Biden's $400B vaccination plan Galaxy S21 preorders Google Doodle celebrates basketball inventor Drivers License breaks Spotify records WandaVision review Oculus Quest multiuser support Track your stimulus check

Third stimulus check for $2,000? This is how much you could get with another payment

As the deadline for sending out the second stimulus check fast approaches (it's Friday), the questions begin to turn to how much money your household could expect with a third stimulus check.

- 03:57

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, there has been no single consensus for how much money a stimulus check should bring each eligible adult. It's ranged from $1,200 for the first check, $600 for the second payment and proposals for other per-person maximums along the way, including $2,000 every month until the end of the COVID-19 pandemic. A last-minute push by President Donald Trump -- who has now been impeached for the second time of his presidency -- focused the conversation on a $2,000 per person upper limit. Now, President-elect Joe Bide and others have picked up the mantle.

"$600 is simply not enough when you have to choose between paying rent or putting food on the table. We need $2,000 stimulus checks," Biden tweeted Sunday. While it isn't clear if stimulus check qualifications would change once again in a third check, there's renewed momentum to increase the size from $600.

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 as part of a new stimulus bill that could cost "trillions of dollars." 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: Find out your household's total 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 dependents 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 $2,000 stimulus check total

Use details from your 2019 tax return.

1. Choose your filing status below.

2. What was your adjusted gross income (AGI)?

3. How many qualified dependents did you claim in your taxes?


$600 versus $2,000: Compare the maximum amount you could receive

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.

How more people would qualify with a $2,000 stimulus check

When Congress dropped the second stimulus check limit to $600, it automatically disqualified many people, simply because it lowered the income limit (as a result of math). 

Now playing: Watch this: Second stimulus checks: Everything you need to know

For example, with the first check a single tax filer who earned under $75,000 since their previous tax return received the full $1,200. As their adjusted gross income (AGI) level rose, the total they were entitled to receive dropped. After $99,000, they weren't eligible to get anything at all. 

Fast forward to the $600 maximum amount in the second check. The cutoff remained $75,000 to receive the total, but using the formula laid out in the text of the bill, the threshold to receive any amount of stimulus money as an individual (with no children) is an AGI of $87,000. Make more than that, and you're not eligible for a check. 

A third stimulus check for $2,000 would raise that income threshold, making that cutoff below $115,000 for a single taxpayer to receive a partial check. (According to the formula used by the IRS, single taxpayers who make 114,900 a year would get a $5 stimulus check. Try it out in the calculator above.)

Children change the equation, which is why we once again recommend using our stimulus check calculator for a better estimate of your personal financial picture.