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$1,400 third stimulus check: are dependents eligible?

As part of President Biden's $1.9tn covid-19 stimulus bill, a third round of direct payments is being sent out to qualifying Americans.

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$1,400 third stimulus check: are dependents eligible?
Scott Olson AFP

As part of the $1.9tn coronavirus relief bill signed into law by President Joe Biden on Thursday, qualifying Americans will get a stimulus check of up to $1,400, with US households also able to claim additional payments for dependents.

All dependents included, larger pay-out than first two stimulus checks

And dependents of all ages have been included in this round of checks, which is the third to be distributed in the US since the coronavirus pandemic began in early 2020.

This contrasts with the first two batches of checks - sent out as part of March’s $2.2tn CARES Act and December’s $900bn Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act - which both limited extra credits for dependents to those aged 16 or under.

What’s more, the amount available per dependent is greater this time: $1,400, up from $500 in the first round of stimulus checks and $600 in the second.

But: stimulus-check income eligibility narrowed

However, Americans will only qualify for this additional credit if the individual or couple claiming them as a dependent meet the income eligibility criteria for the third stimulus check - and these thresholds have been narrowed.

Although the full stimulus check will again go to individuals on up to $75,000 a year and joint tax filers on under $150,000 a year - as was the case in both the first and second rounds - fewer higher earners will be eligible for a smaller payment.

Individuals with an annual income over $80,000 and joint filers earning anything above a combined $160,000 a year will be left out of the third stimulus check.

This compares to a final phase-out limit of $99,000/$198,000 in the first round of stimulus checks, and $87,000/$174,000 in the second.

IRS fact sheet on the third round of stimulus checks

Expanded child tax credit also available

Under the provisions of the new covid-19 relief package, families with dependents aged 17 or under may also be able to claim an expanded child tax credit of up to $3,600 - a scheme which includes monthly payments during the second half of 2021.

More information on the expanded child tax credit

Third stimulus check: live updates

For the latest updates on the third round of stimulus checks, follow our dedicated live blog.