How Your Third Stimulus Check Will Differ From the First Two Payments

We're oh so close to getting a third stimulus check. But the amount and eligibility rules for your next stimulus payment will be different than for earlier ones.

picture of third stimulus check with coins on it
(Image credit: Getty Images)

A third stimulus check can't arrive soon enough for people who are struggling financially. But even though we're oh so close to seeing that happen, we're not quite there yet. On Saturday, the Senate passed President Biden's American Rescue Plan, which authorizes a third round of stimulus checks. However, the House of Representatives still has to approve changes made to the plan by the Senate before the president can sign the bill into law. That's all expected to happen this week, which means some people potentially could receive a third stimulus check as early as next week.

While your third stimulus check will look a lot like your first (CARES Act) and second (COVID-Related Tax Relief Act) stimulus payments, there are several important differences. The amount, for one, won't be the same. Eligibility for a third stimulus check will be different, too. So that you're not caught off guard, let's take a look at the expected third-round stimulus checks and see how they differ from payments under the CARES Act and the COVID-Related Tax Relief Act. You might benefit more from your third-round stimulus check than you did from your first two payments. But you won't know unless you read on!

Rocky Mengle
Senior Tax Editor, Kiplinger.com

Rocky is a Senior Tax Editor for Kiplinger with more than 20 years of experience covering federal and state tax developments. Before coming to Kiplinger, he worked for Wolters Kluwer Tax & Accounting and Kleinrock Publishing, where he provided breaking news and guidance for CPAs, tax attorneys, and other tax professionals. He has also been quoted as an expert by USA Today, Forbes, U.S. News & World Report, Reuters, Accounting Today, and other media outlets. Rocky has a law degree from the University of Connecticut and a B.A. in History from Salisbury University.