Here's what we know about when the 3rd stimulus check is coming

  • A third stimulus check could be coming to millions of US households sometime in March.
  • Congress is moving swiftly to approve the relief bill by March 14, and payments could hit bank accounts soon after.
  • Checks will be worth up to $1,400 per person, including dependents. Income requirements are still being negotiated.
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Congress is gearing up to approve a third stimulus check as part of a massive economic relief package.

The timeline for when payments are coming is not yet crystal clear, but Democrats have pledged to enact the legislation, called the American Rescue Plan, by March 14 to avoid a lapse in enhanced unemployment benefits. If that happens, direct-deposit stimulus payments could start hitting bank accounts later that week. 

The bill is currently returning to the House after being passed by the Senate with a few changes.

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stimulus check is a non-taxable cash payment sent to qualifying Americans by direct deposit, check, or debit card. The money can be used however you want and does not need to be repaid to the government — even if you get too much.

Other names for stimulus checks include Economic Impact Payments and the Recovery Rebate Credit.

When should we expect the 3rd stimulus check?

If both chambers of Congress approve the relief bill and President Joe Biden signs it into law by March 14, we can expect to see stimulus checks hitting bank accounts within days. 

The IRS has already delivered two rounds of stimulus payments to date, so the system is in place for quickly disbursing the money once again. Those with direct deposit will get their money the fastest. Checks and debit cards will likely be mailed in the following weeks.

But we can’t forget it’s tax season. The IRS is currently processing millions of tax returns and paying out refunds. The added task of delivering stimulus checks might cause some delays. 

How much will I get for the 3rd stimulus check?

The third stimulus check is worth up to $1,400 per individual, including dependents, and $2,800 for married couples. It’s set to be the largest payment yet and is meant to “top off” the $600 sent to qualifying Americans in December and January for a total of $2,000.

However, the final income eligibility requirements will likely differ from the last round of payments so not every person who received a $600 check would get one this time.

There are two basic requirements to get a third stimulus check: You need a Social Security number and you need to have adjusted gross income for 2019 — or 2020, if you file your tax return in time — that meets the income limits. 

The Senate plan calls for Americans with AGIs of $75,000 or less to get the full $1,400 payment — including dependents of any age. This is a break from the past two relief bills, which did not include payments for dependents age 17 and over but did include smaller amounts for children.

The Senate plan phases out payments completely at an AGI of:

  • $80,000 for single filers
  • $120,000 for head-of-household filers
  • $160,000 for married joint filers

These income limits have already been approved by President Joe Biden. This change to the plan sent to the Senate by the House is estimated to result in 11.8 million fewer adults and 4.6 million fewer children receiving stimulus checks.

The bill will now return to the House, which is expected to take it up early next week before a final vote and signature from Biden. 

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