Your Stimulus Check Could Be Larger!

Depending on who you ask, there is still hope that another stimulus check will arrive in your mailbox — or bank account — before the end of the year. 

Both President-elect Biden and President Trump support more direct payments to Americans, but neither has specified a specific amount or when they would go out. However, according to, there is a chance your second check might be larger — if it arrives before the end of the year. 

CNET explains how to determine how much you could get in the second round of stimulus checks. 

Factors That Could Lead To A Larger Payment 

If lawmakers pass a bipartisan pandemic relief bill, the next round of checks will most likely adhere to the same regulations as before. But there is also a chance that these payments could contain some of the variations introduced in past proposals. However, for most Americans, the most you will potentially get hinges on your adjusted gross income, among other factors. 

Here are the situations where you could see a larger second stimulus check.

You Have More Dependents

The House has pushed to broaden restrictions concerning who qualifies as a dependent. Per the Democrat’s proposal, a dependent is anyone you claim on your taxes, including children 16 and older and adults you provide care for. With more qualifying dependents in your household, you would receive more money.

Children Receive More Money

President Trump’s latest proposal wouldn’t change age restrictions for minors but increase the amount they qualify for from $500 to $1,000. 

You Lost Your Job Or Your Income Changed

If you experienced a disruption to your income, such as a job loss, reduced hours, or pay cut, your overall AGI could decline — meaning you could be eligible for more assistance. 

You Married

If you were married this year, you could see a larger stimulus payment. However, this depends on a range of factors, such as your spouse’s filing status or if you have any new dependents.

You Have A Joint Custody Agreement

Depending on whether you meet specific requirements, you and your child’s parent could qualify for additional assistance.

You Are A Non-US Resident

The House stimulus bill would allow undocumented immigrants and other non-US residents who pay taxes to receive a second check. In addition, these individuals could receive the first check retroactively. However, multiple factors, such as eligibility and the new law’s logistics, can affect this outcome.

Lawmakers Approve A Rule Change For Incarcerated Individuals

According to a federal judge ruling, the IRS must give eligible prison inmates a stimulus check. If lawmakers follow this ruling, these individuals could receive payments from the IRS.

Factors That Could Lead To A Smaller Payment

Just as several variables determine if you get a larger payment, others could leave you with a smaller check. 

The IRS determined the sum you received from the first round of payments on the income you declared on your 2018 or 2019 federal tax returns. Of course, your personal or financial situation has likely changed since then. Depending on the circumstances, it could mean a smaller check.

You Started A Job Or Earned More Income

Whether you got a new job, received a raise, or experienced some other change in your employment status that caused a fluctuation in your AG, you might qualify for less money.

You Have Fewer Dependents

There is a chance that lawmakers would not expand the definition of dependent or double the amount qualifying dependents are eligible to receive. In these instances, your second check may be the same size as the first. 

However, you could receive a smaller payment if these rules stay the same, and your dependents are no longer young enough to qualify for this benefit.

You Owe Child Support

When Congress passed the CARES Act in March, lawmakers included a provision that barred individuals who owed child support from receiving a stimulus check. Instead, the money was garnished to cover the amount owed.

You Owe a Private Lender Or Creditor

Although lawmakers implemented guidelines barring creditors from garnishing stimulus payments to cover missing rent payments or federal taxes, it did not include measures to prevent private banks from seizing checks to pay back outstanding debts.


  • Colby, Clifford. “Would Your Second Stimulus Check Be Bigger If It Arrives before the End of the Year?” CNET, CNET, 12 Nov. 2020,