Stimulus check 3 for $2,000? Here’s exactly how much a third payment could bring you


A $2,000 stimulus check per qualified adult could add up fast for households. Here’s how to calculate how much money you’d get.

Sarah Tew/CNET

From the very beginning, proposals for how much stimulus check money a person should receive — and who exactly would be qualified to get the stimulus payment — have been all over the map. Lawmakers settled on $1,200 per eligible adult for the first payment and a maximum of $600 for the second stimulus check. A last-minute push by President Donald Trump — who now faces possible impeachment — focused the conversation on a $2,000 per person upper limit

Although not a new proposal by far, Trump’s insistence on the $2,000 stimulus check figure has given a toehold to Democratic supporters across the board for another follow-up stimulus check to help Americans and jumpstart the economy. It even had the support of a Republican outlier, Sen. Josh Hawley, who is now roundly criticized for his role in seeming to condone the Jan. 6 insurrection at Capitol Hill that left five dead.

“We need more direct relief flowing to families…including finishing the job of getting people that $2,000 of relief in a direct payment. $600 is simply not enough,” President-elect Joe Biden said Friday.

Backed by a Congress narrowly led by Democrats, Biden will almost certainly attempt to use his presidential influence to help steer Congress into approving a $2,000 third stimulus check. In anticipation of that conversation, we’ll help you calculate your household’s total now, compare the upper limits in a $600 versus $2,000 check and explain how more people could qualify in the third round.

Stimulus calculator: How much you’d get with a $2,000 check

As with the first two stimulus checks, the total per person limit isn’t necessarily what you’ll get in a final payment. Depending on circumstances like your adjusted gross income (AGI), eligible child dependents and other qualifications, you could get a lot more or less. 

The calculator below follows the same formula the IRS used for both stimulus checks so far, and keeps the $600 flat rate for child dependent from the second stimulus check. It isn’t clear if that would change. You’ll need your AGI to get started. CNET’s stimulus calculator does not store or use your personal details, and provides estimates only.

Calculate your stimulus payment

Use details from your 2019 or 2018 tax return, whichever is most recent.

1. Choose your filing status below.

$600 versus $2,000 compared: The biggest check you could get

A $600 to $2,000 check is a huge leap, and we wanted to highlight just what a difference the two numbers make with a handy chart below. These figures represent the highest amount a household could get, but remember that just like the first and second payments, there will be reasons some people may not get the full amount

Since we don’t know which qualifications might change from the second stimulus check to the third payment, we’ve kept them the same for now, including a $600 flat rate per qualified child dependent.

Stimulus check maximums: $600 versus $2,000

$600 stimulus check ($600 per child age 16 or under) $2,000 stimulus check ($600 per child age 16 or under)
Individual taxpayer, 0 child dependents $600 maximum $2,000 maximum
Head of household, 1 child dependent $1,200 maximum $2,600 maximum
Head of household, 2 child dependents $1,800 maximum $3,200 maximum
Head of household, 3 child dependents $2,400 maximum $3,800 maximum
Married couple, 0 child dependents $1,200 maximum $4,000 maximum
Married couple, 1 child dependent $1,800 maximum $4,600 maximum
Married couple, 2 child dependents $2,400 maximum $5,200 maximum
Married couple, 3 child dependents $3,000 maximum $5,800 maximum

For more information on stimulus checks, here’s what’s happening with the third payment right now, how to report a missing check to the IRS and what happens if your second stimulus check doesn’t make the Jan. 15 cutoff.

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