible to get less money or even none at all. Here’s how a third check during tax time could play out. And if you’re one of the millions of Americans yet to receive the first or second stimulus check, here’s how to claim it on your 2020 tax return. This story is updated often.

Our third stimulus check calculator can help work out your ‘targeted’ $1,400 payment

The Senate is working on the relief bill bill this week, looking to approve its version of the legislation by the weekend. Senate Democrats have already proposed changing upper income limits for individual taxpayers and families that could result in some who the Senate defines as higher earners no longer qualifying for a payment. The changes would make the third check look different from the first two checks by lowering the reducing that upper cap, above which you’d no longer receive any money. (Here’s our first stimulus check calculator.)

The bill isn’t complete yet, so the Senate could change again how the legislation targets the stimulus money. Our calculator tool will give you an idea of the amount you can expect based on the current Senate changes. The stimulus calculator won’t store or use your data. Since our calculations are based on the most recent House proposal, it could change again before becoming law.

Proposed $1,400 stimulus calculator

Use details from your 2019 or 2020 tax return

1. Choose your filing status below.

Here’s who would get the full amount, based on your adjusted gross income, or AGI, and when you would completely phase out of receiving a payment, using the new Senate guidelines. As an individual or couple’s income goes up, the size of the partial payment would get smaller. 

Stimulus check proposal for income limits

Full $1,400 per person maximum (based on AGI) Not eligible (based on AGI)
Individual taxpayer Less than $75,000 $80,000 or more
Head of household Less than $112,500 $120,000 or more
Married couple filing jointly Less than $150,000 $160,000 or more

How new eligibility rules could affect stimulus check calculations

New with economic-relief proposal, all dependents would qualify for a $1,400 payment. Also new: The upper income limit is a hard cap. Above the income ceiling, you no longer qualify for any stimulus money, including for your dependents. With the first two checks, you could hit the cap and still receive money for a dependent.

Expanding qualifications to dependents of any age would make approximately 13.5 million more adult dependents count toward their household total, according to The People’s Policy Project. Biden’s proposal also looks to include families with mixed citizenship status; that is, where at least one family member is a US citizen.

Read more: Stimulus money and tax breaks for kids and older adults: Not just a $1,400 check

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Stimulus check No. 3: What you need to know


How much money can you expect to receive with the third payment?

To give you an idea of how much you might expect to receive in a third payment using the income guidelines Congress is considering, we calculated a few scenarios for individuals, heads of households and families in the chart below. You can see how setting a hard upper limit changes your payment, based on the amount of money you could expect.

Payments for different incomes and dependents

Individual Head of household Married couple, filing jointly
AGI of $75,000 and no dependents $1,400 $1,400 $2,800
AGI of 79,000 and no dependents $280 $1,400 $2,800
AGI of $90,000 and no dependents $0 $1,400 $2,800
AGI of $100,000 and no dependents $0 $1,400 $2,800
AGI of $100,000 and 1 dependent $2,800 $4,200
AGI of $115,000 and 1 dependent $1,867 $4,200
AGI of $120,000 and 1 dependent $0 $4,200
AGI of $130,000 and 1 dependent $0 $4,200
AGI of $100,000 and 2 dependents $4,200 $5,600
AGI of $115,000 and 2 dependents $2,800 $5,600
AGI of $155,000 and 2 dependents $0 $2,800
AGI of $160,000 and 2 dependents $0 $0

For more information on stimulus checks, here’s how to report missing stimulus money to the IRS, what to do if you’re missing any stimulus money and here are the important things to know about stimulus checks and your taxes.


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