The Third Stimulus Check of US: Who Can Get It & How Much to Receive?
The 3rd stimulus check of the $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief plan has been proposed for the $1,400 payments. Photo: WKRC

As part of his plan, Biden has proposed a $1,400 stimulus check. The $1,400 figure, when added to the $600 checks Congress approved at the end of 2020, would amount to the $2,000 amount some in Washington are pushing for. "The American Rescue Plan is going to keep the commitment of $2,000," Biden said Friday. "$600 has already gone out -- $1,400 checks to people who need it."

The House and Senate have started preparing the way for Biden's proposal this week, with the plan being to use a tool called budget reconciliation, which could allow Congress to pass Biden's aid bill without Republican votes, as cited by CNet.

Who would get the 3rd stimulus check?

If Congress approves Biden’s massive spending proposal as written, the money would likely go to every American who already got stimulus checks, along with some who didn’t.

Individuals with incomes up to $50,000 would get the full $1,400 payment. Heads of household earning up to $75,000 would also qualify, and married couples with earnings up to $100,000 would get a $2,800 payment, as cited by The Washington Post. The amount would gradually decrease for people earning more than that, and those making more than $95,000 would get nothing. The income limits double for married couples who file their taxes jointly.

Similar to the prior rounds of stimulus checks, people who earn slightly above those thresholds would still qualify for a partial payment.

Among those who could be added are adults who can be claimed as dependents on other people’s income tax returns, such as college students or elderly people being cared for by their adult children. Biden has also called for expanding eligibility to “all mixed-status households,” a term referring to families in which one person is a US citizen or green card holder while others lack legal immigration status, reported New York Post.

The Third Stimulus Check of US: Who Can Get It & How Much to Receive?
President Biden meets with House Democratic leaders, including Speaker Nancy Pelosi, to discuss the COVID-19 stimulus bill on Feb. 5, 2021. Photo: CNet

About 71 percent of Americans would get the full benefits and another 17 percent would get the partial benefit, according to Kyle Pomerleau, a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute who specializes in tax policy. This is less than Biden’s initial proposal for the payments to go to individuals earning up to $75,000 and married couples earning up to $150,000, which would result in about 85 percent getting full payments.

How much would each person receive?

  • Up to $1,400 for qualifying individuals
  • $2,800 for qualifying couples who file a joint tax return
  • $1,400 for each dependent child under the age of 17
  • $2,000 for a qualifying adult dependent. Adult dependents weren’t included in the last round of stimulus checks, so they will likely qualify for the full $2,000 in this round.

For this calculator, we used the same income limits that were applied for previous stimulus payments. For single people, payment is reduced for those with adjusted gross incomes (AGI) above $75,000. For married couples filing jointly, the phase-out begins at an AGI of $150,000. If you file as head of household, the reductions begin at $112,500 (if you are single, widowed or divorced and claim a child as a dependent, you probably have been filing as a head of household.)

However, the Senate passed a budget amendment on Friday agreeing to target the checks to families most in need, which may lower the phase-out limits. In remarks on the Senate floor, Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) said, “It is very unlikely that American households with family incomes of $300,000 have suffered significant financial harm as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. Our amendment ensures that this much-needed financial relief gets in the pockets of the struggling families that need it most.”

How big would payments be for kids?

Under the Democratic plan that is taking shape, parents of children would receive an additional $1,400 per child. That means a family of four would receive $5,600.

Democrats are separately pushing a child tax benefit that would provide over the course of a year $3,600 per child under 6 and $3,000 per child aged 6 to 17. A version of that plan is expected in the final agreement.

How much will adult dependents receive?

Adult dependents are slated to receive $2,000, as per the CASH Act, which Biden’s current stimulus proposal is based on, Forbes cites. As they weren’t included in the second stimulus bill, it’s likely that qualifying adult dependents will receive the full $2,000 in the third round of checks, although we’re still waiting for confirmation from the Biden administration.

When would Americans get a 3rd stimulus check?

Whatever the size, it's looking like another round of stimulus checks may not land in bank accounts until mid- or late March, based on Schumer's time frame. The new Senate Majority leader acknowledged "that the next round of fiscal stimulus remains a month to 6 weeks away," Hammond noted on January 26.

After the relief bill passes Congress, it must be signed by the president. After that, the IRS would distribute funds through direct deposit, mailed checks, and prepaid debit cards. If a package is passed by the end of March, people might get their checks starting by early April, CBS News cites.

In the first stimulus payments in April 2020, which directed $1,200 to eligible adults as well as $500 per child, it typically took two weeks to several months for payments to reach people. The second round of checks, which sent $600 to each eligible adult and child, required about a week for the funds to arrive via direct deposit.

But in some cases, people experienced delays in receiving the money due to problems with their account information. President Biden signed an order on January 22 directing the Treasury to streamline the delivery of stimulus checks for those who have not yet received their direct payments from previous rounds.

Will these checks help the economy?

There’s conflicting debate about the effectiveness of direct payments. Most economists support giving more relief to Americans who are struggling to put food on the table or keep their small businesses from closing. But there’s concern that a lot of families are saving their stimulus money. When people save money, it does not boost the economy. Economists see such savings as a sign the family did not need the money for basic necessities.

The Third Stimulus Check of US: Who Can Get It & How Much to Receive?
Photo: Forbes

A New York Federal Reserve survey found that 36 percent of the first-round stimulus payments were saved. Another 35 percent was used to pay down debt. Only 18 percent was spent on essentials like food and rent. The remaining 11 percent was either donated or spent on nonessential items like video games.

The best argument in favor of the checks is that they have kept many Americans out of poverty during the crisis. An analysis by the left-leaning Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy found the bottom 20 percent of Americans — those earning less than $21,300 — would see their income rise nearly 30 percent, helping keep them out of poverty.

This latest Democratic proposal for $1,400 payments to singles earning up to $50,000 and couples earning up to $100,000 would cost around $420 billion, according to Marc Goldwein, senior policy director for the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget. That’s down slightly from Biden’s initial proposal for the checks, which would have cost about $465 billion and gone to singles earning up to $75,000 and couples earning up to $150,000, according to CRFB.

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