Things That Matter

Here’s Everything You Need To Know About The Third Round Of Stimulus Checks

Well, it’s official! Americans are set to get another round of stimulus checks under the American Rescue Plan, which was passed by the House on Wednesday and was signed into law by President Biden.

AThe IRS could begin delivering the checks within one to two weeks, based on the time frame for the previous round of checks — potentially as early as the weekend of March 13. But just who is qualified to receive the checks and will some in our community be left out this time around?

The American Rescue Plan will help get $1,400 stimulus checks into the hands of struggling American families.

President Joe Biden signed the new COVID relief bill Thursday. That means people could start seeing the $1,400 stimulus checks roll out later this month. The IRS could begin delivering the checks within one to two weeks, based on the time frame for the previous round of checks — potentially as early as the weekend of March 13.

“By next weekend, a couple making less than $160,000 could well have $2,800 deposited into their checking account,” Chris Krueger of Cowen & Co. said in an analyst note before the Senate approved the bill, which he had expected would occur this past weekend.

However, fewer Americans may receive checks in the third round of stimulus payments due to a change in the Senate’s version of the bill. President Biden and moderate Democratic senators struck a deal that limits the number of households qualifying for the $1,400 checks. The revised limits would make millions of Americans ineligible for the payment.

So, who is actually eligible for this latest round of checks?

The new bill has been celebrated by anti-poverty and unemployment experts, who said the $1,400 checks as well as other provisions — such as an extension of the $300 per-week extra jobless aid for millions of unemployed people and an expansion of the Child Tax Credit for low-income households — will help families pay their bills and lift children out of poverty. Almost half of Americans are still experiencing financial pain one year after the pandemic shuttered the economy and caused massive layoffs, according to the Pew Research Center.

The latest round of stimulus checks will benefit fewer people this time around than the previous payments, but based upon income levels. Anyone who pays taxes in the United States as a resident is eligible for a stimulus payment under the American Rescue Plan. That includes non-citizens.

The bill directs the $1,400 direct payments to individuals earning up to $75,000, but cuts off eligibility for single people earning more than $80,000. For couples who file a joint federal income tax return, the phase-out begins at those making $150,000 and ends at $160,000. People who file their taxes as head of household will receive the full $1,400 if they earn less than $112,500, while the payments will be cut off for those earning more than $120,000.

For example, if you have overstayed your U.S. visa but pay tax in the United States using a Social Security number you may be eligible for stimulus payments. Also, anyone who has a green card is considered a legal permanent resident, and would be eligible for the stimulus payment.

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As The U.S. Expands Vaccine Eligibility Here’s What You Need To Know

Things That Matter

As The U.S. Expands Vaccine Eligibility Here’s What You Need To Know

Sean Gallup/Getty Images

Starting today, everyone 16 and older can get in line for the Coronavirus vaccine. This is a huge milestone that has been months in the making after a very ambitious plan by the Biden administration.

But with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine still on pause, many have been wondering what the vaccine program will look like – especially since nearly everyone is now eligible to receive a shot in the arm.

As of Monday, anyone 16 and over is technically eligible to receive the Coronavirus vaccine.

On Monday, every state in the U.S. expanded its vaccine eligibility to include all adults over the age of 16, meeting President Biden’s deadline which he established two weeks ago.

The country is now administering 3.2 million doses a day on average, and half of all adults have now received at least one dose. Additionally, 84.3 million people have now been fully vaccinated against the disease. These are truly encouraging figures in the fight against the pandemic but a lot of uncertainty remains.

Ok but can I get a shot?

Technically, yes, anyone over the age of 16 is now eligible for the vaccine but your access to it really varies from state to state.

Hawaii, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington, D.C., were the last to open up eligibility on Monday, after other states expanded access to the general public over the past month.

If the country’s present vaccination rate continues, 70% of the total U.S. population could be vaccinated by June 17 and 90% by July 25, the New York Times has projected. That timeline will likely depend on what happens with Johnson & Johnson’s Covid-19 vaccine, however, as distribution is now paused following reports of blood clots, despite being statistically extremely rare.

So, what’s going on with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine?

On Sunday, the nation’s top infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony S. Fauci said that he believed the pause on the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine will likely be lifted on Friday. During interviews on talk shows, Fauci stated that he expected federal health officials to decide on the vaccine’s future by the end of the week and that he did not anticipate the vaccine being permanently banned.

One alternative to banning is to limit who is able to receive the one dose shot, perhaps limiting it to males over the age of 50. This is how Europe adjusted its strategy following similar blood clotting issues with the Astra Zeneca vaccine, which was created using similar methods.

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Selena Gomez and Jennifer Lopez Are Partnering With Global Citizen For ‘Vax Live: The Concert to Reunite the World’

Entertainment

Selena Gomez and Jennifer Lopez Are Partnering With Global Citizen For ‘Vax Live: The Concert to Reunite the World’

Photo via Getty Images

While the United States is as of publication, has vaccinated over 75 million people against COVID-19 since mid-December, the rest of the world is still catching up. Poorer countries, for example, are struggling to procure enough vaccines for essential workers–let alone their entire population.

Luckily, certain charitable business are making it their mission to get vaccines to the most needy. For example, anti-poverty organization Global Citizen has organized a charity concert with the aim of getting COVID-19 vaccines to developing countries.

Selena Gomez will be hosting the concert, called “VAX Live: The Concert to Reunite the World”. And none other than Jennifer Lopez will be headlining.

Selena Gomez took to Twitter to announce her involvement in the exciting project. “I’m honored to be hosting ‘VAX LIVE: The Concert to Reunite the World,’ ” she wrote.

“This is a historic moment to encourage people around the world to take the COVID-19 vaccine when it becomes available to them, call on world leaders to share vaccine doses equitably and to bring people together for a night of music in a way that hasn’t felt possible in the past year. I can’t wait to be a part of it.”

Jennifer Lopez also took to Twitter to announce her involvement with VAX Live, saying that she is “calling for equitable COVID-19 vaccine distribution for all”. That’s a statement we can get behind!

Jennifer Lopez isn’t the only superstar performing. Other acts will include J Balvin, H.E.R., and the Foo Fighters.

Global Citizen has one goal: to raise $22 billion for global vaccinations via corporate and philanthropic donors. They’re hoping VAX Live will bring awareness to their efforts.

“There are 27 million healthcare workers globally who don’t have access to the vaccine,” said Global Citizen CEO Hugh Evans to the Associated Press. “I’m 38 years old, and it’s not ethical for me to have access to the vaccine before these heroic first responders and community health workers. So we need governments to start urgently donating those doses.”

Tom Hart, the executive director for another anti-poverty organization, The ONE Campaign, also reiterated the importance of getting vaccine doses into the hands of developing countries.

“Low-income countries not only need this welcome fundraising effort; they need access to COVID-19 vaccine doses,” Tom Hart said.

“The United States has secured over 550 million excess doses that could be used to help end the global pandemic faster.”

You can catch VAX LIVE on ABC, CBS, and iHeartMedia stations on 8:00 p.m. ET on May 8th. It will also be airing on Fox starting at 11:00 p.m. ET/PT the same day. You’ll also be able to catch an extended version on Global Citizen’s YouTube channel on May 8th as well.

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