If the rules shift, it’s possible you might not qualify to get another round of stimulus money — even if you got the first stimulus check. However, there is one new demographic expected to make the cut for a second direct payment, which could result in more relief money for your household. But before anything can happen, talks must restart.
Read on for the lowdown on what we currently know about stimulus payment qualifications and check back for regular updates.
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Second stimulus check: Here’s might be eligible
While we won’t know for certain who will qualify for a new stimulus payment until legislation is passed, we can draw from the first stimulus check’s eligibility requirements to get an idea of who may or may not get a second check, including the income limits and number of dependents.
Both Republicans and Democrats are using adjusted gross income, or AGI, to determine the payment amount for individuals and families, which would cap at $1,200 for individuals and $2,400 for married couples.
Who might qualify for the next stimulus check
Likely to be in final bill
Unlikely to be in final bill
An AGI of less than $99,000, under both proposals
Head of household
An AGI of less than $146,500, under both proposals
Couple filing jointly income
An AGI less than $198,000, under both proposals
Dependents of any age
No dependents limit specified, under HEALS Act
Up to three dependents, under Heroes Act
Noncitizens who pay taxes
Under Heroes Act
Under CARES Act
Owe child support
CARES Act excludes those who owe child support. Heroes Act includes them
US citizen living aboard
Included under CARES Act
Live in US territory
Under CARES Act, payments handled by each territory’s tax authority
Included under CARES Act
Non tax filers
Included under CARES Act
More dependents may qualify for a second payment
The CARES Act took a narrow approach to defining a dependent and allowed a $500 payment only for a child age 16 or younger in the family. The HEALS and Heroes Acts both take a broader definition and allow any dependent you claim to qualify for a payment — college students, children over 17, disabled relatives and taxpayers’ parents.
The Democratic plan as outlined in the Heroes Act would cover $1,200 each, for up to three dependents, so a family of five people could receive a maximum of $6,000. We don’t think this is a likely outcome in the final bill, considering the Senate has not addressed it.
Like the CARES Act, the Republican plan outlined in the HEALS Act would provide $500 for each dependent, but doesn’t specify a cap on the number of dependents.
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Who did not get the first stimulus check
For the payments authorized under the CARES Act, which became law in March, these groups were excluded:
Single taxpayers with an AGI over $99,000
Heads of households with an AGI over $136,500
Married couples with an AGI over $198,000
Children over 16 and college students under age 24
When will Congress agree on stimulus check requirements?
Right now, the timeline for discussions is up in the air. Talks between Republican and Democratic negotiators on the new stimulus package stalled, but the two sides have signaled they are willing to pick up the debate. The Senate is on break until after Labor Day and the House after passing USPS funding have nothing scheduled. An agreement in September is in the picture. After the sides reach a deal, the stimulus bill won’t take effect until the president signs it into law.
While we won’t know for sure until the two sides come together on the next stimulus package, we have a good idea of when a check could be sent if a new bill passes.
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However, lawmakers are still trillions of dollars apart when it comes to compromising on how much the bill would cost and what it contains, including money for school reopenings, reinstating some form of the extra unemployment benefits and money for the US Postal Service.
Talks could resume as soon as next week, after the Senate returns from recess on Sept. 8 or — in an extreme scenario — even remain on hold until after the Nov. 3 presidential election. It’s also possible certain topics could spin off into standalone bills. Whatever happens, we take you through the 10 key issues that could be part of a coronavirus rescue package and how likely they are to become part of the new legislation. This story updates frequently.
How it could help you: The money is intended to “continue meeting delivery standards during the unprecedented coronavirus pandemic,” which, in addition to meeting the needs of people in quarantine, could be even more important as efforts to prepare for more widespread mail-in voting grow ahead of the election.
Why it’s up in the air: At this point, both sides seem to be using funding as a bargaining chip for the larger stimulus package. And now, the question is tied up in the broader controversy of changes to the Postal Service.
Expanded unemployment benefits for those out of work
What it is: An additional weekly check for people who applied for unemployment for the first time or were already collecting unemployment. The CARES Act provided an extra $600 per week, but that benefit officially expired on July 31. Lawmakers from both sides have said they want to renew this.
How it could help you:An extra weekly payment on top of the ordinary unemployment benefit gives individuals and families a leg up. Cutting it off or reducing it could be devastating for unemployed workers and the economy.
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What Trump’s memorandum brings: The president issued an executive action on Aug. 8 seeking to create a program to provide $400 per week, with a (retroactive) start date of Aug. 1, and calls for it to end when the program reaches “$25 billion or for weeks of unemployment ending not later than Dec. 6, 2020, whichever occurs first.” The plan requires states picking up some of the cost, but some governors say the plan doesn’t go far enough. There’s also a question as to how many people it can realistically cover given the $25 billion limit, and the fact that an act of Congress typically is required to authorize this type of spending.
Where negotiations stood before: Republicans support the extension, but at a reduced rate. Democrats support a resumption of the now-expired $600 rate and have balked at the Senate proposal, which would extend benefits based on 70% to 75% of lost wages, starting at $200 a week and over time increasing to $500 a week with state assistance. The benefits expired without a short-term extension in place.
How it could help you: The payment isn’t taxable and you can use it however you want — to pay for food, housing, clothing and so on. The idea is that spending the checks will help the economy recover faster.
Why we think a second payment will pass: The CARES Act authorized payments of up to $1,200 per eligible adult and so does the $1 trillion HEALS Act. The House of Representatives’ $3 trillion Heroes Act also called for $1,200 stimulus payments, but for more people. The White House supports another round of checks, which makes it likely that sending out payments will be part of the final bill.
Funding to help schools safely reopen
What it is: While the earlier CARES Act didn’t address school reopenings, both HEALS and Heroes do. Under the Heroes Act, there would be $58 billion for grades K-12 and $42 billion for higher education. The HEALS Act called for $70 billion to go to K-12 schools that open for in-person classes, $29 billion for higher education, $1 billion to the Bureau of Indian Education and $5 billion at states’ discretion.
How it could helpyou: More money for schools could mean more resources for adapting schools and teaching to the pandemic.
Why we think it will pass: Both sides seem to want funding, but whether it gets tied up in details around in-person learning or anything else remains to be seen.
Liability protection for coronavirus-related lawsuits
What it is: Under the HEALS Act, employers, schools and health care providers would be protected by a limit on lawsuits dealing with the exposure to the coronavirus, with the exception of gross negligence, for example.
How it could helpyou: If you’re in that category of employers, health care providers or schools, this could help keep you out of court.
Why it’s in the air: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said the protections are a must-have. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, on the other hand, doesn’t seem to think so.
Payroll Protection Program designed to help businesses retain employees
What it is: Intended to help you retain your job, the Paycheck Protection Program provides forgivable loans to small businesses as an incentive to keep employees on the payroll.
How it could help you: The PPP is intended to encourage businesses to keep employing workers who would otherwise have lost their jobs during the pandemic. The program got off to a rocky start, and it’s not clear the PPP met the goals Congress set for it.
Why we think it could get extended: The Republican proposal will target the hardest-hit small businesses, Sen. Susan Collins of Maine said during the rollout of the bill. That includes those with revenue losses of 50% or more over last year.
Employee retention tax credit could help companies pay workers
What it is: Under the program, an employer can receive refundable tax credits for wages paid to an employee during the pandemic. The employer can then use the credits to subtract from — and even receive a refund for — taxes they owe.
How it could help you: Again, it’s not a direct payment to workers, but the program encourages businesses to keep workers on the payroll.
Why we think it could happen: The HEALS Act includes further tax relief for businesses that hire and rehire workers, and the Democratic-backed Heroes Act also builds on the tax credits that were part of the initial CARES Act. And there’s additional bipartisan support besides.
Return-to-work payment of up to $450 each week
What it is: A temporary weekly bonus for unemployed workers who secure a new job or are rehired, on top of their wages. As proposed by Sen. Rob Portman, a Republican from Ohio, the bonus would be $450 a week.
How it could help you:Under Portman’s plan, the weekly bonus would go to laid-off workers who return to work.
What it is: There have been two proposed parts, at one point or another. The first is to stop landlords from evicting tenants, which was part of the now-expired CARES Act. The other is a plan to help renters pay rent and assist landlords with their mortgage and other expenses in light of reduced rent money coming in. The US faces a potential eviction and housing crisis that could cause up to 40 million people to lose their homes. That’s about 12% of the US population.
How it could help you: A rental assistance program would temporarily help you pay rent if you qualify, put a hold on evictions for a year and help cover the costs rental property owners face because of rental payment shortfalls. The earlier protections have lapsed.
Where it stands now: Trump’s executive order regarding evictions doesn’t actually keep evictions from happening. There are currently no federal eviction protections, though some states may have some.
“The Secretary of Housing and Urban Development shall take action, as appropriate and consistent with applicable law, to promote the ability of renters and homeowners to avoid eviction or foreclosure resulting from financial hardships caused by COVID-19,” the executive order reads.
Eviction protection wasn’t part of the Senate proposal, but has been a topic Trump has pushed for inclusion. As with unemployment insurance, Congress had initially looked to extend this separately while it worked on the final bill.
How it could help you: If you have a job, a payroll tax cut would let you keep more of your earnings from each paycheck for now. The plan would not help those who are unemployed and don’t receive a paycheck. Workers and employers would still need to pay those taxes the following year.
Will it stick? Trump signed a memorandum Aug. 8 to enact the payroll tax cut, but it isn’t clear if he has the legal right to do so. Typically, financial decisions like tax cuts are authorized by congressional vote, not a presidential order. We’ll have to wait and see if legal action is brought against the order. Neither the proposed Heroes Act nor the Senate plan includes a payroll tax cut. US Industry trade groups say the tax cuts may be “unworkable.”
Pandemic or not — supplements can be confusing. And when it comes to immune health, it seems like there’s a new supplement on the market everyday. But, taking targeted supplements that are science-backed can be a smart move to keep yourself well now.
Not only is the pandemic showing no signs of slowing down, but flu season is approaching, which means staying well will be more difficult with more than one widespread infectious disease out there.
One supplement you may have heard of recently is quercetin — a flavonoid that acts as a powerful antioxidant and has reported benefits for immune health, lowering inflammation, protecting against cancer and more. To find out if it’s worth adding to your supplement lineup, keep reading for more on the science behind quercetin and insights from dietician nutritionist, Amy Shapiro.
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What is quercetin?
Quercetin is a flavonoid found naturally in many plants and foods like apples, grapes and broccoli. “It donates electrons to free radicals, preventing inflammation and histamine development in the body,” Shapiro says.
Quercetin is popular as a supplement, often combined with other nutrients such as bromelain or vitamin C because it is not easily absorbed and used in the body on its own. “When paired with vitamin C, it is more potent [in the body] and vitamin C helps to regenerate quercetin within the body,” Shapiro says.
Anti-allergy:Research shows that quercetin may block histamine, making it a natural allergy relief or preventive alternative to medications.
Anti-inflammatory: Research on animals shows that quercetin has anti-inflammatory properties. In human studies, it reduced inflammation in men but it did not seem to help reduce inflammation in women with rheumatoid arthritis.
Anti cancer: Test tube studies have shown that quercetin can slow the growth of several different types of cancers.
Quercetin is getting attention in the wake of COVID-19, because researchers are studying it as a potential way to prevent and treat the virus. A review article published in Frontiers of Immunology explored how taking quercetin and vitamin C — specifically together — may help prevent you from being infected by the coronavirus and treat COVID-19, the disease the virus causes.
The study said that giving the two together may be a “safe, effective and inexpensive” approach to treating and preventing COVID-19, especially among high-risk populations. A clinical trial with 50 participants is currently underway to study the effects of quercetin for the prevention and treatment of COVID-19 further.
The Frontiers in Immunology article referenced a recommendation of 250 to 500 milligrams of quercetin daily, along with 500 mg vitamin C for prevention of contracting the virus.
How to get enough quercetin
Quercetin is naturally found in many foods you might already eat. By adding the foods listed below to your diet, you can increase your quercetin intake.
According to Shapiro, if you’re committed to eating a lot of the fruits and veggies on this list, you will probably consume about 100 to 300 mg of quercetin daily. So if you’re aiming for 500 mg a day, that will be trickier with food alone — you’ll likely need a supplement too.
“Most people do not eat enough plants during the day, so a supplement would make sense. Supplements usually pair Quercetin with vitamin C or Bromelain which help to improve absorption and potency. Most people can take 500 mg to start and can work their way up to 1000 mg from a supplement daily to get the health protective effects,” Shapiro says.
The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.
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The Buds Live bring active noise cancellation to drown out background noise, experimental features for improving the gaming experience and the ability to have your notifications read to you.
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Exactly how they work will depend on the phone you’re using them with, but on the whole, from the initial pairing process to controlling your music, they’re easy to use. Below are eight tips and tricks to get you started with the Samsung Galaxy Buds Live.
Pairing your Galaxy Buds Live to an Android device is as simple as unlocking your phone, and opening the Buds Live charging case. Your phone will recognize the buds are nearby and prompt you to connect the two devices. If your phone doesn’t prompt you, or you’re using an iPhone ($699 at Apple), open the Samsung Galaxy Buds ($130 at Best Buy) or Wearable app and add a new device.
2. Pair them to another device
If you’ve already connected the Buds Live to your phone but want to connect them to a computer, tablet or another phone, the quick trick of opening the charging case won’t work. Instead, you’ll need to put both earbuds in your ears, then long-press on both of them until you hear a radar-like sound, indicating they are in pairing mode. Then follow the standard pairing process based on the device you’re using.
3. Get to know the touch controls
Each of the earbuds will respond to touch controls through a series of taps or a long-press. The touch area is located on the top half of either earbud, at least according to the animations played in the Wearable app. However, I’ve had success tapping anywhere on the earbud. Here’s a list of the touch controls you’ll want to know:
Double-tap: Play next track or answer or end a call.
Triple-tap: Play the previous track.
Long-press: User customizable, but it will enable or disable active noise cancellation by default. Also rejects an incoming call.
4. How to turn on active noise canceling
There are two different ways you can turn on active noise canceling (ANC) to help keep the background noise to a minimum. As I covered in the previous tip, you can turn ANC on or off by long-pressing on either earbud.
However, if you’ve changed the long-press functionality (more on that in a minute), you’ll need to open the Wearable app on your phone and slide the switch next to Active noise canceling to the On or Off position.
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5. Customize the long-touch action
If you forget what the gesture controls do or are struggling to get the hang of them, you can view short animations showing you how to use the controls in the Wearable app. This is also where you can go to change the long-press action for each earbud.
Open the Wearable app and tap on Touch controls. There you’ll find a section labeled Touch and Hold. Select the earbud you want to customize, and you’ll see a short list of options, ranging from adjusting the volume up or down, triggering Bixby, toggling ANC, or launching Spotify.
6. Have notifications read to you
This feature only works with Android phones; sorry, iPhone owners.
If you don’t want to reach for your phone to read every single email or text message, your Galaxy Buds Live and read them to you. Enable the feature in the Wearable app by selecting the Read notifications aloud option. Slide the switch the On position then follow the prompts to give the app access to your phone’s notifications.
Make sure you go back to the Wearable app and customize the apps that you want to hear notifications from. The fewer the apps, the better is my approach.
7. Check out Samsung Labs
If you’re using Galaxy Buds Live with a Samsung device, you’ll have a couple of experimental features available in the Labs section of the Wearable app. For example, with the Buds Live paired to a Galaxy S20 Plus, right now I have an option to use a dedicated Gaming Mode and Relieve pressure with ambient sound. On an iPhone, I only have access to the latter feature.
8. Find lost earbuds with SmartThings Find
After connecting your Buds Live to a Samsung phone, you’ll likely see a prompt asking if you want to turn on SmartThings Find. This new feature will help you track down a lost earbud, should you misplace one. When you see the prompt, tap Get Started and follow the instructions to turn the feature on.
Once it’s enabled, you can open the SmartThings app on your phone and it will show you the current location — assuming your phone and earbuds are still connected — or the last location they were connected.
If the Find feature isn’t showing up for you, or you’re having trouble with it, make sure you’re using the latest version of the SmartThings app by updating it in the Play or Galaxy app store.