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AARP Coronavirus Tele-Town Hall, March 25, 2021

Experts answer your questions related to COVID-19

Coronavirus TTH - 032521 1 PM – The Stimulus, Taxes & Vaccine

Bill Walsh: Hello, I am AARP Vice President Bill Walsh, and I want to welcome you to this important discussion about the coronavirus. Before we begin, if you’d like to hear this telephone town hall in Spanish, press *0 on your telephone keypad now. AARP, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, has been working to promote the health and well-being of older Americans for more than 60 years. In the face of the global coronavirus pandemic, AARP is providing information and resources to help older adults and those caring for them. While access to the vaccines is improving and more than 20 percent of people have received at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose, many Americans are still struggling to get appointments, and they are frustrated by confusing sign-up systems. As we enter tax season, many also have questions about the tax implications of last year’s stimulus payments and unemployment benefits, and whether they qualify for the latest round of financial relief. Today’s panel of experts will address these issues and more, and take your questions live.

If you’ve participated in one of our Tele-Town Halls, you know this is similar to a radio talk show, and you have the opportunity to ask questions live. If you’d like to listen in Spanish, press *0 on your telephone keypad now. For those of you joining us on the phone, if you’d like to ask your own question about the coronavirus pandemic, press *3 on your telephone to be connected with an AARP staff member who will note your name and question, and place you in a queue to ask that question live. If you’re joining on Facebook or YouTube, you can post your question in the comments.

Hello, if you’re just joining, I’m Bill Walsh with AARP, and I want to welcome you to this important discussion on the global coronavirus pandemic. We’re talking with leading experts and taking your questions live. To ask your question, please press *3, and if you’re joining on Facebook or YouTube, you can post your question in the comments section. We have some outstanding guests with us today from Mount Sinai Medical Center and the national taxpayer advocate at the IRS. We’ll also be joined by my AARP colleague Jean Setzfand, who will help facilitate your calls.

This event is being recorded and you can access the recording at aarp.org/coronavirus 24 hours after we wrap up. Again, to ask your question, please press *3 at any time on your telephone keypad to be connected with an AARP staff member or, if you’re joining on Facebook or YouTube, place your question in the comments.

Now I’d like to welcome our guests. Lindsey Gottlieb, M.D., is the director of infection prevention at Mount Sinai Morningside Hospital in New York City. Thank you for joining us today, Dr. Gottlieb.

Lindsey Gottlieb: Thanks so much for having me, Bill. Happy to be here.

Bill Walsh: All right, we’re delighted to have you. Also joining us is Erin Collins. She’s the national taxpayer advocate at the Internal Revenue Service. She leads an independent office at the IRS that’s focused on ensuring every taxpayer is treated fairly. Welcome to the program, Erin.

Erin Collins: Thanks, Bill. Thanks for inviting me to participate today.

Bill Walsh: Okay, and just a reminder, to ask your question, please press *3 on your telephone keypad or drop it in the comments section on Facebook or YouTube. Erin, I’d like to start with you. Why don’t you tell us a little bit about the national taxpayer advocate at the IRS? What is that, and what do you do?

Erin Collins: Sure. My position, which is the national taxpayer advocate and the office that I lead, the Taxpayer Advocate Service, they were created by Congress about 20 years ago to help taxpayers free of charge when facing financial difficulties or dealing with problems within IRS systems or when IRS procedures fail. And I’m very lucky to have a great group of employees within the Taxpayer Advocate office. Our charge is to be the, what we call the voice of taxpayers, to advocate for both administrative change within the IRS and legislative change within Congress. And I have the unique role of representing all taxpayers and expressing concerns on their behalf, and having the ability to identify and propose changes for problems affecting taxpayers.

Bill Walsh: Okay, well thank you for that. As you know better than all of us, the IRS last week extended the tax filing deadline to Monday, May 17th. What does this mean for taxpayers who have not filed?

Erin Collins: So the extension is good news for many individual taxpayers that needed the additional time. The May 17th date proposed, excuse me, postpones the time for individuals to file their tax returns, also to pay the tax due for 2020, and also extends the time for them to file a Form 4868, which is an automatic extension to file your return until October without incurring penalties. So the May 17th date gives both taxpayers, tax preparers, software preparers and, more importantly, the IRS, the ability to catch up from the recent changes made in the tax legislation. But I do want to point out the May 17 date does not apply to business returns — it’s individuals only — and it does not apply to any 2021 quarterly payments. And then also for those of you who are located in Texas, Louisiana and Oklahoma, as you may know, the IRS previously provided additional time for you to file your returns due to all the winter storm disasters. But you should check with IRS guidance, but I believe most, if not all, counties within those states have extension till June 15th to pay your 2020 taxes, to file your returns, and it also applies to both business and individual tax returns. One other thing to point out is even though that the April 17th, I’m sorry, the May 17th date, a lot of the VITA [Volunteer Income Tax Assistance] sites, including I think AARP’s Tax-Aide filing program, are only funded till April 15th. So if you plan on using VITA, or the Tax-Aide sites, you need to contact those folks before April 15th.

Bill Walsh: Okay, thanks so much, Erin. Let me follow up on that. You know questions about missing stimulus payments remain our most persistent during these programs. With two economic stimulus checks last year and a third being distributed now to most Americans, what do people do if they didn’t receive one or more of those stimulus checks?

Erin Collins: Okay, that was a question that’s being asked a lot across the country. So one website I want to point out is irs.gov has a whole section on their website that’s devoted to COVID relief and the stimulus payments. It lists the eligible factors as well as any of the challenges. It’s a great resource. AARP website also has a lot of information on this particular issue, so feel free to go there.

Let’s begin with the first two stimulus payments. If you received the correct amount of the first two payments, you do not need to do anything. You should automatically receive the third payment. One question we get a lot on stimulus payments, they are not included in income. They’re not taxable. So if you have received them, you don’t need to include them in income, but if you are eligible and did not receive either the first or second stimulus, or didn’t receive the correct amount, it’s still not too late. What you need to do is file a 2020 tax return, and there you need to claim either the first, second or both. So if you look at your 2020 return on your Form 1040, there’s a line 30, and it’s called the recovery rebate credit. That’s a tax technical term. Basically, it means the two prior stimulus payments. That’s where you would state the amount you did not receive. So, let me give you an example. If you didn’t receive either the first payment, and you’re entitled to the full amount, you would include $1,200 on that line 30. If you didn’t receive either payment, you would include 1200 plus the 600, and you were to reflect $1,800. And so that’s how you receive your first and second stimulus, if you didn’t receive it last year. But word of caution to the viewers who are listening, if line 30 is inconsistent with the IRS records, the IRS will pull your return and make a manual adjustment. And that inconsistency will require an IRS employee to verify the amount. And that will considerably delay the timing of your refund.

So let’s fast forward to this month, the third or the current round. So it was just signed into law mid-March. The IRS sent out that first batch; 90 million payments were made by direct deposit. And that’s if you had a 2019 or ’20 return in the system, you are eligible, and the IRS will make automatic payments. They also issued 150,000 paper checks back in mid-March. And then yesterday, the IRS started depositing and sending out the second batch. And again, if you’re in the system with a 2019 or 2020 return, or used the IRS portal last year to include your information, you will automatically receive the checks and there’s nothing you need to do. So yesterday, the IRS made, I believe, it was 37 million direct deposits, 15 million paper checks and 5 million prepaid debit cards.

So one word of advice, keep your eye on your mailbox. It could be a plain envelope that you’re going to receive. So open your mail right now. Don’t throw everything out. It’s not junk mail. You need to really kind of keep an eye on it, because we did find last year that a lot of people who received those prepaid debit cards thought they were a scam and threw them out. So if you get a debit card from a bank, MetaBank, that is your stimulus payment. So keep an eye on that. And then for eligible Social Security, railroad, veterans, if you’re in our system, with a ’20 or ’20 return or you used the non-filer portal last year, you should automatically be getting payments. But if you’re not in the system, IRS is working with Social Security and VA to get that information, but you can speed it up by filing your own tax return. So file electronically a 2020 return, gets your information in, gets your direct deposit information into the IRS and then that will trigger every time there’s a subsequent payment, they’re going to true up those subsequent returns. So I believe every two weeks now, the IRS is going to start making additional payments until it gets all payments made.

Bill Walsh: Okay, Erin, thank you so much, that you covered a lot of material there. Right, we know it’s a complicated subject. Just a reminder to our listeners, she called out irs.gov as a handy reference on COVID relief payments and the stimulus. Also aarp.org/coronavirus also has some information on the stimulus payments and the tax implications. And it was a great word of advice: Don’t throw out your mail, if it’s an envelope that says MetaBank, because that might be your card, your debit card with your stimulus payment on it. I’m sure we’ll get some additional questions on that topic, Erin, so hang with us. But thank you for all that information.

Dr. Gottlieb, let’s turn to you. You know, I’m sure we have some listeners today who are anxious to see friends and family. It’s been a very long year. The CDC recently released guidance on how vaccinated people can safely gather. Can you talk about that new guidance and explain it to us?

Lindsey Gottlieb: Absolutely. So, you know, we were anxiously waiting and excited to see that earlier in March the CDC had released guidance for those of us who had, you know, scheduled our appointments and gotten our shots in our arms. So the first thing that we have to understand is, what does that mean to be fully vaccinated? And so the CDC defines anybody who has been at least two weeks after their last dose of their vaccines to be fully vaccinated. So as a reminder, the three vaccines that are currently authorized for use in the United States are Pfizer and Moderna, which are both two shots, so fully vaccinated would be at least two weeks after your second shot, and most recently the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, which is one shot, so at least two weeks after that first shot. And so at that point they have said, all right, as you said, it’s been a long year. There are some things that you can think about doing that we’ve been asking you to not do over the past year. And so the first is to visit with other fully vaccinated people inside, without masks and without social distancing. So if you are with a small group, you’ve all been at least two weeks after your second shot, then it’s worth considering being indoors unmasked.

The second piece is, well, what if I’m with another group of unvaccinated people? So their recommendation is if you’re fully vaccinated, that you can consider being with one single household of unvaccinated people, assuming that those unvaccinated people are not, they themselves, at high risk for complications from COVID. And we know that list of things that make you at high risk of complications is long, but namely older age and other health problems. So, for instance, if you have, you know, grandkids or children who are not yet vaccinated but are not at high risk for complications themselves and you’re fully vaccinated, that you could consider being indoors unmasked with one household in that category.

The third piece that has changed is that if you are fully vaccinated and you have a known exposure to somebody who has COVID, but you yourself don’t have symptoms of COVID, you’re no longer required to quarantine and stay inside your house for a period of time. Now that being said, there are still things in this guidance the CDC wants us to do. So let’s say you’re vaccinated and you’re visiting unvaccinated family and another family comes over who’s also unvaccinated; they now want you to start masking and social distancing again, because we’re now expanding the number of people in that house who are at risk of getting sick. Definitely when out in public or in large groups, you should still be social distancing and wearing your mask. And they’re still discouraging any sort of medium- or large-sized gatherings, regardless of what you think the vaccine status might be of that group.

Bill Walsh: Okay, thanks for that, Dr. Gottlieb. And you had mentioned the three different vaccines that have been authorized for use; the Johnson & Johnson, Moderna and Pfizer vaccines. Can you explain the differences among these three vaccines? And is there a reason to wait or to ask for one over another?

Lindsey Gottlieb: Great question and one that we definitely get a lot. So the Pfizer and Moderna were the first two to be authorized, about a week apart. Those are both what are called mRNA vaccines, which you might’ve seen a lot of news. This is a newer and really exciting technology because these vaccines can be produced more quickly. And also, more quickly if there’s ever a future pandemic or a future infection that we don’t yet have a vaccine for. They don’t give you any sort of live virus, meaning they cannot infect you with COVID-19. They’re basically a little piece of material that teaches our own bodies to make one small part of the virus that our immune systems then respond to and hold on to that response in case we ever get exposed to the real thing. No part of that mRNA stays in our body for more than a few days. So all we’re really left with is our immune response, which is the important part to help us combat a future infection.

The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is a slightly different technology. It’s something called an adenovirus vector vaccine, which is a little bit of an older technology but also not a live virus, so also cannot give you the infection, and focusing on a similar part of the virus that our bodies form an immune response to.

As far as how they’re dosed; Pfizer and Moderna are both two shots, Pfizer three weeks apart and Moderna four weeks apart, whereas Johnson & Johnson is just one shot, which for a lot of people is a real advantage, especially if it’s challenging to get out of your house to go and get that shot.

 And then, you know, I think most importantly is how well do they work and what are the side effects? So Pfizer and Moderna, which were both studied in a similar time last summer when the cases in the country were not as high, had very similar efficacy rates, around 94, 95 percent. And they both were very effective at preventing against severe disease, with zero deaths from COVID in either group. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine has a slightly lower overall efficacy rate at 66 percent, but I think it’s important to understand that we’re really not comparing apples to apples here. And what I mean by that is the Johnson & Johnson study was taking place in a time when we were having much more surges of COVID around the world, and the more that COVID’s circulating, the harder it’s going to be to prevent transmission. And it was also undertaken in parts of the world where we know we have some of these newer variants that are a bit more contagious, like South Africa and Latin America. So given those hurdles they were facing, that number is still very impressive. And the most important thing is it was a hundred percent effective at preventing hospitalizations and deaths, which are really what we worry the most about with this infection. So I definitely say whichever vaccine you can get first is the best one to get, unless there’s a consideration for you personally, like preferring a single shot, in which case maybe going for the Johnson & Johnson would make more sense.

Bill Walsh: All right, thank you, Dr. Gottlieb for that. And as a reminder, to ask your question, please press *3 on your telephone keypad. We are going to get to those live questions shortly but before we do, I wanted to bring in Nancy LeaMond. Nancy is the executive vice president and chief advocacy and engagement officer here at AARP, and she is going to give us an update on what AARP has been doing on the COVID front. Welcome, Nancy.

Nancy LeaMond: Hi, Bill. Great to be here.

Bill Walsh: Nancy, a few weeks ago, Congress passed and the president signed another coronavirus relief bill. What’s in this new law that will help folks with health coverage, including COVID-19 vaccines?

Nancy LeaMond: Well, AARP advocated for Congress to act to respond to the pandemic, and we were quite pleased that the American Rescue Plan Act included several AARP priorities, including greater support for increasing COVID vaccine efforts; expanding paid-leave tax credits, allowing more people to receive care in their homes and in their communities; increasing funding for food assistance and meal delivery programs; and improving infection control in nursing homes. The law also includes one of AARP’s asks by providing an expansion of subsidies that will make coverage under the Affordable Care Act more affordable and accessible for millions of Americans. Under the bill, for the next two years, new federal subsidies will be available to ensure that no one purchasing health insurance on their own through the ACA marketplaces will pay more than 8.5 percent of their annual income in health insurance premiums. This is really great news, especially for older adults, age 50 to 64, who pay more than any other age group for coverage. In addition to the new financial assistance, people now have until August 15th to sign up for coverage. Now, if you’re listening and you or your loved ones need health insurance and want to check out whether these changes have made it more affordable for you, you can visit healthcare.gov to learn more.

Bill Walsh: All right, thank you for that, Nancy. Maybe you could talk to us a little bit about, what AARP fought for in this new law to help people’s finances.

Nancy LeaMond: Sure. The  law will bring welcome relief to older adults who’ve been hit hard as a result of the economic fallout of the pandemic. For example, it will expand unemployment insurance benefits for people who are out of work due to the pandemic. And it includes direct payments of $1,400 to millions of older adults, including people who receive benefits through Social Security, Veterans Affairs and other programs. AARP played a major role last year in getting the government to issue stimulus payments automatically, and fought to ensure that these beneficiaries didn’t receive less than other people. And we know that some people who are Social Security beneficiaries have yet to receive their economic impact payments; we’ve heard from our IRS guest today. AARP continues to raise our concerns with the IRS and Treasury. We know how important this is to you and your family, and we will continue to fight for transparency in the process and swift access to payments for all individuals who depend on this critical resource.

Bill Walsh: All right, thank you very much, Nancy, for that update; we really appreciate it. And as a reminder to our listeners, to ask your question please press *3. Before we take your questions, we want to address an important issue. We know that many of you are having challenges registering for vaccines in your state and community because many places require sign-ups through online forums. And if you don’t have access to a computer, this can be a real challenge. AARP wants to help. We have established an AARP vaccine registration team to try to assist in these cases. So if you’re listening today and you don’t have a computer and can’t register for a vaccine in your community because you don’t have access to technology, please press 1 to be added to a list to receive a call from an AARP staff member to help you out. Again, if you’re listening today, and you don’t have access to a computer or the internet, and you can’t register for a vaccine because of that, please press 1 to be added to a list to receive a phone call to get some assistance. When you do, you’ll be asked to confirm that selection and then you’ll be returned to this call.

It’s now time to address your questions about the coronavirus with Dr. Lindsey Gottlieb and Erin Collins. Please press *3 at any time on your telephone keypad to be connected with an AARP staff member to share your question. I’d now like to bring in my AARP colleague Jean Setzfand to help facilitate your calls today. Welcome, Jean.

Jean Setzfand: Thanks, Bill. Happy to be here for this important conversation.

Bill Walsh: All right, let’s go ahead and take our first question.

Jean Setzfand: All right, our first caller is Brenda from Michigan.

Bill Walsh: Hey, Brenda, welcome to the program. Go ahead with your, with your question.

Brenda: No, two houses. No, two, yeah, two houses, one niece and the other niece, ’cause they went —

Walsh: Hi, is that Brenda? Hi, is Brenda there?

Brenda: They raided they house …

Jean Setzfand: Sorry about that, Bill. Let’s try somebody else. A little technical difficulty. Let’s go to Rosetta from Pennsylvania.

Bill Walsh: All right. Rosetta, welcome to the show. What is your question today?

Rosetta: My question is, I was tested positive on the 17th of February, and I was quarantined for 10 days and thank God, I didn’t get too sick. So, and I want to know now, can I, can I get the needle now?

Bill Walsh: Okay, have you—

Rosetta: Or should I wait or what?

Bill Walsh: Well, let’s ask Dr. Gottlieb. Dr. Gottlieb, can you give Rosetta some information on that?

Lindsey Gottlieb: Hi, Rosetta. Well first I’m glad to hear that you did not get too sick. So it depends what facility you’re getting vaccinated at. Here at our facility, we would vaccinate anybody who’s previously had COVID, as long as it’s been at least 10 days since they were sick, as long as they’ve finished their quarantine period and are feeling better. There’s one exception, for individuals who got a type of treatment called a monoclonal antibody treatment, in which case they have to wait three months. The CDC has said people like yourself would be fine waiting three months to get vaccinated, so at some facilities you might see that they do recommend you wait that three months. But definitely once that three months is up, it would be recommended that you go ahead with your vaccine if you haven’t already.

Bill Walsh: Now, Dr. Gottlieb, will they ask Rosetta questions like that when she goes to sign up? So will she get some guidance when she registers for an appointment?

Lindsey Gottlieb: What I can tell you is here in New York State, definitely, yes. One of the questions that we ask before we administer the vaccine, in collaboration with our Department of Health colleagues is, have you had COVID previously? And, as long as, like I said, they’ve, they’ve recovered and they’re no longer on quarantine, then we are allowed to proceed.

Bill Walsh: But if people did test positive recently, they should make, they should make people aware of that, correct? Whoever is giving out the vaccine.

Rosetta: I’m not sure I understand.

Lindsey Gottlieb: Yeah, absolutely. And like I said, they typically will be asked that question either at the time they’re scheduling it, or if nothing else, at the time that they’re going to get their shot.

Bill Walsh: Okay. All right. Dr. Gottlieb. Thanks so much. Jean, who is our next caller?

Jean Setzfand: Our next caller is James from Utah.

Bill Walsh: Hey, James, welcome to the program. Go ahead with your question.

James: Thank you. My question is, since the stimulus checks are based on income for families or individuals, what year’s income do they use for that?

Bill Walsh: Okay, Erin Collins from the national taxpayer advocate, do you want to take a crack at that one? Erin?

Erin Collins: Sorry, I was on mute. For their first stimulus payment they relied on your 2018 or 2019 return, if it was in the system. For the second stimulus payment, they relied on only your 2019 return, and for your third stimulus payment, if you have your 2019, they’ll use that, otherwise they will rely on your 2020. So hopefully that helps.

Bill Walsh: Okay, very good. Jean, who is our next caller?

Jean Setzfand: We have quite a few questions on Facebook and YouTube, and on YouTube Karen is asking, “I’ve received the J&J vaccine. Can I get the Pfizer or Moderna in addition to the J&J vaccine?”

Bill Walsh: Hmm, Dr. Gottlieb, do you have any thoughts on that?

Lindsey Gottlieb: I appreciate your, your eagerness for wanting to get vaccinated, that’s great, but, but the answer is no. Right now the recommendation is just to get one company’s vaccine and to stick with that company. We know, like I said, that they all are really effective, especially at preventing against severe disease, hospitalizations and deaths, and what we really need to do — which is not only best for other people but really best for ourselves, too, from a public health perspective — is make sure we’re using the doses that we do then have left to vaccinate other people so we can get as much of the population vaccinated as possible and hopefully get to that point of herd immunity that everybody talks about. So, at this time, the answer would be no.

Bill Walsh: Okay. All right, very good. Jean, our next caller.

Jean Setzfand: Our next caller is Teresa from New York.

Bill Walsh: Hey, Teresa. Welcome to the program. What’s your question?

Teresa: That’s me?

Bill Walsh: Yep. Go ahead, Teresa.

Teresa: My question was on tax. I usually, for a while I wasn’t filing because I didn’t have to. And my husband and I, as he, there’s a certain amount that you have to make, not just to, not to, not to file taxes. I only filed state. So I want to know if I have to file this year. How much would it be that you have to make?

Bill Walsh: Okay, for your federal taxes? Well, let’s ask Erin Collins.

Teresa: Not federal, only state. We don’t have to, Social Security, you don’t have to file federal if you, if you don’t work, or you don’t get any money.

Erin Collins: Yeah, Teresa, I, unfortunately, I don’t know for the state of New York. If you go online to the New York taxing authority webpage, it should have those amounts for you. The only reason you might want to consider filing for federal purposes is to make sure you get your stimulus payments more timely, because if the IRS has your return on file, then you will be paid in either the first or second or third batch of IRS payments. So even though you don’t have a requirement, you may have other benefits that you might be entitled to or, again, you may get the stimulus payments quicker if you file an electronic return for 2020 reflecting, potentially, no income if your Social Security isn’t taxed.

Bill Walsh: Thanks for that advice Erin, I appreciate it. All right, Jean, who is our next caller?

Jean Setzfand: Our next caller is Barbara from Nebraska.

Bill Walsh: Hey, Barbara, welcome to the program. What is your question?

Barbara: I have signed up for my husband and I at the website for Nebraska for the COVID shots. We’ve heard nothing. He’s 74, I’m 73, and we both have some health issues. And when I called our Department of Health and Human Services and asked, they said, well, we were registered, but it could be two to three months.

Bill Walsh: Hmm.

Barbara: And I’m hearing people that are 20 years younger than me and my husband have received shots, both of their shots, already. So what about, what’s with these guidelines if they’re not following them?

Bill Walsh: Well, it’s a good question. I wonder if Dr. Gottlieb has some thoughts on the guidelines and how closely states have been adhering to them.

Lindsey Gottlieb: Yeah, thanks, Barbara. I imagine that’s quite frustrating. And I think the honest answer is that, like you said, they are just guidelines and each state has really been given a lot of authority to figure out exactly how they’re going to be implementing them and which groups to open up to when, and where to set up their vaccine sites and what their hours will be. And so, you know, that is frustrating. You’re right, in some states they’ve already opened it up to the whole population and yet you’re sitting there with, you know, comorbidities and other conditions that should make you eligible and you can’t get it. So, you know, I know that the AARP is working on, you know, doing some outreach and help for individuals like yourself who are having trouble getting appointments. So I don’t know if you can speak a little bit more to that program.

Bill Walsh: Yes, we are helping people who don’t have computer access or have troubles with navigating technology. If people hit 1 on their telephones, they can be connected with an AARP staff member. We’ll give them a call back and give them some assistance in helping to register.

I also wanted to make our listeners aware of the state-by-state guidelines resources that we have around the country for vaccine registration. If you go to aarp.org/vaccineinfo, aarp.org/vaccineinfo, you’ll see a little tool there. You can pull up your state and see what the state guidelines are. You’ll see toll-free numbers, other information, even questions to ask your doctor. So that’s a potential resource. It sounds like Barbara in Nebraska had already reached out and, you know, to a toll-free number and be told. I guess I would just suggest that she keep trying and, you know, make sure that they understand her circumstances. Hopefully, she’ll be getting vaccinated soon. Jean, who is our next caller?

Jean Setzfand: Here’s another question on YouTube from Steve, focused on again income, the income and stimulus. Steve is asking, “I had high income in 2019. I retired in 2020 and my income is lower. When stimulus checks went out, it was based on 2019 income so I thought I did not qualify. Do I qualify with my lower income for 2020?”

Bill Walsh: Hmm, interesting question. Erin Collins, do you have an answer for that?

Erin Collins: Yes, so the good news, Steve is all three are based on your 2020 return for purposes of getting a payment out the door. So if you file your 2020 return and your income has reduced and it falls within the eligibility requirements, you should be able to true up the amount on that line 30 of the tax return, and once your 2020 return is in the system, the IRS should pay your third EIP [economic impact] payment based on your 2020 return. So assuming you meet the eligibility requirements, you should receive all three payments.

Bill Walsh: Oh, good for Steve. All right, and also, we had Teresa on the line from New York asking about some tax questions there. We have the number for you, Teresa, for the New York State tax authority. That is (518) 457-5149. So hopefully they can help you out. Let’s take another caller, Jean.

Jean Setzfand: Our next caller is Rachel from California.

Bill Walsh: Hey, Rachel, welcome to the program. Go ahead with your question.

Rachel: Hi, thank you for taking my call. I am a 65-year-old with numerous health issues, cancer, et cetera. And I have been trying to get a JJ shot because of several things, allergies to the vaccine, the other Moderna and Pfizer, and I am unable to. I live in San Diego, California, contacted my mayor and councilmen to no avail, and I really need some help. I was on your other town hall meeting and was not allowed to ask my question, but I really would like somebody to help me and my 71-year-old essential Homeland Security husband who was unable take the vaccine either for some of the same reasons.

Bill Walsh: Hmm, and you had mentioned allergies. Did you say you’ve had allergies to vaccinations in the past?

Rachel: There is a component of the vaccine, PEG, P-E-G, that I am not able to take, that Moderna or Pfizer vaccine.

Bill Walsh: I see. Well, let’s ask Dr. Gottlieb if she has any suggestions. Dr. Gottlieb?

Lindsey Gottlieb: Sure. So just first to touch on allergies in general, since it might apply to other people: You know, there were some initial reports of some people having severe allergic reactions, initially to the Pfizer vaccine. At this point, thankfully, it seems that those types of severe reactions are quite, quite rare. The last number I saw was 4.4 per million people, which is a much lower number than, of course, the people who are getting sick from COVID. And thankfully all of the places that give vaccines are set up to deal with an allergic reaction if it does occur. That being said, Rachel, there are people like potentially you or your family members who truly do have a contraindication; right now, those being, if you’ve had a severe allergic reaction to an ingredient in the shot or potentially to another vaccine. If that does apply, as far as the availability of the Johnson & Johnson vaccines, I know at least here in New York State, it is a little bit more limited, the availability compared to the mRNA vaccines. And I believe that’s just because the initial numbers of shots that they have lined up to distribute, the moment they got their emergency use authorization, was not a huge number, but I know that they have a lot in the production line. And so I do anticipate in the coming weeks it’ll be easier for you to find a place that can give you that shot, even if they can’t today.

Bill Walsh: Okay, thank you for that, Dr. Gottlieb, and thanks for all your questions. We’re going to take more of your questions soon. And remember, if you’d like to ask your question, please press *3 on your telephone keypad. Let’s turn back to our experts for a moment. Erin, the newest COVID bill added tax relief for 2020 unemployment benefits. And there are new, are there new forms or specific steps to take if you’ve received unemployment benefits last year and have already filed a return?

Erin Collins: Yes. So, as you mentioned, the recent law change took place in the middle of May, er, March. So the challenge is, some people may have already filed their return versus those who haven’t. So let’s deal with the folks who may have already filed their return because, as the law indicated, that you do not have to include up to $10,200 of your unemployment benefits into your income. They do have an eligibility requirement. If your adjusted gross income is above $150,000, you’re phased out, but if you’ve already filed your tax return and you included the total amount of your unemployment compensation, you should not file an amended return right now. The IRS is in the process of trying to determine if they can automatically adjust the return by excluding that $10,200 figure and issue a refund directly to taxpayers. The IRS has not been able to commit whether or not they can make those IT programming changes, so stay tuned, but we are recommending at this time, do not file an amended return because if they’re able to do it automatically, it could actually slow down the process. But for those taxpayers who have not filed your return, both the IRS and all of the tax preparation software companies have updated their forms and guidance. So when you do prepare your return, there is information out there as how to do the calculation so that you can reduce your unemployment income up to that $10,200 exclusion. So it’s a really great result. I kind of wish Congress had decided to do that before the filing season. It is going to cause some challenges for folks, but it’s really great that they were able to reduce and give taxpayers that benefit.

Bill Walsh: Yeah, thank you for that, Erin. Dr. Gottlieb, let me turn back to you. COVID-19 has had a well-documented and tragic impact on older adults as well as people of color. How has the vaccine distribution sought to address these issues?

Lindsey Gottlieb: Thanks, Bill, I think that’s such an important point and question. It’s absolutely true that individuals of color, individuals from disadvantaged socioeconomic backgrounds and older individuals were vastly and disproportionately affected by COVID. And unfortunately, what we’ve seen in the early parts of the vaccine rollout, is that those same groups are being underrepresented in our vaccine programs. And I think there’s a lot of different reasons why that’s happening. Some of that is that certain groups, particularly individuals of color, have some vaccine hesitancy rooted in many years of mistreatment by the health care system. And in order to address that I think it’s really important that individuals from those communities, you know, talk about how this research process happened. One really important point to make is that Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson, they all realized that it’s important that we include individuals from diverse backgrounds and from all ends of the age spectrum, at least, you know, not yet pediatrics but anybody from age 16 or 18 up through elderly individuals, to make sure that we know that these vaccines work in all different groups of people. So all three studies, the participants were really reflective of the racial and age makeup of our country. And they found that these vaccines were, you know, pretty much equally effective across racial backgrounds and across age groups. So, I think that’s a really important point to understand about how these research processes went. But another piece of that lower vaccine rate is access, and there’s a lot of pieces that go into access. It’s where are we setting up our vaccine sites? How are we helping individuals sign up for appointments if there are language barriers or people don’t have access to technology? So I know here in our health system and across New York State, we’re really working to address these issues. Setting up the vaccine distribution sites in community centers like churches and other locations that are easy for individuals to get to on their way to work. For people who work overnight, we’re now offering vaccines, or in the middle of the night for individuals who can’t get off during their day shift. And then having ways that people can call to make appointments, or groups like yourself who are helping individuals who don’t have access to technology in order to set up those appointments, are all really important components to helping address those disparities.

Bill Walsh: Okay, thank you for that, Dr. Gottlieb. We’re going to get to more listener questions in a moment. But before we do, we want to again offer the AARP vaccine registration team’s services. If you’re listening today, and you don’t have a computer and can’t register for a vaccine in your community because you don’t have access to technology, please press 1 on your telephone to be added to a list to receive a phone call from an AARP staff member to assist you. So again, if you’re listening today and you don’t have access to a computer or the internet, and you can’t register for a vaccine because of that, please press 1, to be added to a list to receive a phone call from AARP, and we will help you out. When you call, you’ll be asked to confirm that selection, and then you’ll be returned to this call.

Now it’s time to address more of your questions with Dr. Lindsey Gottlieb and Erin Collins. Please press *3 at any time on your telephone keypad to be connected with an AARP staff member. Jean, who do we have next on the line?

Jean Setzfand: Our next caller is Nancy from Colorado.

Bill Walsh: Hey, Nancy, welcome to the program. Go ahead with your question.

Nancy: Thank you. Yes, I just heard a lady earlier in the conversation say that the tax date had been extended from April 15th to May 17th, right?

Bill Walsh: Correct.

Nancy: And does that include state as well as federal? I know federal is, but is state included in that?

Bill Walsh: Let’s get a clarification. Erin Collins.

Erin Collins: Yeah, most of the state returns follow the federal. So I don’t know every single state, but it would be very easy for you to check, is to just go on to Colorado’s taxing website and find that information out. But I believe that most of the states are following the additional time.

Bill Walsh: Okay, Jean, who is our next caller?

Jean Setzfand: Our next caller is Cory from Illinois.

Bill Walsh: Hey, Cory, go ahead with your question.

Cory: Hi, I actually have two questions. The first one is I just heard yesterday from my brother in Tennessee that the local news there suggests that many people who had their first vaccine are skipping the second dose. I think that’s a pretty crazy idea, but do we have any idea how well protected those people will be? The other question just very quickly is, do we, when the boosters come out, will we have to get a booster for the specific vaccine we received?

Bill Walsh: Great questions. Dr. Gottlieb, should people be skipping their second doses?

Lindsey Gottlieb: Thanks, Cory, and so, the answer is no. You know these, for both the Moderna and the Pfizer vaccines where a second dose is recommended, that’s how these vaccines were designed to best protect us. And that’s what we really have the research to support them, you know, giving us the full benefit. So, do we get some protection from the first shot? Yes, but we don’t know how strong or how long that protection is. And so that second shot is really important right now to confirming that you’re going to get that longer-lasting protection. And so, if you have yourself or any friends or loved ones who are thinking about skipping that second shot, you know, they went through the effort of getting the first, just finish it up so we can get to the end of the race.

Bill Walsh: Okay, and Cory had also asked about a booster shot. Do you think that’s going to be necessary?

Lindsey Gottlieb: Right. So I would say, to be determined. So the big discussion right now with some of these newer variants, newer versions of the virus that are circulating, is there going to be a point where our vaccines aren’t quite as effective and we need to give people a booster to target a newer variant. And, that’s not going to be something that we’re going to need in the next few weeks but it’s possible that months or years down the road, it’s something that will be recommended. Whether that’s something we’ll need more than once in our lifetimes or at what point, it’s just really too soon to say right now, and so I don’t, I don’t think we have any sense of whether it would be recommended that you get one from the same company that you got your first one for. I think that’s something we’ll need more research to answer, if it even does end up being necessary.

Bill Walsh: Okay. Thank you for that. All right, Jean, who is our next caller?

Jean Setzfand: Our next caller is Dennis from Florida.

Bill Walsh: Hey, Dennis. Welcome to the program. Go ahead with your question.

Dennis: Yes, my question has to do with the latest American Rescue Plan Act. I want to know if that includes a waiver of the requirement to pay or to have a required minimum distribution from traditional IRA plans.

Bill Walsh: Oh, okay. Interesting question. Well, let’s ask Erin Collins about that. What about required minimum distribution from IRA plans?

Erin Collins: So, Dennis, I suspect you’re aware that a year ago, when they did the CARES Act last March, they did allow to suspend that payment. The current act does not have the same provision in there on the required minimum distribution. So I believe unless Congress comes out and changes the law in the near future, you will be required to make that distribution. So, I guess good news for last year, not so good news for this year.

Bill Walsh: Okay, thank you, Erin. Jean, who is our next caller?

Jean Setzfand: Next caller is Sharon from New York.

Bill Walsh: Hey, Sharon, welcome to the program. Go ahead with your question.

Sharon: Hello, thank you for taking my call. I was interested in knowing if the vaccine is recommended for people that have immune deficiency illnesses, such as Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism, as well as being over 50 years old and, aside from that, I’d like to know, when I did try to call someplace, they asked for my insurance card. So I was wondering what’s going on with that. I thought it was a free shot. So I’ve kind of got a two-part question there.

Bill Walsh: Okay, well, let’s start with Dr. Gottlieb on that. Can you, can you help, Sharon, Dr. Gottlieb?

Lindsey Gottlieb: Yeah, sure. So, first, as far as, should I get the shot if I’m immunocompromised, or if I’m, you know, age over 50? So, the age is the easier and quicker answer, which is that all age spectrums, 18 and older in Moderna and Johnson & Johnson, and 16 and older in Pfizer were included in the trials, and there was no upper age limit. So, and we know older age is associated with higher risk of getting really sick from COVID. So, older age is definitely a good reason to get the shot.

Immunocompromising conditions, whether it’s medications that lower your immune system or an underlying condition, those groups are still recommended to get the vaccine and, in fact, they are probably a very important group to get the vaccine, but we do warn people that because those groups weren’t included in the trials and because we know that you need a strong immune system sometimes to be able to mount a strong immune response to a vaccine, that they might not be as protected by the vaccine as people who don’t have those underlying conditions. Now that’s really why it’s so important that other people get vaccinated, too, to help protect those people who might not form as strong of a response to the vaccine. But those individuals, we still encourage to get vaccinated.

The last piece about insurance; so some facilities will ask for your health insurance because they can bill to the insurance for the visit, but there should be no out-of-pocket expenses. And if you don’t have insurance, they should still be letting you schedule the appointment. So it’s not any, any money that should be coming out of your pocket.

Bill Walsh: Okay, thank you for that, Dr. Gottlieb. Jean, who is our next caller?

Jean Setzfand: Our next caller is Umish from Nebraska.

Bill Walsh: Hi, Umish, welcome to the program. Go ahead with your, with your question.

Umish: My question is that, my son, he applied for tax refund this year for the last year, and he got the answer from IRS that somebody already applied on this Social Security, and he got the return. So he’s not getting anything. They are not accepting that. Then we called IRS, like online, we see the number. There’s nobody to talk with, but they tell us fill this form, fill that form. We filled the form, it’s about two, three weeks already but nobody gave us any answer. So how this can be solved?

Bill Walsh: Interesting. Erin Collins, do you have any advice for Umish? Erin, you may be on mute.

Erin Collins: I was, thank you. If we’re talking about an underlying tax return versus a stimulus payment, so if he is having trouble with his tax return, that is probably something you want to call the folks in my office, which is the Taxpayer Advocate Service office. If you go online to our web page, you can look it up by location. We have an office in the Nebraska area. It should list the phone number and a fax number. So I would suggest your son reach out to someone in our office there and hopefully they can help you.

Bill Walsh: Okay. She, it sounds like maybe there was a stolen identity issue that somebody else had filed under her son’s Social Security number. What recourse does he have in that case?

Erin Collins: Yeah, it’s the same thing, is we do a lot of work with individuals with identity theft. And I suspect those are some of the forms that Umish made reference to that the IRS gave her. So right now, because the IRS is dealing with the COVID issues and the social distancing, they do not have as many people physically in the building, which is really slowing down progress of getting issues resolved within the IRS. So, my heart goes out to your son because once you deal with identity theft, it is difficult to get that resolved. But as I said, if you reach out to the Taxpayer Advocate Service in Nebraska, hopefully they can help you.

Bill Walsh: And Erin, what is the best website or phone number for folks to call to get that local information?

Erin Collins: The website is, if you go to irs.gov, there’s an entire section under Taxpayer Advocate Service. We have a map of the United States. You can pick what city, what state, and it lists all of the local phone numbers that you can call.

Bill Walsh: Very good, irs.gov. Good luck, Umish. That sounds like it could be a tricky situation. All right, Jean, let’s take another caller.

Jean Setzfand: The next caller is Marcia in New York.

Bill Walsh: Hey, Marcia, welcome to the program with your question.

Marcia: My question is, if you had the COVID before, is it necessary to take the shot, because you still have the antibodies at this point.

Bill Walsh: How long ago? I don’t know if this is you or not, but did you test positive or?

Marcia: No, it’s not me, but I know someone that had the COVID, and I was just wondering if you have the COVID, is it necessary to take the shot?

Bill Walsh: It might have something to do with how long ago they tested positive and had COVID. How long ago was it, just a ballpark.

Marcia: Two months ago.

Bill Walsh: Two months ago? Okay, well, Dr. Gottlieb what, I’m sorry, one month ago? Okay, Dr. Gottlieb, what can you tell Marcia about that?

Lindsey Gottlieb: Yeah, so we do recommend that people who previously had COVID get vaccinated. Like I mentioned earlier, the CDC does say that it’s okay to wait up to three months after that initial infection to get vaccinated because at least for that three months, you’re probably pretty protected from the antibodies that you formed from the initial infection. But we do worry that the antibodies and the immune response from a prior infection won’t necessarily stay in your body and protect you for as long as a vaccine will. And also that not everybody who had the infection builds the right kind of antibodies. So for that reason, we still recommend anybody who previously had COVID does get vaccinated, but if you want to wait three months to do it, that should be okay.

Bill Walsh: Okay, thank you for that, Dr. Gottlieb. And we are almost at the top of the hour and Dr. Gottlieb and Erin Collins, I wanted to ask if you have any closing thoughts or recommendations that our listeners should understand most from our conversation today. Dr. Gottlieb, why don’t we start with you?

Lindsey Gottlieb: Sure. So, you know, thanks again so much for having me. I think there’s no question that at this point in the pandemic, vaccines and vaccinating as much of our population as quickly as we can is probably the number one most important thing we can do, in combination with continuing to wear our masks when in public, to really get us out of this pandemic. So, get vaccinated when you’re eligible, try to be patient if the process takes a little bit longer than, than you would like to get your appointment. And like I said earlier, whichever vaccine you can get first is probably the best for you.

Bill Walsh: Okay, thanks so much, Dr. Gottlieb. And Erin Collins, from the IRS national taxpayer advocate, any closing thoughts or recommendations?

Erin Collins: Yeah, I would recommend that people do not use the phone. Unfortunately, IRS phone lines are really over, the volume has very much increased and, again, the amount of employees working the phones has decreased. So you’re looking at maybe one out of five, or one out of eight phone calls are actually being answered. So look toward irs.gov, which has a lot of good information, as well as the AARP website has a lot of good general tax information. And if you’re going to file your tax return, file it electronically. Do not file a paper return. Paper returns have very long delays in getting them processed, so file electronically, and if you can provide a bank routing information, you’ll get your refunds or stimulus payments a lot quicker.

Bill Walsh: Okay, thank you very much, Erin. This has been a really informative discussion, and thanks to each of you for answering our questions. And thank you, our AARP members, volunteers and listeners for participating in the discussion today. AARP, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization with a membership, has been working to promote the health and well-being of older Americans for more than 60 years. In the face of this crisis, we’re providing information and resources to help older adults and those caring for them protect themselves from the virus and prevent its spread to others, while taking care of themselves. All of the resources referenced today, including a recording of today’s Q&A event can be found at aarp.org/coronavirus beginning tomorrow, March 26th. Again, that web address is aarp.org/coronavirus. Go there if your question was not addressed and find the latest updates, as well as information created specifically for older adults and family caregivers. We hope you learned something that can help keep you and your loved ones healthy. Please join us again on April 1st at 1 p.m. for a special live event, “Coronavirus and the Black Community.” Thank you and have a good day. This concludes our call.

Tele-Town Hall 3/25 The Stimulus, Taxes and Vaccine With Timestamps

Bill Walsh:  Hello, I am AARP Vice President Bill Walsh, and I want to welcome you to this important discussion about the coronavirus. Before we begin, if you’d like to hear this telephone town hall in Spanish, press *0 on your telephone keypad now. AARP, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, has been working to promote the health and well-being of older Americans for more than 60 years. In the face of the global coronavirus pandemic, AARP is providing information and resources to help older adults and those caring for them. While access to the vaccines is improving and more than 20 percent of people have received at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose, many Americans are still struggling to get appointments, and they are frustrated by confusing sign-up systems. As we enter tax season, many also have questions about the tax implications of last year’s stimulus payments and unemployment benefits, and whether they qualify for the latest round of financial relief. Today’s panel of experts will address these issues and more, and take your questions live.

[00:01:10] If you’ve participated in one of our Tele-Town Halls, you know this is similar to a radio talk show, and you have the opportunity to ask questions live. If you’d like to listen in Spanish, press *0 on your telephone keypad now. For those of you joining us on the phone, if you’d like to ask your own question about the coronavirus pandemic, press *3 on your telephone to be connected with an AARP staff member who will note your name and question, and place you in a queue to ask that question live. If you’re joining on Facebook or YouTube, you can post your question in the comments.

[00:01:45] Hello, if you’re just joining, I’m Bill Walsh with AARP, and I want to welcome you to this important discussion on the global coronavirus pandemic. We’re talking with leading experts and taking your questions live. To ask your question, please press *3, and if you’re joining on Facebook or YouTube, you can post your question in the comments section. We have some outstanding guests with us today from Mount Sinai Medical Center and the national taxpayer advocate at the IRS. We’ll also be joined by my AARP colleague Jean Setzfand, who will help facilitate your calls.

[00:02:22] This event is being recorded and you can access the recording at aarp.org/coronavirus 24 hours after we wrap up. Again, to ask your question, please press *3 at any time on your telephone keypad to be connected with an AARP staff member or, if you’re joining on Facebook or YouTube, place your question in the comments.

[00:02:46] Now I’d like to welcome our guests. Lindsey Gottlieb, M.D., is the director of infection prevention at Mount Sinai Morningside Hospital in New York City. Thank you for joining us today, Dr. Gottlieb.

[00:02:59]Lindsey Gottlieb:  Thanks so much for having me, Bill. Happy to be here.

[00:03:01]Bill Walsh:  All right, we’re delighted to have you. Also joining us is Erin Collins. She’s the national taxpayer advocate at the Internal Revenue Service. She leads an independent office at the IRS that’s focused on ensuring every taxpayer is treated fairly. Welcome to the program, Erin.

[00:03:19]Erin Collins:  Thanks, Bill. Thanks for inviting me to participate today.

[00:03:22]Bill Walsh:  Okay, and just a reminder, to ask your question, please press *3 on your telephone keypad or drop it in the comments section on Facebook or YouTube. Erin, I’d like to start with you. Why don’t you tell us a little bit about the national taxpayer advocate at the IRS? What is that, and what do you do?

[00:03:41]Erin Collins:  Sure. My position, which is the national taxpayer advocate and the office that I lead, the Taxpayer Advocate Service, they were created by Congress about 20 years ago to help taxpayers free of charge when facing financial difficulties or dealing with problems within IRS systems or when IRS procedures fail. And I’m very lucky to have a great group of employees within the Taxpayer Advocate office. Our charge is to be the, what we call the voice of taxpayers, to advocate for both administrative change within the IRS and legislative change within Congress. And I have the unique role of representing all taxpayers and expressing concerns on their behalf, and having the ability to identify and propose changes for problems affecting taxpayers.

[00:04:29]Bill Walsh:  Okay, well thank you for that. As you know better than all of us, the IRS last week extended the tax filing deadline to Monday, May 17th. What does this mean for taxpayers who have not filed?

[00:04:45]Erin Collins:  So the extension is good news for many individual taxpayers that needed the additional time. The May 17th date proposed, excuse me, postpones the time for individuals to file their tax returns, also to pay the tax due for 2020, and also extends the time for them to file a Form 4868, which is an automatic extension to file your return until October without incurring penalties. So the May 17th date gives both taxpayers, tax preparers, software preparers and, more importantly, the IRS, the ability to catch up from the recent changes made in the tax legislation. But I do want to point out the May 17 date does not apply to business returns — it’s individuals only — and it does not apply to any 2021 quarterly payments. And then also for those of you who are located in Texas, Louisiana and Oklahoma, as you may know, the IRS previously provided additional time for you to file your returns due to all the winter storm disasters. But you should check with IRS guidance, but I believe most, if not all, counties within those states have extension till June 15th to pay your 2020 taxes, to file your returns, and it also applies to both business and individual tax returns. One other thing to point out is even though that the April 17th, I’m sorry, the May 17th date, a lot of the VITA [Volunteer Income Tax Assistance] sites, including I think AARP’s Tax-Aide filing program, are only funded till April 15th. So if you plan on using VITA, or the Tax-Aide sites, you need to contact those folks before April 15th.

[00:06:32]Bill Walsh:  Okay, thanks so much, Erin. Let me follow up on that. You know questions about missing stimulus payments remain our most persistent during these programs. With two economic stimulus checks last year and a third being distributed now to most Americans, what do people do if they didn’t receive one or more of those stimulus checks?

[00:06:56]Erin Collins:  Okay, that was a question that’s being asked a lot across the country. So one website I want to point out is irs.gov has a whole section on their website that’s devoted to COVID relief and the stimulus payments. It lists the eligible factors as well as any of the challenges. It’s a great resource. AARP website also has a lot of information on this particular issue, so feel free to go there.

[00:07:22] Let’s begin with the first two stimulus payments. If you received the correct amount of the first two payments, you do not need to do anything. You should automatically receive the third payment. One question we get a lot on stimulus payments, they are not included in income. They’re not taxable. So if you have received them, you don’t need to include them in income, but if you are eligible and did not receive either the first or second stimulus, or didn’t receive the correct amount, it’s still not too late. What you need to do is file a 2020 tax return, and there you need to claim either the first, second or both. So if you look at your 2020 return on your Form 1040, there’s a line 30, and it’s called the recovery rebate credit. That’s a tax technical term. Basically, it means the two prior stimulus payments. That’s where you would state the amount you did not receive. So, let me give you an example. If you didn’t receive either the first payment, and you’re entitled to the full amount, you would include $1,200 on that line 30. If you didn’t receive either payment, you would include 1200 plus the 600, and you were to reflect $1,800. And so that’s how you receive your first and second stimulus, if you didn’t receive it last year. But word of caution to the viewers who are listening, if line 30 is inconsistent with the IRS records, the IRS will pull your return and make a manual adjustment. And that inconsistency will require an IRS employee to verify the amount. And that will considerably delay the timing of your refund.

[00:09:03] So let’s fast forward to this month, the third or the current round. So it was just signed into law mid-March. The IRS sent out that first batch; 90 million payments were made by direct deposit. And that’s if you had a 2019 or ’20 return in the system, you are eligible, and the IRS will make automatic payments. They also issued 150,000 paper checks back in mid-March. And then yesterday, the IRS started depositing and sending out the second batch. And again, if you’re in the system with a 2019 or 2020 return, or used the IRS portal last year to include your information, you will automatically receive the checks and there’s nothing you need to do. So yesterday, the IRS made, I believe, it was 37 million direct deposits, 15 million paper checks and 5 million prepaid debit cards.

[00:09:57] So one word of advice, keep your eye on your mailbox. It could be a plain envelope that you’re going to receive. So open your mail right now. Don’t throw everything out. It’s not junk mail. You need to really kind of keep an eye on it, because we did find last year that a lot of people who received those prepaid debit cards thought they were a scam and threw them out. So if you get a debit card from a bank, MetaBank, that is your stimulus payment. So keep an eye on that. And then for eligible Social Security, railroad, veterans, if you’re in our system, with a ’20 or ’20 return or you used the non-filer portal last year, you should automatically be getting payments. But if you’re not in the system, IRS is working with Social Security and VA to get that information, but you can speed it up by filing your own tax return. So file electronically a 2020 return, gets your information in, gets your direct deposit information into the IRS and then that will trigger every time there’s a subsequent payment, they’re going to true up those subsequent returns. So I believe every two weeks now, the IRS is going to start making additional payments until it gets all payments made.

[00:11:12]Bill Walsh:  Okay, Erin, thank you so much, that you covered a lot of material there. Right, we know it’s a complicated subject. Just a reminder to our listeners, she called out irs.gov as a handy reference on COVID relief payments and the stimulus. Also aarp.org/coronavirus also has some information on the stimulus payments and the tax implications. And it was a great word of advice: Don’t throw out your mail, if it’s an envelope that says MetaBank, because that might be your card, your debit card with your stimulus payment on it. I’m sure we’ll get some additional questions on that topic, Erin, so hang with us. But thank you for all that information.

[00:11:59] Dr. Gottlieb, let’s turn to you. You know, I’m sure we have some listeners today who are anxious to see friends and family. It’s been a very long year. The CDC recently released guidance on how vaccinated people can safely gather. Can you talk about that new guidance and explain it to us?

[00:12:17]Lindsey Gottlieb:  Absolutely. So, you know, we were anxiously waiting and excited to see that earlier in March the CDC had released guidance for those of us who had, you know, scheduled our appointments and gotten our shots in our arms. So the first thing that we have to understand is, what does that mean to be fully vaccinated? And so the CDC defines anybody who has been at least two weeks after their last dose of their vaccines to be fully vaccinated. So as a reminder, the three vaccines that are currently authorized for use in the United States are Pfizer and Moderna, which are both two shots, so fully vaccinated would be at least two weeks after your second shot, and most recently the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, which is one shot, so at least two weeks after that first shot. And so at that point they have said, all right, as you said, it’s been a long year. There are some things that you can think about doing that we’ve been asking you to not do over the past year. And so the first is to visit with other fully vaccinated people inside, without masks and without social distancing. So if you are with a small group, you’ve all been at least two weeks after your second shot, then it’s worth considering being indoors unmasked.

[00:13:28] The second piece is, well, what if I’m with another group of unvaccinated people? So their recommendation is if you’re fully vaccinated, that you can consider being with one single household of unvaccinated people, assuming that those unvaccinated people are not, they themselves, at high risk for complications from COVID. And we know that list of things that make you at high risk of complications is long, but namely older age and other health problems. So, for instance, if you have, you know, grandkids or children who are not yet vaccinated but are not at high risk for complications themselves and you’re fully vaccinated, that you could consider being indoors unmasked with one household in that category.

[00:14:11] The third piece that has changed is that if you are fully vaccinated and you have a known exposure to somebody who has COVID, but you yourself don’t have symptoms of COVID, you’re no longer required to quarantine and stay inside your house for a period of time. Now that being said, there are still things in this guidance the CDC wants us to do. So let’s say you’re vaccinated and you’re visiting unvaccinated family and another family comes over who’s also unvaccinated; they now want you to start masking and social distancing again, because we’re now expanding the number of people in that house who are at risk of getting sick. Definitely when out in public or in large groups, you should still be social distancing and wearing your mask. And they’re still discouraging any sort of medium- or large-sized gatherings, regardless of what you think the vaccine status might be of that group.

[00:15:00]Bill Walsh:  Okay, thanks for that, Dr. Gottlieb. And you had mentioned the three different vaccines that have been authorized for use; the Johnson & Johnson, Moderna and Pfizer vaccines. Can you explain the differences among these three vaccines? And is there a reason to wait or to ask for one over another?

[00:15:18]Lindsey Gottlieb:  Great question and one that we definitely get a lot. So the Pfizer and Moderna were the first two to be authorized, about a week apart. Those are both what are called mRNA vaccines, which you might’ve seen a lot of news. This is a newer and really exciting technology because these vaccines can be produced more quickly. And also, more quickly if there’s ever a future pandemic or a future infection that we don’t yet have a vaccine for. They don’t give you any sort of live virus, meaning they cannot infect you with COVID-19. They’re basically a little piece of material that teaches our own bodies to make one small part of the virus that our immune systems then respond to and hold on to that response in case we ever get exposed to the real thing. No part of that mRNA stays in our body for more than a few days. So all we’re really left with is our immune response, which is the important part to help us combat a future infection.

[00:16:17] The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is a slightly different technology. It’s something called an adenovirus vector vaccine, which is a little bit of an older technology but also not a live virus, so also cannot give you the infection, and focusing on a similar part of the virus that our bodies form an immune response to.

[00:16:35] As far as how they’re dosed; Pfizer and Moderna are both two shots, Pfizer three weeks apart and Moderna four weeks apart, whereas Johnson & Johnson is just one shot, which for a lot of people is a real advantage, especially if it’s challenging to get out of your house to go and get that shot.

[00:16:51] And then, you know, I think most importantly is how well do they work and what are the side effects? So Pfizer and Moderna, which were both studied in a similar time last summer when the cases in the country were not as high, had very similar efficacy rates, around 94, 95 percent. And they both were very effective at preventing against severe disease, with zero deaths from COVID in either group. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine has a slightly lower overall efficacy rate at 66 percent, but I think it’s important to understand that we’re really not comparing apples to apples here. And what I mean by that is the Johnson & Johnson study was taking place in a time when we were having much more surges of COVID around the world, and the more that COVID’s circulating, the harder it’s going to be to prevent transmission. And it was also undertaken in parts of the world where we know we have some of these newer variants that are a bit more contagious, like South Africa and Latin America. So given those hurdles they were facing, that number is still very impressive. And the most important thing is it was a hundred percent effective at preventing hospitalizations and deaths, which are really what we worry the most about with this infection. So I definitely say whichever vaccine you can get first is the best one to get, unless there’s a consideration for you personally, like preferring a single shot, in which case maybe going for the Johnson & Johnson would make more sense.

[00:18:17]Bill Walsh:  All right, thank you, Dr. Gottlieb for that. And as a reminder, to ask your question, please press *3 on your telephone keypad. We are going to get to those live questions shortly but before we do, I wanted to bring in Nancy LeaMond. Nancy is the executive vice president and chief advocacy and engagement officer here at AARP, and she is going to give us an update on what AARP has been doing on the COVID front. Welcome, Nancy.

[00:18:44]Nancy LeaMond:  Hi, Bill. Great to be here.

[00:18:46]Bill Walsh:  Nancy, a few weeks ago, Congress passed and the president signed another coronavirus relief bill. What’s in this new law that will help folks with health coverage, including COVID-19 vaccines?

[00:18:59]Nancy LeaMond:  Well, AARP advocated for Congress to act to respond to the pandemic, and we were quite pleased that the American Rescue Plan Act included several AARP priorities, including greater support for increasing COVID vaccine efforts; expanding paid-leave tax credits, allowing more people to receive care in their homes and in their communities; increasing funding for food assistance and meal delivery programs; and improving infection control in nursing homes. The law also includes one of AARP’s asks by providing an expansion of subsidies that will make coverage under the Affordable Care Act more affordable and accessible for millions of Americans. Under the bill, for the next two years, new federal subsidies will be available to ensure that no one purchasing health insurance on their own through the ACA marketplaces will pay more than 8.5 percent of their annual income in health insurance premiums. This is really great news, especially for older adults, age 50 to 64, who pay more than any other age group for coverage. In addition to the new financial assistance, people now have until August 15th to sign up for coverage. Now, if you’re listening and you or your loved ones need health insurance and want to check out whether these changes have made it more affordable for you, you can visit healthcare.gov to learn more.

[00:20:41]Bill Walsh:  All right, thank you for that, Nancy. Maybe you could talk to us a little bit about, what AARP fought for in this new law to help people’s finances.

[00:20:51]Nancy LeaMond:  Sure. The law will bring welcome relief to older adults who’ve been hit hard as a result of the economic fallout of the pandemic. For example, it will expand unemployment insurance benefits for people who are out of work due to the pandemic. And it includes direct payments of $1,400 to millions of older adults, including people who receive benefits through Social Security, Veterans Affairs and other programs. AARP played a major role last year in getting the government to issue stimulus payments automatically, and fought to ensure that these beneficiaries didn’t receive less than other people. And we know that some people who are Social Security beneficiaries have yet to receive their economic impact payments; we’ve heard from our IRS guest today. AARP continues to raise our concerns with the IRS and Treasury. We know how important this is to you and your family, and we will continue to fight for transparency in the process and swift access to payments for all individuals who depend on this critical resource.

[00:22:06]Bill Walsh:  All right, thank you very much, Nancy, for that update; we really appreciate it. And as a reminder to our listeners, to ask your question please press *3. Before we take your questions, we want to address an important issue. We know that many of you are having challenges registering for vaccines in your state and community because many places require sign-ups through online forums. And if you don’t have access to a computer, this can be a real challenge. AARP wants to help. We have established an AARP vaccine registration team to try to assist in these cases. So if you’re listening today and you don’t have a computer and can’t register for a vaccine in your community because you don’t have access to technology, please press 1 to be added to a list to receive a call from an AARP staff member to help you out. Again, if you’re listening today, and you don’t have access to a computer or the internet, and you can’t register for a vaccine because of that, please press 1 to be added to a list to receive a phone call to get some assistance. When you do, you’ll be asked to confirm that selection and then you’ll be returned to this call.

[00:23:20] It’s now time to address your questions about the coronavirus with Dr. Lindsey Gottlieb and Erin Collins. Please press *3 at any time on your telephone keypad to be connected with an AARP staff member to share your question. I’d now like to bring in my AARP colleague Jean Setzfand to help facilitate your calls today. Welcome, Jean.

[00:23:41]Jean Setzfand:  Thanks, Bill. Happy to be here for this important conversation.

[00:23:44]Bill Walsh:  All right, let’s go ahead and take our first question.

[00:23:47]Jean Setzfand:  All right, our first caller is Brenda from Michigan.

[00:23:51]Bill Walsh:  Hey, Brenda, welcome to the program. Go ahead with your, with your question.

[00:23:55]Brenda:  No, two houses. No, two, yeah, two houses, one niece and the other niece, ’cause they went —

[00:24:00]Walsh:  Hi, is that Brenda? Hi, is Brenda there?

[00:24:09]Brenda:  They raided they house …

[00:24:12]Jean Setzfand:  Sorry about that, Bill. Let’s try somebody else. A little technical difficulty. Let’s go to Rosetta from Pennsylvania.

[00:24:20]Bill Walsh:  All right. Rosetta, welcome to the show. What is your question today?

[00:24:24]Rosetta:  My question is, I was tested positive on the 17th of February, and I was quarantined for 10 days and thank God, I didn’t get too sick. So, and I want to know now, can I, can I get the needle now?

[00:24:43]Bill Walsh:  Okay, have you—

[00:24:43]Rosetta:  Or should I wait or what?

[00:24:46]Bill Walsh:  Well, let’s ask Dr. Gottlieb. Dr. Gottlieb, can you give Rosetta some information on that?

[00:24:52]Lindsey Gottlieb:  Hi, Rosetta. Well first I’m glad to hear that you did not get too sick. So it depends what facility you’re getting vaccinated at. Here at our facility, we would vaccinate anybody who’s previously had COVID, as long as it’s been at least 10 days since they were sick, as long as they’ve finished their quarantine period and are feeling better. There’s one exception, for individuals who got a type of treatment called a monoclonal antibody treatment, in which case they have to wait three months. The CDC has said people like yourself would be fine waiting three months to get vaccinated, so at some facilities you might see that they do recommend you wait that three months. But definitely once that three months is up, it would be recommended that you go ahead with your vaccine if you haven’t already.

[00:25:38]Bill Walsh:  Now, Dr. Gottlieb, will they ask Rosetta questions like that when she goes to sign up? So will she get some guidance when she registers for an appointment?

[00:25:47]Lindsey Gottlieb:  What I can tell you is here in New York State, definitely, yes. One of the questions that we ask before we administer the vaccine, in collaboration with our Department of Health colleagues is, have you had COVID previously? And, as long as, like I said, they’ve, they’ve recovered and they’re no longer on quarantine, then we are allowed to proceed.

[00:26:09]Bill Walsh:  But if people did test positive recently, they should make, they should make people aware of that, correct? Whoever is giving out the vaccine.

[00:26:18]Rosetta:  I’m not sure I understand.

[00:26:19]Lindsey Gottlieb:  Yeah, absolutely. And like I said, they typically will be asked that question either at the time they’re scheduling it, or if nothing else, at the time that they’re going to get their shot.

[00:26:28]Bill Walsh:  Okay. All right. Dr. Gottlieb. Thanks so much. Jean, who is our next caller?

[00:26:33]Jean Setzfand:  Our next caller is James from Utah.

[00:26:36]Bill Walsh:  Hey, James, welcome to the program. Go ahead with your question.

[00:26:39]James:  Thank you. My question is, since the stimulus checks are based on income for families or individuals, what year’s income do they use for that?

[00:26:55]Bill Walsh:  Okay, Erin Collins from the national taxpayer advocate, do you want to take a crack at that one? Erin?

[00:27:06]Erin Collins:  Sorry, I was on mute. For their first stimulus payment they relied on your 2018 or 2019 return, if it was in the system. For the second stimulus payment, they relied on only your 2019 return, and for your third stimulus payment, if you have your 2019, they’ll use that, otherwise they will rely on your 2020. So hopefully that helps.

[00:27:31]Bill Walsh:  Okay, very good. Jean, who is our next caller?

[00:27:36]Jean Setzfand:  We have quite a few questions on Facebook and YouTube, and on YouTube Karen is asking, “I’ve received the J&J vaccine. Can I get the Pfizer or Moderna in addition to the J&J vaccine?”

[00:27:49]Bill Walsh:  Hmm, Dr. Gottlieb, do you have any thoughts on that?

[00:27:52]Lindsey Gottlieb:  I appreciate your, your eagerness for wanting to get vaccinated, that’s great, but, but the answer is no. Right now the recommendation is just to get one company’s vaccine and to stick with that company. We know, like I said, that they all are really effective, especially at preventing against severe disease, hospitalizations and deaths, and what we really need to do — which is not only best for other people but really best for ourselves, too, from a public health perspective — is make sure we’re using the doses that we do then have left to vaccinate other people so we can get as much of the population vaccinated as possible and hopefully get to that point of herd immunity that everybody talks about. So, at this time, the answer would be no.

[00:28:31]Bill Walsh:  Okay. All right, very good. Jean, our next caller.

[00:28:35]Jean Setzfand:  Our next caller is Teresa from New York.

[00:28:39]Bill Walsh:  Hey, Teresa. Welcome to the program. What’s your question?

[00:28:42]Teresa:  That’s me?

[00:28:44]Bill Walsh:  Yep. Go ahead, Teresa.

[00:28:45]Teresa:  My question was on tax. I usually, for a while I wasn’t filing because I didn’t have to. And my husband and I, as he, there’s a certain amount that you have to make, not just to, not to, not to file taxes. I only filed state. So I want to know if I have to file this year. How much would it be that you have to make?

[00:29:13]Bill Walsh:  Okay, for your federal taxes? Well, let’s ask Erin Collins.

[00:29:17]Teresa:  Not federal, only state. We don’t have to, Social Security, you don’t have to file federal if you, if you don’t work, or you don’t get any money.

[00:29:29]Erin Collins:  Yeah, Teresa, I, unfortunately, I don’t know for the state of New York. If you go online to the New York taxing authority webpage, it should have those amounts for you. The only reason you might want to consider filing for federal purposes is to make sure you get your stimulus payments more timely, because if the IRS has your return on file, then you will be paid in either the first or second or third batch of IRS payments. So even though you don’t have a requirement, you may have other benefits that you might be entitled to or, again, you may get the stimulus payments quicker if you file an electronic return for 2020 reflecting, potentially, no income if your Social Security isn’t taxed.

[00:30:13]Bill Walsh:  Thanks for that advice Erin, I appreciate it. All right, Jean, who is our next caller?

[00:30:19]Jean Setzfand:  Our next caller is Barbara from Nebraska.

[00:30:23]Bill Walsh:  Hey, Barbara, welcome to the program. What is your question?

[00:30:28]Barbara:  I have signed up for my husband and I at the website for Nebraska for the COVID shots. We’ve heard nothing. He’s 74, I’m 73, and we both have some health issues. And when I called our Department of Health and Human Services and asked, they said, well, we were registered, but it could be two to three months.

[00:30:56]Bill Walsh:  Hmm.

[00:30:57]Barbara:  And I’m hearing people that are 20 years younger than me and my husband have received shots, both of their shots, already. So what about, what’s with these guidelines if they’re not following them?

[00:31:12]Bill Walsh:  Well, it’s a good question. I wonder if Dr. Gottlieb has some thoughts on the guidelines and how closely states have been adhering to them.

[00:31:24]Lindsey Gottlieb:  Yeah, thanks, Barbara. I imagine that’s quite frustrating. And I think the honest answer is that, like you said, they are just guidelines and each state has really been given a lot of authority to figure out exactly how they’re going to be implementing them and which groups to open up to when, and where to set up their vaccine sites and what their hours will be. And so, you know, that is frustrating. You’re right, in some states they’ve already opened it up to the whole population and yet you’re sitting there with, you know, comorbidities and other conditions that should make you eligible and you can’t get it. So, you know, I know that the AARP is working on, you know, doing some outreach and help for individuals like yourself who are having trouble getting appointments. So I don’t know if you can speak a little bit more to that program.

[00:32:09]Bill Walsh:  Yes, we are helping people who don’t have computer access or have troubles with navigating technology. If people hit 1 on their telephones, they can be connected with an AARP staff member. We’ll give them a call back and give them some assistance in helping to register.

[00:32:29] I also wanted to make our listeners aware of the state-by-state guidelines resources that we have around the country for vaccine registration. If you go to aarp.org/vaccineinfo, aarp.org/vaccineinfo, you’ll see a little tool there. You can pull up your state and see what the state guidelines are. You’ll see toll-free numbers, other information, even questions to ask your doctor. So that’s a potential resource. It sounds like Barbara in Nebraska had already reached out and, you know, to a toll-free number and be told. I guess I would just suggest that she keep trying and, you know, make sure that they understand her circumstances. Hopefully, she’ll be getting vaccinated soon. Jean, who is our next caller?

[00:33:25]Jean Setzfand:  Here’s another question on YouTube from Steve, focused on again income, the income and stimulus. Steve is asking, “I had high income in 2019. I retired in 2020 and my income is lower. When stimulus checks went out, it was based on 2019 income so I thought I did not qualify. Do I qualify with my lower income for 2020?”

[00:33:50]Bill Walsh:  Hmm, interesting question. Erin Collins, do you have an answer for that?

[00:33:54]Erin Collins:  Yes, so the good news, Steve is all three are based on your 2020 return for purposes of getting a payment out the door. So if you file your 2020 return and your income has reduced and it falls within the eligibility requirements, you should be able to true up the amount on that line 30 of the tax return, and once your 2020 return is in the system, the IRS should pay your third EIP [economic impact] payment based on your 2020 return. So assuming you meet the eligibility requirements, you should receive all three payments.

[00:34:30]Bill Walsh:  Oh, good for Steve. All right, and also, we had Teresa on the line from New York asking about some tax questions there. We have the number for you, Teresa, for the New York State tax authority. That is [518] 457-5149. So hopefully they can help you out. Let’s take another caller, Jean.

[00:34:55]Jean Setzfand:  Our next caller is Rachel from California.

[00:34:58]Bill Walsh:  Hey, Rachel, welcome to the program. Go ahead with your question.

[00:35:03]Rachel:  Hi, thank you for taking my call. I am a 65-year-old with numerous health issues, cancer, et cetera. And I have been trying to get a JJ shot because of several things, allergies to the vaccine, the other Moderna and Pfizer, and I am unable to. I live in San Diego, California, contacted my mayor and councilmen to no avail, and I really need some help. I was on your other town hall meeting and was not allowed to ask my question, but I really would like somebody to help me and my 71-year-old essential Homeland Security husband who was unable take the vaccine either for some of the same reasons.

[00:35:53]Bill Walsh:  Hmm, and you had mentioned allergies. Did you say you’ve had allergies to vaccinations in the past?

[00:36:02]Rachel:  There is a component of the vaccine, PEG, P-E-G, that I am not able to take, that Moderna or Pfizer vaccine.

[00:36:18]Bill Walsh:  I see. Well, let’s ask Dr. Gottlieb if she has any suggestions. Dr. Gottlieb?

[00:36:23]Lindsey Gottlieb:  Sure. So just first to touch on allergies in general, since it might apply to other people: You know, there were some initial reports of some people having severe allergic reactions, initially to the Pfizer vaccine. At this point, thankfully, it seems that those types of severe reactions are quite, quite rare. The last number I saw was 4.4 per million people, which is a much lower number than, of course, the people who are getting sick from COVID. And thankfully all of the places that give vaccines are set up to deal with an allergic reaction if it does occur. That being said, Rachel, there are people like potentially you or your family members who truly do have a contraindication; right now, those being, if you’ve had a severe allergic reaction to an ingredient in the shot or potentially to another vaccine. If that does apply, as far as the availability of the Johnson & Johnson vaccines, I know at least here in New York State, it is a little bit more limited, the availability compared to the mRNA vaccines. And I believe that’s just because the initial numbers of shots that they have lined up to distribute, the moment they got their emergency use authorization, was not a huge number, but I know that they have a lot in the production line. And so I do anticipate in the coming weeks it’ll be easier for you to find a place that can give you that shot, even if they can’t today.

[00:37:43]Bill Walsh:  Okay, thank you for that, Dr. Gottlieb, and thanks for all your questions. We’re going to take more of your questions soon. And remember, if you’d like to ask your question, please press *3 on your telephone keypad. Let’s turn back to our experts for a moment. Erin, the newest COVID bill added tax relief for 2020 unemployment benefits. And there are new, are there new forms or specific steps to take if you’ve received unemployment benefits last year and have already filed a return?

[00:38:13]Erin Collins:  Yes. So, as you mentioned, the recent law change took place in the middle of May, er, March. So the challenge is, some people may have already filed their return versus those who haven’t. So let’s deal with the folks who may have already filed their return because, as the law indicated, that you do not have to include up to $10,200 of your unemployment benefits into your income. They do have an eligibility requirement. If your adjusted gross income is above $150,000, you’re phased out, but if you’ve already filed your tax return and you included the total amount of your unemployment compensation, you should not file an amended return right now. The IRS is in the process of trying to determine if they can automatically adjust the return by excluding that $10,200 figure and issue a refund directly to taxpayers. The IRS has not been able to commit whether or not they can make those IT programming changes, so stay tuned, but we are recommending at this time, do not file an amended return because if they’re able to do it automatically, it could actually slow down the process. But for those taxpayers who have not filed your return, both the IRS and all of the tax preparation software companies have updated their forms and guidance. So when you do prepare your return, there is information out there as how to do the calculation so that you can reduce your unemployment income up to that $10,200 exclusion. So it’s a really great result. I kind of wish Congress had decided to do that before the filing season. It is going to cause some challenges for folks, but it’s really great that they were able to reduce and give taxpayers that benefit.

[00:40:02]Bill Walsh:  Yeah, thank you for that, Erin. Dr. Gottlieb, let me turn back to you. COVID-19 has had a well-documented and tragic impact on older adults as well as people of color. How has the vaccine distribution sought to address these issues?

[00:40:18]Lindsey Gottlieb:  Thanks, Bill, I think that’s such an important point and question. It’s absolutely true that individuals of color, individuals from disadvantaged socioeconomic backgrounds and older individuals were vastly and disproportionately affected by COVID. And unfortunately, what we’ve seen in the early parts of the vaccine rollout, is that those same groups are being underrepresented in our vaccine programs. And I think there’s a lot of different reasons why that’s happening. Some of that is that certain groups, particularly individuals of color, have some vaccine hesitancy rooted in many years of mistreatment by the health care system. And in order to address that I think it’s really important that individuals from those communities, you know, talk about how this research process happened. One really important point to make is that Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson, they all realized that it’s important that we include individuals from diverse backgrounds and from all ends of the age spectrum, at least, you know, not yet pediatrics but anybody from age 16 or 18 up through elderly individuals, to make sure that we know that these vaccines work in all different groups of people. So all three studies, the participants were really reflective of the racial and age makeup of our country. And they found that these vaccines were, you know, pretty much equally effective across racial backgrounds and across age groups. So, I think that’s a really important point to understand about how these research processes went. But another piece of that lower vaccine rate is access, and there’s a lot of pieces that go into access. It’s where are we setting up our vaccine sites? How are we helping individuals sign up for appointments if there are language barriers or people don’t have access to technology? So I know here in our health system and across New York State, we’re really working to address these issues. Setting up the vaccine distribution sites in community centers like churches and other locations that are easy for individuals to get to on their way to work. For people who work overnight, we’re now offering vaccines, or in the middle of the night for individuals who can’t get off during their day shift. And then having ways that people can call to make appointments, or groups like yourself who are helping individuals who don’t have access to technology in order to set up those appointments, are all really important components to helping address those disparities.

[00:42:44]Bill Walsh:  Okay, thank you for that, Dr. Gottlieb. We’re going to get to more listener questions in a moment. But before we do, we want to again offer the AARP vaccine registration team’s services. If you’re listening today, and you don’t have a computer and can’t register for a vaccine in your community because you don’t have access to technology, please press 1 on your telephone to be added to a list to receive a phone call from an AARP staff member to assist you. So again, if you’re listening today and you don’t have access to a computer or the internet, and you can’t register for a vaccine because of that, please press 1, to be added to a list to receive a phone call from AARP, and we will help you out. When you call, you’ll be asked to confirm that selection, and then you’ll be returned to this call.

[00:43:38] Now it’s time to address more of your questions with Dr. Lindsey Gottlieb and Erin Collins. Please press *3 at any time on your telephone keypad to be connected with an AARP staff member. Jean, who do we have next on the line?

[00:43:53]Jean Setzfand:  Our next caller is Nancy from Colorado.

[00:43:57]Bill Walsh:  Hey, Nancy, welcome to the program. Go ahead with your question.

[00:44:00]Nancy:  Thank you. Yes, I just heard a lady earlier in the conversation say that the tax date had been extended from April 15th to May 17th, right?

[00:44:13]Bill Walsh:  Correct.

[00:44:14]Nancy:  And does that include state as well as federal? I know federal is, but is state included in that?

[00:44:22]Bill Walsh:  Let’s get a clarification. Erin Collins.

[00:44:25]Erin Collins:  Yeah, most of the state returns follow the federal. So I don’t know every single state, but it would be very easy for you to check, is to just go on to Colorado’s taxing website and find that information out. But I believe that most of the states are following the additional time.

[00:44:44]Bill Walsh:  Okay, Jean, who is our next caller?

[00:44:47]Jean Setzfand:  Our next caller is Cory from Illinois.

[00:44:50]Bill Walsh:  Hey, Cory, go ahead with your question.

[00:44:53]Cory:  Hi, I actually have two questions. The first one is I just heard yesterday from my brother in Tennessee that the local news there suggests that many people who had their first vaccine are skipping the second dose. I think that’s a pretty crazy idea, but do we have any idea how well protected those people will be? The other question just very quickly is, do we, when the boosters come out, will we have to get a booster for the specific vaccine we received?

[00:45:24]Bill Walsh:  Great questions. Dr. Gottlieb, should people be skipping their second doses?

[00:45:30]Lindsey Gottlieb:  Thanks, Cory, and so, the answer is no. You know these, for both the Moderna and the Pfizer vaccines where a second dose is recommended, that’s how these vaccines were designed to best protect us. And that’s what we really have the research to support them, you know, giving us the full benefit. So, do we get some protection from the first shot? Yes, but we don’t know how strong or how long that protection is. And so that second shot is really important right now to confirming that you’re going to get that longer-lasting protection. And so, if you have yourself or any friends or loved ones who are thinking about skipping that second shot, you know, they went through the effort of getting the first, just finish it up so we can get to the end of the race.

[00:46:16]Bill Walsh:  Okay, and Cory had also asked about a booster shot. Do you think that’s going to be necessary?

[00:46:20]Lindsey Gottlieb:  Right. So I would say, to be determined. So the big discussion right now with some of these newer variants, newer versions of the virus that are circulating, is there going to be a point where our vaccines aren’t quite as effective and we need to give people a booster to target a newer variant. And, that’s not going to be something that we’re going to need in the next few weeks but it’s possible that months or years down the road, it’s something that will be recommended. Whether that’s something we’ll need more than once in our lifetimes or at what point, it’s just really too soon to say right now, and so I don’t, I don’t think we have any sense of whether it would be recommended that you get one from the same company that you got your first one for. I think that’s something we’ll need more research to answer, if it even does end up being necessary.

[00:47:08]Bill Walsh:  Okay. Thank you for that. All right, Jean, who is our next caller?

[00:47:13]Jean Setzfand:  Our next caller is Dennis from Florida.

[00:47:16]Bill Walsh:  Hey, Dennis. Welcome to the program. Go ahead with your question.

[00:47:19]Dennis:  Yes, my question has to do with the latest American Rescue Plan Act. I want to know if that includes a waiver of the requirement to pay or to have a required minimum distribution from traditional IRA plans.

[00:47:38]Bill Walsh:  Oh, okay. Interesting question. Well, let’s ask Erin Collins about that. What about required minimum distribution from IRA plans?

[00:47:46]Erin Collins:  So, Dennis, I suspect you’re aware that a year ago, when they did the CARES Act last March, they did allow to suspend that payment. The current act does not have the same provision in there on the required minimum distribution. So I believe unless Congress comes out and changes the law in the near future, you will be required to make that distribution. So, I guess good news for last year, not so good news for this year.

[00:48:13]Bill Walsh:  Okay, thank you, Erin. Jean, who is our next caller?

[00:48:18]Jean Setzfand:  Next caller is Sharon from New York.

[00:48:21]Bill Walsh:  Hey, Sharon, welcome to the program. Go ahead with your question.

[00:48:26]Sharon:  Hello, thank you for taking my call. I was interested in knowing if the vaccine is recommended for people that have immune deficiency illnesses, such as Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism, as well as being over 50 years old and, aside from that, I’d like to know, when I did try to call someplace, they asked for my insurance card. So I was wondering what’s going on with that. I thought it was a free shot. So I’ve kind of got a two-part question there.

[00:48:59]Bill Walsh:  Okay, well, let’s start with Dr. Gottlieb on that. Can you, can you help, Sharon, Dr. Gottlieb?

[00:49:06]Lindsey Gottlieb:  Yeah, sure. So, first, as far as, should I get the shot if I’m immunocompromised, or if I’m, you know, age over 50? So, the age is the easier and quicker answer, which is that all age spectrums, 18 and older in Moderna and Johnson & Johnson, and 16 and older in Pfizer were included in the trials, and there was no upper age limit. So, and we know older age is associated with higher risk of getting really sick from COVID. So, older age is definitely a good reason to get the shot.

[00:49:38] Immunocompromising conditions, whether it’s medications that lower your immune system or an underlying condition, those groups are still recommended to get the vaccine and, in fact, they are probably a very important group to get the vaccine, but we do warn people that because those groups weren’t included in the trials and because we know that you need a strong immune system sometimes to be able to mount a strong immune response to a vaccine, that they might not be as protected by the vaccine as people who don’t have those underlying conditions. Now that’s really why it’s so important that other people get vaccinated, too, to help protect those people who might not form as strong of a response to the vaccine. But those individuals, we still encourage to get vaccinated.

[00:50:21] The last piece about insurance; so some facilities will ask for your health insurance because they can bill to the insurance for the visit, but there should be no out-of-pocket expenses. And if you don’t have insurance, they should still be letting you schedule the appointment. So it’s not any, any money that should be coming out of your pocket.

[00:50:40]Bill Walsh:  Okay, thank you for that, Dr. Gottlieb. Jean, who is our next caller?

[00:50:45]Jean Setzfand:  Our next caller is Umish from Nebraska.

[00:50:50]Bill Walsh:  Hi, Umish, welcome to the program. Go ahead with your, with your question.

[00:50:57]Umish:  My question is that, my son, he applied for tax refund this year for the last year, and he got the answer from IRS that somebody already applied on this Social Security, and he got the return. So he’s not getting anything. They are not accepting that. Then we called IRS, like online, we see the number. There’s nobody to talk with, but they tell us fill this form, fill that form. We filled the form, it’s about two, three weeks already but nobody gave us any answer. So how this can be solved?

[00:51:46]Bill Walsh:  Interesting. Erin Collins, do you have any advice for Umish? Erin, you may be on mute.

[00:51:57]Erin Collins:  I was, thank you. If we’re talking about an underlying tax return versus a stimulus payment, so if he is having trouble with his tax return, that is probably something you want to call the folks in my office, which is the Taxpayer Advocate Service office. If you go online to our web page, you can look it up by location. We have an office in the Nebraska area. It should list the phone number and a fax number. So I would suggest your son reach out to someone in our office there and hopefully they can help you.

[00:52:30]Bill Walsh:  Okay. She, it sounds like maybe there was a stolen identity issue that somebody else had filed under her son’s Social Security number. What recourse does he have in that case?

[00:52:43]Erin Collins:  Yeah, it’s the same thing, is we do a lot of work with individuals with identity theft. And I suspect those are some of the forms that Umish made reference to that the IRS gave her. So right now, because the IRS is dealing with the COVID issues and the social distancing, they do not have as many people physically in the building, which is really slowing down progress of getting issues resolved within the IRS. So, my heart goes out to your son because once you deal with identity theft, it is difficult to get that resolved. But as I said, if you reach out to the Taxpayer Advocate Service in Nebraska, hopefully they can help you.

[00:53:21]Bill Walsh:  And Erin, what is the best website or phone number for folks to call to get that local information?

[00:53:30]Erin Collins:  The website is, if you go to irs.gov, there’s an entire section under Taxpayer Advocate Service. We have a map of the United States. You can pick what city, what state, and it lists all of the local phone numbers that you can call.

[00:53:45]Bill Walsh:  Very good, irs.gov. Good luck, Umish. That sounds like it could be a tricky situation. All right, Jean, let’s take another caller.

[00:53:55]Jean Setzfand:  The next caller is Marcia in New York.

[00:53:59]Bill Walsh:  Hey, Marcia, welcome to the program with your question.

[00:54:03]Marcia:  My question is, if you had the COVID before, is it necessary to take the shot, because you still have the antibodies at this point.

[00:54:13]Bill Walsh:  How long ago? I don’t know if this is you or not, but did you test positive or?

[00:54:19]Marcia:  No, it’s not me, but I know someone that had the COVID, and I was just wondering if you have the COVID, is it necessary to take the shot?

[00:54:29]Bill Walsh:  It might have something to do with how long ago they tested positive and had COVID. How long ago was it, just a ballpark.

[00:54:36]Marcia:  Two months ago.

[00:54:38]Bill Walsh:  Two months ago? Okay, well, Dr. Gottlieb what, I’m sorry, one month ago? Okay, Dr. Gottlieb, what can you tell Marcia about that?

[00:54:48]Lindsey Gottlieb:  Yeah, so we do recommend that people who previously had COVID get vaccinated. Like I mentioned earlier, the CDC does say that it’s okay to wait up to three months after that initial infection to get vaccinated because at least for that three months, you’re probably pretty protected from the antibodies that you formed from the initial infection. But we do worry that the antibodies and the immune response from a prior infection won’t necessarily stay in your body and protect you for as long as a vaccine will. And also that not everybody who had the infection builds the right kind of antibodies. So for that reason, we still recommend anybody who previously had COVID does get vaccinated, but if you want to wait three months to do it, that should be okay.

[00:55:31]Bill Walsh:  Okay, thank you for that, Dr. Gottlieb. And we are almost at the top of the hour and Dr. Gottlieb and Erin Collins, I wanted to ask if you have any closing thoughts or recommendations that our listeners should understand most from our conversation today. Dr. Gottlieb, why don’t we start with you?

[00:55:49]Lindsey Gottlieb:  Sure. So, you know, thanks again so much for having me. I think there’s no question that at this point in the pandemic, vaccines and vaccinating as much of our population as quickly as we can is probably the number one most important thing we can do, in combination with continuing to wear our masks when in public, to really get us out of this pandemic. So, get vaccinated when you’re eligible, try to be patient if the process takes a little bit longer than, than you would like to get your appointment. And like I said earlier, whichever vaccine you can get first is probably the best for you.

[00:56:23]Bill Walsh:  Okay, thanks so much, Dr. Gottlieb. And Erin Collins, from the IRS national taxpayer advocate, any closing thoughts or recommendations?

[00:56:33]Erin Collins:  Yeah, I would recommend that people do not use the phone. Unfortunately, IRS phone lines are really over, the volume has very much increased and, again, the amount of employees working the phones has decreased. So you’re looking at maybe one out of five, or one out of eight phone calls are actually being answered. So look toward irs.gov, which has a lot of good information, as well as the AARP website has a lot of good general tax information. And if you’re going to file your tax return, file it electronically. Do not file a paper return. Paper returns have very long delays in getting them processed, so file electronically, and if you can provide a bank routing information, you’ll get your refunds or stimulus payments a lot quicker.

[00:57:19]Bill Walsh:  Okay, thank you very much, Erin. This has been a really informative discussion, and thanks to each of you for answering our questions. And thank you, our AARP members, volunteers and listeners for participating in the discussion today. AARP, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization with a membership, has been working to promote the health and well-being of older Americans for more than 60 years. In the face of this crisis, we’re providing information and resources to help older adults and those caring for them protect themselves from the virus and prevent its spread to others, while taking care of themselves. All of the resources referenced today, including a recording of today’s Q&A event can be found at aarp.org/coronavirus beginning tomorrow, March 26th. Again, that web address is aarp.org/coronavirus. Go there if your question was not addressed and find the latest updates, as well as information created specifically for older adults and family caregivers. We hope you learned something that can help keep you and your loved ones healthy. Please join us again on April 1st at 1 p.m. for a special live event, “Coronavirus and the Black Community.” Thank you and have a good day. This concludes our call.

[00:58:42]

Bill Walsh: Hola, soy el vicepresidente de AARP, Bill Walsh, y quiero darles la bienvenida a esta importante discusión sobre el coronavirus. Antes de comenzar, si deseas escuchar esta teleasamblea en español, presiona *0 en el teclado de tu teléfono ahora.

 

AARP, una organización con membresía, sin fines de lucro y no partidista, ha estado trabajando para promover la salud y el bienestar de los adultos mayores durante más de 60 años. Frente a la pandemia mundial de coronavirus, AARP proporciona información y recursos para ayudar a los adultos mayores y a quienes los cuidan. Si bien el acceso a las vacunas está mejorando y más del 20% de las personas han recibido al menos una dosis de la vacuna contra la COVID-19, muchas todavía tienen dificultades para obtener citas y se sienten frustradas por los confusos sistemas de registro.

 

Al entrar en la temporada de impuestos, muchos también tienen preguntas sobre las implicaciones fiscales de los pagos de estímulo y los beneficios por desempleo del año pasado, y si califican para la última ronda de alivio financiero. El panel de expertos de hoy abordará estos problemas y más, y responderá sus preguntas en vivo.

 

Si ya has participado en una de nuestras teleasambleas, sabes que esto es similar a un programa de entrevistas de radio y tienes la oportunidad de hacer preguntas en vivo. Si deseas escuchar en español, presiona * 0 en el teclado de tu teléfono ahora. Para aquellos de ustedes que nos acompañan por teléfono, si desean hacer una pregunta sobre la pandemia de coronavirus, presionen * 3 en su teléfono para comunicarse con un miembro del personal de AARP que anotará su nombre y su pregunta y los colocará en la cola para hacer esa pregunta en vivo. Si te unes a través de Facebook o YouTube, puedes publicar tu pregunta en los comentarios.

 

¡Hola! Si acabas de unirte, soy Bill Walsh, de AARP, y quiero darte la bienvenida a esta importante discusión sobre la pandemia mundial de coronavirus. Estaremos hablando con principales expertas y respondiendo tus preguntas en vivo. Para hacer una pregunta, presiona * 3, y si te unes a través de Facebook o YouTube, puedes publicar tu pregunta en la sección de comentarios.

 

Tenemos unas invitadas excepcionales con nosotros hoy, del Mount Sinai Medical Center y una Defensora Nacional del Contribuyente en el IRS. También nos acompañará mi colega de AARP, Jean Setzfand, quien ayudará a facilitar sus llamadas. Este evento está siendo grabado y se podrá acceder a la grabación en aarp.org/elcoronavirus 24 horas después de que terminemos. Nuevamente, para hacer una pregunta, presiona * 3 en cualquier momento en el teclado de tu teléfono para conectarte con un miembro del personal de AARP o si te estás uniendo a través de Facebook o YouTube, coloca tu pregunta en los comentarios.

 

Ahora, me gustaría dar la bienvenida a nuestras invitadas. Lindsey Gottlieb, M.D., es la directora de Prevención de Infecciones en Mount Sinai Morningside Hospital en la ciudad de Nueva York. Gracias por acompañarnos hoy, Dra. Gottlieb.

 

Lindsey Gottlieb: Muchas gracias por invitarme, Bill. Un placer estar aquí.

 

Bill Walsh: Muy bien, estamos encantados de tenerte. También nos acompaña Erin Collins. Ella es la Defensora Nacional del Contribuyente en el Servicio de Impuestos Internos. Dirige una oficina independiente en el IRS que se centra en garantizar que todos los contribuyentes reciban un trato justo. Bienvenida al programa, Erin.

 

Erin Collins: Gracias, Bill. Gracias por invitarme a participar hoy.

 

Bill Walsh: Bien, y solo un recordatorio, para hacer su pregunta, presionen * 3 en el teclado de su teléfono o déjenla en la sección de comentarios en Facebook o YouTube. Erin, me gustaría empezar contigo. ¿Por qué no nos cuentas un poco sobre el cargo de Defensora Nacional del Contribuyente en el IRS? ¿Qué es eso y qué haces?

 

Erin Collins: Claro. Mi cargo, que es Defensora Nacional del Contribuyente, y la oficina que dirijo, el Servicio de Defensor al Contribuyente, fueron creados por el Congreso hace unos 20 años para ayudar a los contribuyentes de forma gratuita cuando enfrentan dificultades financieras o problemas dentro de los sistemas del IRS, o cuando los procedimientos del IRS fallan. Y tengo mucha suerte de tener un gran grupo de empleados dentro de la oficina del Defensor del Contribuyente.

 

Nuestro deber es ser lo que llamamos "la voz de los contribuyentes". Abogar por el cambio administrativo dentro del IRS y el cambio legislativo dentro del Congreso, y tengo la función única de representar a todos los contribuyentes y expresar inquietudes en su nombre, y tener la capacidad de identificar y proponer cambios para los problemas que afectan a los contribuyentes.

 

Bill Walsh: Está bien, bueno, gracias por eso. Como sabes mejor que todos nosotros, el IRS, la semana pasada, extendió el plazo de presentación de impuestos al lunes 17 de mayo. ¿Qué significa esto para los contribuyentes que no han presentado la declaración?

 

Erin Collins: La extensión es una buena noticia para muchos contribuyentes individuales que necesitaban tiempo adicional. La fecha propuesta para el 17 de mayo, disculpa, pospone un tiempo para que las personas presenten sus declaraciones de impuestos, también para pagar el impuesto adeudado para el 2020, y también extiende el tiempo para que presenten un Formulario 4868, que es una extensión automática para presentar su planilla hasta octubre, sin incurrir en penalidades.

 

Por lo tanto, la fecha del 17 de mayo brinda a los contribuyentes, preparadores de impuestos, preparadores de software y, lo que es más importante, al IRS, la capacidad de ponerse al día con los cambios recientes en la legislación tributaria. Pero quiero señalar que la fecha del 17 de mayo no se aplica a las devoluciones comerciales. Es solo para individuos y no se aplica a los pagos trimestrales del 2021.

 

Y también, para aquellos de ustedes que se encuentran en Texas, Luisiana y Oklahoma, como ya sabrán, el IRS les proporcionó tiempo adicional para presentar su declaración debido a todos los desastres de las tormentas invernales. Deben consultar con la guía del IRS, pero creo que la mayoría, si no todos, los condados dentro de esos estados tienen prórrogas hasta el 15 de junio para pagar sus impuestos del 2020, para presentar su declaración y también se aplica a las declaraciones de impuestos individuales y comerciales.

 

Bill Walsh: Está bien. Adelante.

 

Erin Collins: Otra cosa para señalar, a pesar de que la fecha del 17 de mayo, muchos de los sitios de Vita, incluido, creo que el programa de presentación de impuestos de AARP, solo se financia hasta el 15 de abril. Entonces, si planeas usar Vita, o los sitios de ayuda fiscal, debes comunicarte con esas personas antes del 15 de abril.

 

Bill Walsh: Muy bien, muchas gracias, Erin. Déjame seguir con eso. Ya sabes, las preguntas sobre pagos de estímulo faltantes siguen siendo las más persistentes durante estos programas. Con dos cheques de estímulo económico el año pasado y un tercero que se distribuye ahora a la mayoría de las personas, ¿qué hace la gente si no recibió uno o más de esos cheques de estímulo?

 

Erin Collins: De acuerdo. Esa es una pregunta que se hace mucho en todo el país. Un sitio web que quiero señalar es irs.gov, que tiene una sección completa en su sitio web que está dedicada al alivio de COVID-19 y los pagos de estímulo. Enumera los factores elegibles, así como cualquiera de los desafíos. Es un gran recurso. El sitio web de AARP también tiene mucha información sobre este tema en particular, así que no duden en ir allí. Comencemos con los dos primeros pagos de estímulo.

 

Si uno recibió la cantidad correcta de los dos primeros pagos, no necesita hacer nada. Debería recibir automáticamente el tercer pago. Una pregunta que recibimos mucho sobre los pagos de estímulo es que no están incluidos en los ingresos. No están sujetos a impuestos. Por lo tanto, si los has recibido, no es necesario que los incluyas en los ingresos, pero si eres elegible y no has recibido el primer o el segundo estímulo, o no has recibido la cantidad correcta, aún no es demasiado tarde.

 

Lo que debes hacer es presentar una declaración de impuestos del 2020, y allí debes reclamar el primero, el segundo o ambos. Entonces, si observan su declaración del 2020, en su Formulario 1040, hay una línea 30 y se llama Recovery Rebate Credit, y ese es un término técnico de impuestos. Básicamente, se refiere a los dos pagos de estímulo anteriores. Ahí es donde deben indicar la cantidad que no recibieron. Déjame darte un ejemplo.

 

Si uno no recibió el primer pago y tiene derecho al monto total, incluiría $1,200 en esa línea 30. Si uno no recibió ninguno de los pagos, incluiría $1,200 + $600 y eso reflejaría $1,800. Y así es como recibirás tu primer o segundo estímulo si no lo recibiste el año pasado. Pero una advertencia para los espectadores o quienes están escuchando, si la línea 30 es inconsistente con los registros del IRS, el IRS retirará su declaración y hará un ajuste manual y esa inconsistencia requerirá que un empleado del IRS verifique la cantidad, y eso considerablemente retrasará el momento de su reembolso.

 

Así que avancemos rápidamente a este mes, la tercera ronda o la ronda actual. Entonces, recién se promulgó como ley a mediados de marzo, el IRS envió ese primer lote, se realizaron pagos de $90 millones por depósito directo y eso es si tuviste una declaración del 2019 o 2020 en el sistema, calificas y el IRS realizará pagos automáticos. También emitieron 150,000 cheques de papel a mediados de marzo y, ayer, el IRS comenzó a depositar y enviar el segundo lote.

 

Y nuevamente, si estás en el sistema con una declaración del 2019 o 2020, o has usado el portal del IRS el año pasado para incluir tu información, recibirás automáticamente los cheques y no hay nada que debas hacer. Entonces, ayer el IRS hizo, creo, 37 millones de depósitos directos, 15 millones de cheques en papel y 5 millones de tarjetas de débito prepagas. Entonces, un consejo, no pierdan de vista su buzón de correo, podría ser un sobre simple el que van a recibir.

 

Entonces, abre tu correo ahora, no tires todo. No es correo basura, realmente debes estar atento porque el año pasado descubrimos que muchas personas que recibieron esas tarjetas de débito prepagas pensaron que eran una estafa y las tiraron. Entonces, si recibes una tarjeta de débito de un banco, MetaBank, ese es tu pago de estímulo. Así que mantente atento.

 

Y luego, para el Seguro Social, ferroviario, veteranos elegibles, si estás en nuestro sistema con una declaración del 2019 o 2020, o si usaste el portal sin relleno el año pasado, deberías recibir pagos automáticamente. Pero si no estás en el sistema, el IRS está trabajando con el Seguro Social y el VA para obtener esa información, pero puedes acelerarlo llenando tu propia declaración de impuestos.

 

Por lo tanto, presenta electrónicamente una declaración del 2020. Ingresa tu información, ingresa la información de tu depósito directo en el IRS y luego eso se activará que cada vez que haya un pago subsiguiente, ellos verificarán esas declaraciones posteriores. Entonces, creo que ahora cada dos semanas, el IRS comenzará a hacer pagos adicionales hasta que se realicen todos los pagos.

 

Bill Walsh: Está bien. Erin, muchas gracias, porque cubriste mucho material allí. Sabemos que es un tema complicado. Solo un recordatorio para nuestros oyentes, mencionó a irs.gov como una referencia útil sobre los pagos de ayuda de COVID-19 y el estímulo. Además, aarp.org/elcoronavirus también tiene información sobre los pagos de estímulo y las implicaciones fiscales, y dio un gran consejo: "No tires tu correo si es un sobre que dice MetaBank", porque podría ser tu tarjeta. Tu tarjeta de débito con tu pago de estímulo.

 

Estoy seguro de que recibiremos algunas preguntas adicionales sobre ese tema, Erin, así que quédate en la línea con nosotros, pero gracias por toda esa información. Dra. Gottlieb, volvamos a usted. Estoy seguro de que tenemos algunos oyentes hoy que están ansiosos por ver a amigos y familiares. Ha sido un año muy largo. Los CDC publicaron recientemente una guía sobre cómo las personas vacunadas pueden reunirse de manera segura. ¿Puede hablarnos de esa nueva guía y explicarnos?

 

Lindsey Gottlieb: ¡Por supuesto! Bueno, ya sabes, estábamos esperando ansiosos y emocionados de ver que a principios de marzo los CDC publicaron una guía para aquellos de nosotros que, ya sabes, programamos nuestras citas y recibimos nuestras vacunas. Entonces, lo primero que tenemos que entender es, ¿qué significa eso de estar completamente vacunado?

 

Para los CDC, una persona está completamente vacunada cuando transcurren al menos dos semanas desde la última dosis de su vacuna. Entonces, como recordatorio, las tres vacunas que actualmente están autorizadas para su uso en Estados Unidos son Pfizer y Moderna, que son ambas de dos inyecciones y por lo tanto, estar completamente vacunado sería al menos dos semanas después de su segunda inyección, y más recientemente, la vacuna Johnson & Johnson, que es de una sola inyección. Entonces, al menos dos semanas después de esa primera inyección.

 

Y entonces, en ese momento, habían dicho: "Está bien, como dijiste, ha sido un año largo. Hay algunas cosas en las que puedes pensar en hacer que te hemos estado pidiendo que no hagas durante el año pasado". Y así lo primero es visitar a otras personas completamente vacunadas en ambientes cerrados, sin máscaras y sin distanciamiento social. Entonces, si estás en un grupo pequeño, han pasado al menos dos semanas después de la segunda inyección de todos, entonces vale la pena considerar estar sin mascarilla en ambientes cerrados.

 

La segunda pieza es, "Bueno, ¿y si estoy con otro grupo de personas no vacunadas?" Su recomendación es que si estás completamente vacunado, puedes considerar estar con un solo hogar de personas no vacunadas, suponiendo que esas personas no vacunadas no tienen un alto riesgo de sufrir complicaciones por la COVID-19. Y sabemos que la lista de cosas que lo ponen a uno en alto riesgo de complicaciones es larga, pero principalmente la vejez y otros problemas de salud. Entonces, por ejemplo, si tienes, ya saben, nietos o hijos que aún no están vacunados, pero que no tienen un alto riesgo de sufrir complicaciones, y estás completamente vacunado, puedes considerar la posibilidad de permanecer en el interior sin mascarilla con un hogar en esa categoría.

 

La tercera pieza que ha cambiado es, si estás completamente vacunado y tienes una exposición conocida a alguien que tiene COVID-19 pero no tienes síntomas de COVID-19, ya no es necesario que te pongas en cuarentena y permanezcas dentro de tu casa durante un período de tiempo. Dicho esto, hay cosas en esta guía que los CDC quieren que hagamos. Entonces, digamos que estás vacunado y estás visitando a familiares no vacunados, y viene otra familia que tampoco está vacunada, ahora quieren que comiences a usar mascarilla y mantener e distanciamiento social nuevamente porque estamos ampliando el número de personas en esa casa que están en riesgo de enfermarse. Definitivamente, cuando estés en público o en grupos grandes, aún debes distanciarte socialmente y usar mascarilla, y aún están desalentando cualquier tipo de reunión de tamaño mediano o grande, independientemente de cuál crees que sea el estado de vacunación de ese grupo.

 

Bill Walsh: Está bien. Gracias por eso, Dra. Gottlieb. Ha mencionado las tres vacunas diferentes cuyo uso se ha autorizado. Las vacunas de Johnson & Johnson, Moderna y Pfizer, ¿puede explicar las diferencias entre estas tres vacunas y hay alguna razón para esperar o para pedir una en vez de la otra?

 

Lindsey Gottlieb: Gran pregunta, y definitivamente una que recibimos mucho. Pfizer y Moderna fueron las dos primeras en ser autorizadas con una semana de diferencia. Ambas son las llamadas vacunas de ARNm, que es posible que hayan visto mucho en las noticias. Esta es una tecnología más nueva y realmente emocionante porque estas vacunas se pueden producir más rápidamente y también más rápidamente si alguna vez hay una pandemia futura o una infección futura para la que todavía no tenemos una vacuna. No transmiten ningún tipo de virus vivo, lo que significa que no pueden infectarte con COVID-19.

 

Básicamente, son una pequeña pieza de material que le enseña a nuestro propio cuerpo a producir una pequeña parte del virus al que nuestro sistema inmunitario puede responder y aferrarse a esa respuesta, en caso de que alguna vez nos expongamos al virus real. Ninguna parte de ese ARNm permanece en nuestro cuerpo por más de unos pocos días, por lo que lo único que nos queda es nuestra respuesta inmunitaria, que es la parte importante para ayudarnos a combatir una infección futura.

 

La vacuna de Johnson & Johnson es una tecnología ligeramente diferente, es algo que se llama una vacuna de vector de adenovirus que es un poco de una tecnología más antigua, pero tampoco es un virus vivo. Por lo tanto, tampoco puede contagiarte la infección y se concentra en una parte similar del virus a la que nuestros cuerpos forman una respuesta inmunitaria.

 

En cuanto a la forma en que se dosifican, Pfizer y Moderna son dos dosis, Pfizer con tres semanas de diferencia y Moderna con cuatro semanas de diferencia, mientras que Johnson & Johnson es de solo una dosis, lo que para muchas personas es una ventaja real. Especialmente si es un desafío salir de su casa para ir a recibir esa inyección.

 

Y luego, ya sabes, creo que lo más importante es qué tan bien funcionaron y cuáles son los efectos secundarios. Entonces, Pfizer y Moderna, que fueron estudiadas en un momento similar el verano pasado cuando los casos en el país no eran tan altos, tuvieron tasas de eficacia muy similares. Alrededor del 94-95% y ambas fueron muy efectivas en la prevención de enfermedades graves por COVID-19, con cero en cualquiera de los grupos.

 

La vacuna de Johnson & Johnson tiene una tasa de eficacia general ligeramente más baja, del 66%, pero creo que es importante comprender que en realidad no estamos comparando manzanas con manzanas aquí. Y lo que quiero decir con eso es que el estudio de Johnson & Johnson se estaba llevando a cabo en un momento en el que teníamos muchas más oleadas de COVID-19 en todo el mundo, y cuanto más circula la COVID-19, más difícil será prevenir la transmisión. Y también se llevó a cabo en partes del mundo donde sabemos que tenemos algunas de estas variantes más nuevas que son un poco más contagiosas, como las de Sudáfrica y América Latina.

 

Entonces, dados los obstáculos que estaban enfrentando, ese número sigue siendo muy impresionante y lo más importante es que fue 100% efectiva en la prevención de hospitalizaciones y muertes, que son realmente lo que más nos preocupa con esta infección. Entonces, definitivamente digo, cualquier vacuna que puedas obtener primero es la mejor para obtener, a menos que haya una consideración para ti personalmente, como preferir una sola vacuna, en cuyo caso tal vez optar por Johnson & Johnson tendría más sentido.

 

Bill Walsh: Muy bien, gracias Dra. Gottlieb por eso, y como recordatorio, para hacer una pregunta, presiona * 3 en el teclado de tu teléfono. Vamos a llegar a esas preguntas en vivo en breve, pero antes de hacerlo, quería traer a Nancy LeaMond. Nancy es la vicepresidenta ejecutiva y directora de Promoción y Participación aquí en AARP, y nos dará una actualización sobre lo que AARP ha estado haciendo en el frente de la COVID-19. Bienvenida, Nancy.

 

Nancy LeaMond: Hola, Bill. Es genial estar aquí.

 

Bill Walsh: Nancy, hace unas semanas, el Congreso aprobó y el presidente firmó otro proyecto de ley de alivio del coronavirus. ¿Qué hay en esta nueva ley que ayudará a las personas con cobertura médica, incluidas las vacunas contra la COVID-19?

 

Nancy LeaMond: Bueno, AARP abogó por que el Congreso actuara y respondiera a la pandemia y nos complació mucho que la Ley del Plan de Rescate Estadounidense incluyera varias prioridades de AARP. Por ejemplo, brindar un mayor apoyo para aumentar los esfuerzos de vacunación contra la COVID-19, expandir los créditos fiscales por vacaciones pagadas, permitiendo que más personas reciban atención en su hogar y en su comunidad, aumentar la financiación para los programas de asistencia alimentaria y entrega de comidas, y mejorar el control de infecciones en los hogares de ancianos.

 

La ley también incluye una de las solicitudes de AARP, al proporcionar una expansión de los subsidios que harán que la cobertura bajo la Ley del Cuidado de la Salud a Bajo Precio sea más asequible y accesible para millones de personas. Según el proyecto de ley, durante los próximos dos años, habrá nuevos subsidios federales disponibles para garantizar que nadie que compre un seguro médico por su cuenta a través de los mercados de la ACA pague más del 8.5% de sus ingresos anuales en primas de seguro médico.

 

Esta es una gran noticia, especialmente para los adultos mayores de 50 a 64 años, que pagan más que cualquier otro grupo de edad por la cobertura. Además de la nueva asistencia financiera, las personas ahora tienen hasta el 15 de agosto para inscribirse en la cobertura. Ahora, si estás escuchando y tú o tus seres queridos necesitan un seguro médico y quieren comprobar si estos cambios lo han hecho más asequible para ti, puedes visitar healthcare.gov para obtener más información.

 

Bill Walsh: Muy bien, gracias por eso Nancy. Tal vez puedas hablarnos un poco sobre por qué cosas luchó AARP en esta nueva ley para ayudar a las finanzas de las personas.

 

Nancy LeaMond: ¡Claro! La ley brindará un alivio bienvenido a los adultos mayores que se han visto gravemente afectados como resultado de las consecuencias económicas de la pandemia. Por ejemplo, ampliará los beneficios del seguro de desempleo para las personas que están sin trabajo debido a la pandemia e incluye pagos directos de $1,400 a millones de adultos mayores, incluidas las personas que reciben beneficios a través del Seguro Social, Asuntos de Veteranos y otros programas.

 

AARP jugó un papel importante el año pasado para lograr que el Gobierno emitiera pagos de estímulo automáticamente y luchó para garantizar que estos beneficiarios no recibieran menos que otras personas. Y sabemos que hay algunas personas que son beneficiarias del Seguro Social que aún no han recibido sus pagos de Impacto Económico. Hoy hemos escuchado de nuestra invitada del IRS, AARP continúa planteando nuestras preocupaciones al IRS y al Tesoro. Sabemos lo importante que es esto para ti y tu familia y continuaremos luchando por la transparencia en el proceso y el acceso rápido a los pagos para todas las personas que dependen de este recurso fundamental.

 

Bill Walsh: Muy bien, muchas gracias, Nancy, por esa actualización. Nosotros realmente lo apreciamos. Y como recordatorio para nuestros oyentes, para hacer una pregunta, presiona * 3. Antes de responder a sus preguntas, queremos abordar un tema importante. Sabemos que muchos de ustedes están teniendo dificultades para registrarse para recibir las vacunas en su estado y comunidad porque muchos lugares requieren suscripciones a través de foros en línea, y si no tienen acceso a una computadora, esto puede presentar un verdadero desafío. AARP quiere ayudar.

 

Hemos establecido un equipo de registro de vacunas de AARP para tratar de ayudar en estos casos. Por lo tanto, si estás escuchando hoy y no tienes una computadora y no puedes registrarse para una vacuna en tu comunidad porque no tienes acceso a la tecnología, presiona 1 para que te agreguen a una lista para recibir una llamada de un miembro del personal de AARP para ayudarte. Nuevamente, si estás escuchando hoy y no tienes acceso a una computadora o internet y no puedes registrarte para una vacuna debido a eso, presiona 1 para que te agreguen a una lista para recibir una llamada telefónica y recibir ayuda. Cuando lo hagas, se te pedirá que confirmes esa selección y luego volverás a esta llamada.

 

Ahora es el momento de abordar sus preguntas sobre el coronavirus con la Dra. Lindsey Gottlieb y Erin Collins. Presiona * 3 en cualquier momento en el teclado de tu teléfono para comunicarte con un miembro del personal de AARP y compartir tu pregunta. Ahora me gustaría traer a mi colega de AARP, Jean Setzfand, para ayudar a facilitar sus llamadas hoy. Bienvenida, Jean.

 

Jean Setzfand: Gracias, Bill. Feliz de estar aquí para esta importante conversación.

 

Bill Walsh: Muy bien, sigamos adelante y respondamos nuestra primera pregunta.

 

Jean Setzfand: Muy bien, nuestra primera llamada es Brenda de Míchigan.

 

Bill Walsh: Hola, Brenda. Bienvenida al programa, continúa con tu pregunta.

 

Brenda: ¡No! Dos casas. No, sí, dos casas, una sobrina y la otra sobrina porque fueron...

 

Bill Walsh: Hola, es... Hola. ¿Está Brenda?

 

Brenda: Chica, asaltaron su casa y encima de esto, asaltaron su casa.

 

Jean Setzfand: Lo siento, Bill. Probemos con alguien más. Sí, una pequeña dificultad técnica. Vayamos a Rosetta desde Pensilvania.

 

Bill Walsh: Muy bien, Rosetta. Bienvenida al programa. ¿Cuál es tu pregunta hoy?

 

Rosetta: Mi pregunta es, me dio positivo el 17 de febrero y estuve en cuarentena durante 10 días, y gracias a Dios no me enfermé demasiado. Entonces, quiero saber ahora, ¿puedo darme la vacuna ahora?

 

Bill Walsh: Está bien, ¿has...?

 

Rosetta: ¿O debería esperar? ¿O qué?

 

Bill Walsh: Bueno, preguntémosle a la Dra. Gottlieb. Dra. Gottlieb, ¿puede darle a Rosetta alguna información al respecto?

 

Lindsey Gottlieb: Hola, Rosetta, bueno, primero me alegra saber que no te enfermaste demasiado. Depende de la instalación en la que uno se vacune. Aquí, en nuestras instalaciones, vacunaríamos a cualquier persona que haya tenido COVID-19 siempre que hayan pasado al menos 10 días desde que se enfermó, siempre que haya terminado su cuarentena y se sienta mejor.

 

Existe una excepción para las personas que recibieron un tipo de tratamiento llamado tratamiento con anticuerpos monoclonales, en cuyo caso deben esperar tres meses. Los CDC han dicho que las personas como tú estarían bien esperando tres meses para vacunarse. Por lo tanto, en algunas instalaciones, es posible que veas que sí recomiendan que esperes esos tres meses, pero definitivamente una vez que hayan transcurrido esos tres meses, se recomendaría que continúes y te vacunes si aún no lo has hecho.

 

Bill Walsh: Ahora, Dra. Gottlieb, ¿le harán preguntas a Rosetta como esa cuando vaya a inscribirse? Entonces, ¿recibirá alguna orientación cuando se registre para una cita?

 

Lindsey Gottlieb: Lo que puedo decirles es aquí en el estado de Nueva York, definitivamente sí. Una de las preguntas que hacemos antes de administrar la vacuna en colaboración con nuestros colegas del Departamento de Salud es: "¿Ha tenido COVID-19?" Y mientras, como dije, ellos se hayan recuperado y ya no estén en cuarentena, entonces podemos continuar.

 

Bill Walsh: Pero si la gente dio positivo recientemente, deberían avisar a la gente de eso, ¿correcto? ¿A quien está dando la vacuna?

 

No estoy segura de entender.

 

Lindsey Gottlieb: ¡Sí, absolutamente! Y, como he dicho, a ellos, por lo general, se les hará esa pregunta, ya sea en el momento en que la programan o, al menos, en el momento en que van a recibir su inyección.

 

Bill Walsh: Está bien, Dra. Gottlieb, muchas gracias. Jean, ¿de quién es nuestra próxima llamada?

 

Jean Setzfand: Nuestro próximo interlocutor es James de Utah.

 

Bill Walsh: Hola, James. Bienvenido al programa. Continúa con tu pregunta.

 

James: Gracias. Mi pregunta es, dado que los cheques de estímulo se basan en los ingresos de familias o individuos, ¿qué años de ingresos utilizan para eso?

 

Bill Walsh: Bien, Erin Collins de la oficina del Defensor del Contribuyente Nacional, ¿quieres intentar responder? ¿Erin?

 

Erin Collins: Lo siento, estaba en silencio. Para el primer pago de estímulo, se basaron en la declaración del 2018 o 2019, si estaba en el sistema. Para el segundo pago de estímulo, se basaron solo en la declaración del 2019, y para el tercer pago de estímulo, si tienen la del 2019, la usarán, de lo contrario, dependerán de su declaración del 2020. Con suerte, eso ayude a comprender.

 

Bill Walsh: Está bien, muy bien. Jean, ¿de quién es nuestra próxima llamada?

 

Jean Setzfand: Tenemos bastantes preguntas en Facebook y YouTube, y en YouTube, Karen pregunta: "Recibí la vacuna J y J. ¿Puedo recibir la vacuna de Pfizer o de Moderna además de la vacuna J y J?"

 

Bill Walsh: Dra. Gottlieb, ¿tiene alguna idea al respecto?

 

Lindsey Gottlieb: Aprecio su entusiasmo por querer vacunarse, eso es genial, pero la respuesta es no. En este momento, la recomendación es solo obtener la vacuna de una compañía y seguir con esa compañía. Sabemos, como dije, que todas son realmente efectivas, especialmente para prevenir la enfermedad grave, hospitalizaciones y muerte, y lo que realmente necesitamos hacer, que no solo es lo mejor para otras personas, si no también lo mejor para nosotros mismos, desde una perspectiva de salud pública es asegurarnos de que estamos usando las dosis que nos quedan para vacunar a otras personas. Así que podemos vacunar a la mayor cantidad posible de la población y, con suerte, llegar a ese punto de inmunidad colectiva del que todo el mundo habla. Entonces, en este momento la respuesta sería no.

 

Bill Walsh: Está bien, está bien, muy bien. Jean, ¿nuestra próxima llamada?

 

Jean Setzfand: Nuestra próxima llamada es Theresa de Nueva York.

 

Bill Walsh: Hola, Theresa, bienvenida al programa. ¿Cuál es tu pregunta?

 

Theresa: ¿Esa soy yo?

 

Bill Walsh: Sí, adelante, Theresa.

 

Theresa: Mi pregunta estaba relacionada con los impuestos.

 

Bill Walsh: Está bien.

 

Theresa: Yo usualmente, por un tiempo, no estaba presentando mi declaración de impuestos porque no tenía que hacerlo, y mi esposo y yo, ya que él hizo una cierta cantidad que tienes que ganar, para no declarar impuestos. Solo presenté la del estado. Entonces, quería saber si tengo que presentar este año, ¿cuánto tendría que ganar?

 

Bill Walsh: Bien, ¿por sus impuestos federales? Bueno, preguntémosle a Erin Collins. ¿Erin?

 

Theresa: No federal, solo estatal. No tenemos que... Seguro Social, no tienes que presentar una declaración federal si no trabajas o no recibes dinero.

 

Erin Collins: Sí, Theresa, yo... desafortunadamente, no sé para el estado de Nueva York. Si ingresas en línea a la página web de la autoridad fiscal de Nueva York, debería tener esos montos. La única razón por la que podrías querer considerar la presentación para propósitos federales es para asegurarse de recibir sus pagos de estímulo más a tiempo, porque si el IRS tiene su declaración en el archivo, entonces se te pagará en el primer, segundo o tercer lote de pagos del IRS.

 

Por lo tanto, aunque no tengas un requisito, puede haber otros beneficios a los que podrías tener derecho o, nuevamente, puedes obtener los pagos de estímulo más rápido si presentas una declaración electrónica para el 2020 que refleje potencialmente ningún ingreso si tu Seguro Social no es gravado.

 

Bill Walsh: Gracias por ese consejo, Erin, te lo agradezco. Muy bien, Jean, ¿de quién es nuestra próxima llamada?

 

Jean Setzfand: Nuestra próxima llamada es de Barbara de Nebraska.

 

Bill Walsh: Hola, Barbara. Bienvenida al programa, ¿cuál es tu pregunta?

 

Barbara: Me inscribí en nombre de mi esposo y yo en el sitio web de Nebraska para recibir la vacuna contra la COVID-19. No hemos escuchado nada, él tiene 74 años, yo tengo 73, problemas de salud y cuando llamé a nuestro Departamento de Salud y Servicios Humanos y pregunté, bueno, estábamos registrados, pero podrían ser de 2 a 3 meses. Y escucho a personas que son 20 años más jóvenes que yo y mi esposo, ya han recibido inyecciones, las dos ya.

 

Bill Walsh: Bien.

 

Barbara: ¿Qué pasa con estas pautas si no las siguen?

 

Bill Walsh: Bueno, es una buena pregunta. Me pregunto si la Dra. Gottlieb tiene algunas ideas sobre las pautas y cuán estrechamente los estados se han adherido a ellas.

 

Lindsey Gottlieb: Sí, gracias, Barbara. Me imagino que eso es bastante frustrante y creo que la respuesta honesta es que, como dijiste, son solo pautas y a cada estado se le ha dado mucha autoridad para averiguar exactamente cómo las implementarán y qué grupos abrir, cuándo y dónde instalar sus sitios de vacunación, y cuál será su horario, y eso es frustrante.

 

Tienes razón y algunos estados ya han abierto a toda la población y tú estás allí sentada con comorbilidades y otras condiciones que deberían darte derecho y no puedes obtenerla. Entonces, ya sabes, sé que AARP está trabajando para hacer algo de difusión y ayuda para personas como tú que tienen problemas para conseguir citas, así que no sé si puedes hablar un poco más sobre ese programa.

 

Bill Walsh: Sí, estamos ayudando a las personas que no tienen acceso a una computadora o que tienen problemas para usar la tecnología. Si las personas marcan 1 en su teléfono, pueden comunicarse con un miembro del personal de AARP. Les devolveremos la llamada, les brindaremos ayuda y les ayudaremos a registrarse. También quería que nuestros oyentes conocieran las pautas estado por estado, recursos que tenemos en todo el país para el registro de vacunas.

 

Si vas a aarp.org/infovacuna, aarp.org/infovacuna, verás una pequeña herramienta allí. Puedes consultar tu estado y ver cuáles son las pautas estatales, verás números de teléfono gratuitos, otra información e incluso preguntas para hacerles a su médico. Entonces, ese es un posible recurso. Parece que Barbara en Nebraska ya se había comunicado a un número gratuito y le dijeron, supongo que solo le sugeriría que siga intentándolo y, ya sabes, se asegure de que comprendan sus circunstancias. Con suerte, pronto se vacunará. Jean, ¿de quién es nuestra próxima llamada?

 

Jean Setzfand: Aquí hay otra pregunta de Steve en YouTube, centrada, nuevamente, en los ingresos y los estímulos. Steve pregunta: "Tenía ingresos altos en el 2019, me jubilé en el 2020 y mis ingresos son más bajos. Cuando se emitieron los cheques de estímulo, se basaban en los ingresos del 2019. Entonces, pensé que no calificaba. ¿Califico con mis ingresos más bajos para el 2020?"

 

Bill Walsh: Pregunta interesante. Erin Collins, ¿tienes una respuesta para eso?

 

Erin Collins: ¡Sí! Las buenas noticias, Steve, es que los tres se basan en tu declaración del 2020 con el fin de obtener el pago. Por lo tanto, si presentas tu declaración de impuestos del 2020 y tus ingresos se reducen y todo está dentro de los requisitos de elegibilidad, deberías poder ajustar la cantidad en esa línea 30 de la declaración de impuestos y una vez que tu declaración del 2020 esté en el sistema, el IRS debe enviar tu tercer pago de EIP según tu declaración del 2020. Por lo tanto, suponiendo que cumplas con los requisitos de elegibilidad, deberías recibir los tres pagos.

 

Bill Walsh: ¡Bien por Steve! Muy bien, y también, tuvimos a Theresa en la línea desde Nueva York haciendo algunas preguntas sobre impuestos. Tenemos el número para ti, Theresa, de la Autoridad Fiscal del Estado de Nueva York, que es 518-457-5149. Así que, con suerte, puedan ayudarte. Tomemos otra llamada, Jean. ¿Quién sigue?

 

Jean Setzfand: Nuestra próxima llamada es Rachel de California.

 

Bill Walsh: Hola, Rachel. Bienvenida al programa, continúa con tu pregunta.

 

Rachel: Hola, gracias por atender mi llamada. Soy una persona de 65 años con numerosos problemas de salud, cáncer, etcétera, y he estado tratando de ponerme la vacuna J&J debido a varias cosas, alergias a las otras vacunas Moderna y Pfizer, y no puedo, vivo en San Diego, California; me comuniqué con mi alcalde y los concejales sin éxito, y realmente necesito ayuda. Estuve en su otra teleasamblea y no se me permitió hacer mi pregunta, pero realmente me gustaría que alguien me ayudara a mí y a mi esposo de Seguridad Nacional de 71 años, quien tampoco puede vacunarse por las mismas razones.

 

Bill Walsh: Y mencionaste alergias, ¿dijiste que has tenido alergias a las vacunas en el pasado?

 

Rachel: Hay un componente de la vacuna, el huevo, no puedo recibir la vacuna de Moderna ni la de Pfizer.

 

Bill Walsh: Ya veo. Bueno, preguntémosle a la Dra. Gottlieb si tiene alguna sugerencia. ¿Dra. Gottlieb?

 

Lindsey Gottlieb: ¡Claro! Primero, para tocar las alergias en general, ya que podría aplicarse a otras personas. Hubo algunos informes iniciales de algunas personas que tenían reacciones alérgicas graves, inicialmente a la vacuna Pfizer. En este punto, afortunadamente, parece que aquellos que tuvieron reacciones severas son bastante, bastante pocos. El último número que vi fue 4.4 por millón de personas, que es un número mucho menor y luego, por supuesto, las personas que se están enfermando por COVID-19, y afortunadamente todos los lugares que administran vacunas están configurados para lidiar con una reacción alérgica si ocurre.

 

Dicho esto, Rachel, hay personas potencialmente como tú o los miembros de tu familia que realmente tienen una contraindicación. En este momento, esas son si uno ha tenido una reacción alérgica grave a un ingrediente de la inyección, o potencialmente a otra vacuna. Si eso se aplica, en cuanto a la disponibilidad de la vacuna de Johnson & Johnson, sé que al menos aquí en el estado de Nueva York, la disponibilidad es un poco más limitada en comparación con las vacunas de ARNm.

 

Creo que eso es solo porque la cantidad inicial de vacunas que se han alineado para distribuir en el momento en que obtuvieron su autorización de uso de emergencia no fue una gran cantidad, pero sé que tienen muchas en la línea de producción, por lo que anticipo en las próximas semanas te resultará más fácil encontrar un lugar que pueda brindarles esa vacuna, incluso si no pueden hacerlo hoy.

 

Bill Walsh: Bien, gracias, Dra. Gottlieb y gracias por todas sus preguntas. Pronto responderemos más de sus preguntas, y recuerden, si desean hacer una pregunta, presionen * 3 en el teclado de su teléfono. Volvamos a nuestras expertas por un momento. Erin, el proyecto de ley más reciente de COVID-19 agregó una desgravación fiscal para los beneficios de desempleo del 2020, y ¿hay nuevos formularios o pasos específicos que se deben tomar si uno recibió beneficios de desempleo el año pasado y ya presentó una declaración?

 

Erin Collins: Sí, como mencionaste, el reciente cambio de ley tuvo lugar a mediados de marzo. Entonces, el desafío es que algunas personas pueden haber presentado ya su declaración, y otras que no lo han hecho. Entonces, tratemos con las personas que ya pueden haber presentado su declaración porque, como indica la ley, no tienes que incluir hasta $10,200 de tus beneficios de desempleo en tus ingresos. Tienen un requisito de elegibilidad. Si tu ingreso bruto ajustado es superior a $150,000, será eliminado, pero si ya has presentado tu declaración de impuestos y has incluido el monto total de tu compensación por desempleo, no debes presentar una declaración enmendada en este momento.

 

El IRS está tratando de determinar si pueden ajustar automáticamente la declaración excluyendo esa cifra de $10,200 y emitiendo un reembolso directamente a los contribuyentes. El IRS no ha podido confirmar si pueden o no hacer esos cambios en la programación de IT, así que estén atentos, pero recomendamos en este momento, no presentar una declaración enmendada porque si pueden hacerlo automáticamente, podrías en realidad ralentiza el proceso.

 

Pero para aquellos contribuyentes que no han presentado una declaración, tanto el IRS como todas las empresas de software de preparación de impuestos han actualizado sus formularios y sus pautas. Entonces, cuando prepares tu declaración, hay información disponible sobre cómo hacer los cálculos para que puedas reducir tus ingresos por desempleo hasta esa exclusión de $10,200. Entonces, es un resultado realmente grandioso. Ojalá el Congreso hubiera decidido hacer eso antes de la temporada de presentación de solicitudes. Va a causar algunos desafíos para la gente, pero es realmente genial que hayan podido reducir y darles a los contribuyentes ese beneficio.

 

Bill Walsh: Sí. Gracias por eso, Erin. Dra. Gottlieb, déjeme volver a hablar con usted. La COVID-19 ha tenido un impacto trágico y bien documentado en los adultos mayores, así como en las personas de color. ¿Cómo se busca la distribución de vacunas para abordar estos problemas?

 

Lindsey Gottlieb: Gracias. Creo que ese es un punto y una pregunta muy importantes. Es absolutamente cierto que las personas de color, las personas con antecedentes socioeconómicos desfavorecidos y las personas mayores se vieron afectadas de manera amplia y desproporcionada por la COVID-19. Desafortunadamente, lo que hemos visto en las primeras partes del lanzamiento de la vacuna es que esos mismos grupos están mal representados en nuestros programas de vacunas. Y creo que hay muchas razones diferentes por las que eso está sucediendo.

 

Algo de eso es que ciertos grupos, en particular las personas de color, tienen cierta indecisión sobre las vacunas arraigada en muchos años de maltrato por parte del sistema de salud y, para abordar eso, creo que es realmente importante que las personas de esas comunidades, ya sabes, hablen sobre cómo ocurre este proceso de investigación. Un punto realmente importante a destacar es que Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson, todos se dieron cuenta de que es importante que incluyamos a personas de diversos orígenes y de todos los extremos del espectro de edad, al menos todavía no los niños, pero cualquiera a partir de los 16 a 18 años hasta las personas mayores, para asegurarnos de que sabemos que estas vacunas funcionan en todos los diferentes grupos de personas.

 

Entonces, en los tres estudios, los participantes fueron realmente un reflejo de la composición racial y de edad de nuestro país, y encontraron que estas vacunas eran, ya sabes, casi igualmente efectivas en todos los orígenes raciales y en todos los grupos de edad. Entonces, creo que ese es un punto realmente importante para comprender cómo fueron estos procesos de investigación, pero otra parte de esa tasa de vacuna más baja es el acceso. Y hay muchas cosas que entran en juego.

 

Es dónde establecemos nuestros sitios de vacunas, cómo ayudamos a las personas a inscribirse en las citas si hay barreras idiomáticas o si las personas no tienen acceso a la tecnología. Entonces, sé que aquí, en nuestro sistema de salud y en todo el estado de Nueva York, realmente estamos trabajando para abordar estos problemas, para establecer sitios de distribución de vacunas en centros comunitarios, como iglesias y otros lugares a los que sea fácil llegar para las personas de camino al trabajo.

 

Entonces, para las personas que trabajan durante la noche, ahora ofrecemos vacunas o en medio de la noche para las personas que no pueden salir durante su turno diurno. Y luego, tener formas en que las personas puedan llamar para programar citas o grupos como ustedes que ayudan a personas que no tienen acceso a la tecnología para programar esas citas son componentes realmente importantes para ayudar a abordar este problema de disparidad.

 

Bill Walsh: Bien, gracias, Dra. Gottlieb. Vamos a llegar a más preguntas de los oyentes en un momento, pero antes de hacerlo, queremos ofrecer nuevamente los servicios de los equipos de registro de vacunas de AARP. Si estás escuchando hoy y no tienes una computadora y no puedes registrarte para recibir una vacuna en tu comunidad porque no tienes acceso a la tecnología, presiona 1 en tu teléfono para que te agreguen a una lista para recibir una llamada de un miembro del personal de AARP para que te ayude.

 

Entonces, nuevamente, si estás escuchando hoy y no tienes acceso a una computadora o internet, y no puedes registrarte para una vacuna debido a eso, presiona 1 para que te agreguen a una lista para recibir una llamada telefónica de AARP y te ayudaremos. Cuando llames, se te pedirá que confirmes esa selección y luego volverá a esta llamada. Ahora es el momento de abordar más preguntas con la Dra. Lindsey Gottlieb y Erin Collins. Presiona * 3 en cualquier momento en el teclado de tu teléfono para conectarte con un miembro del personal de AARP. Jean, ¿a quién tenemos ahora en la línea?

 

Jean Setzfand: Nuestra próxima llamada es de Nancy de Colorado.

 

Bill Walsh: Hola, Nancy, bienvenida al programa. Continúa con tu pregunta.

 

Nancy: ¡Gracias, sí! Acabo de escuchar a una señora al principio de la conversación decir que la fecha de impuestos se había extendido del 15 de abril al 17 de mayo. ¿Verdad?

 

Bill Walsh: Correcto.

 

Nancy: ¿Y eso incluye tanto a los estados como a los federales? Sé que federal es... ¿el estado está incluido en eso?

 

Bill Walsh: Consigamos una aclaración. ¿Erin Collins?

 

Erin Collins: Sí, la mayoría de las declaraciones estatales siguen a las federales. Por lo tanto, no conozco todos los estados, pero sería muy fácil para ti verificarlo. Simplemente ve al sitio web de impuestos de Colorado y busca esa información, pero creo que la mayoría de los estados están siguiendo el tiempo adicional.

 

Bill Walsh: Está bien. Jean, ¿de quién es nuestra próxima llamada?

 

Jean Setzfand: Nuestra próxima llamada es Cory de Illinois.

 

Bill Walsh: Hola, Cory, continúa con tu pregunta.

 

Cory: De hecho, tengo dos preguntas. La primera es, acabo de escuchar ayer de mi hermano en Tennessee que las noticias locales sugieren que muchas personas que recibieron su primera vacuna se saltan la segunda dosis. Creo que es una idea bastante loca, pero ¿tenemos alguna idea de qué tan bien protegidas estarán esas personas? La otra pregunta, muy rápidamente, cuando salgan los refuerzos, ¿tendremos que obtener un refuerzo para la vacuna específica que recibimos?

 

Bill Walsh: Excelentes preguntas. Dra. Gottlieb, ¿debería la gente saltarse la segunda dosis?

 

Lindsey Gottlieb: Gracias, Cory y la respuesta es no. Estas vacunas, tanto para las vacunas Moderna como para las Pfizer, donde se recomienda una segunda dosis, así es como se diseñaron estas vacunas para protegernos mejor. Y eso es lo que realmente tenemos en la investigación para respaldar que nos dan el beneficio completo. Entonces, ¿tenemos algo de protección desde la primera inyección?

 

Sí, pero no sabemos qué tan fuerte o cuánto dura esa protección. Entonces, esa segunda inyección es realmente importante en este momento, ya que al mismo tiempo obtendrás esa protección más duradera. Entonces, si tú o algún amigo o seres queridos están pensando en saltarse esa segunda inyección, ya saben, hicieron el esfuerzo de obtener la primera, simplemente terminen para que podamos llegar al final de la carrera.

 

Bill Walsh: Está bien y Cory también había preguntado acerca de la inyección de refuerzo. ¿Crees que será necesario?

 

Lindsey Gottlieb: Bien, yo diría "por determinarse". La gran discusión con algunas de estas variantes más nuevas, las versiones más nuevas del virus que están circulando son, ¿habrá un punto en el que nuestras vacunas sean tan efectivas y necesitemos darles a las personas un refuerzo para apuntar a una variante más nueva? Eso no es algo que necesitaremos en las próximas semanas, pero es posible que meses o años más adelante, sea algo que se recomiende.

 

Si ese algo significará más de una vez en nuestra vida o en qué momento, es demasiado pronto para decirlo en este momento y, por lo tanto, no creo que tengamos idea de si se recomendará obtener una de la misma empresa de la que se obtuvo la primera vez. Creo que es algo para lo que necesitaremos más investigación para responder si llegara a ser necesario.

 

Bill Walsh: Bien, gracias por eso. Muy bien, Jean, ¿de quién es nuestra próxima llamada?

 

Jean Setzfand: Nuestro próximo interlocutor es Dennis de Florida.

 

Bill Walsh: Hola, Dennis, bienvenido al programa. Continúa con tu pregunta.

 

Dennis: Sí, mi pregunta tiene que ver con la última Ley del Plan de Rescate Estadounidense. Quiero saber si eso incluye una exención del requisito de pago, o tener una distribución mínima requerida de los planes del IRA tradicionales.

 

Bill Walsh: Está bien, pregunta interesante. Bueno, preguntémosle a Erin Collins sobre eso. ¿Qué pasa con la distribución mínima requerida de los planes IRA?

 

Erin Collins: Dennis, sospecho que sabes que hace un año, cuando hicieron la ley CARES en marzo pasado, permitieron suspender ese pago. La ley actual no tiene la misma disposición sobre la distribución mínima requerida. Entonces, creo, a menos que el Congreso salga y cambie una ley en el futuro cercano, se te pedirá que hagas esa distribución. Entonces, supongo que son buenas noticias para el año pasado, no tan buenas noticias para este año.

 

Bill Walsh: Está bien. Gracias, Erin. Jean, ¿de quién es nuestra próxima llamada?

 

Jean Setzfand: La siguiente persona que llama es Sharon de Nueva York.

 

Bill Walsh: Hola, Sharon, bienvenida al programa. Continúa con tu pregunta.

 

Sharon: Hola, gracias por atender mi llamada. Estaba interesada en saber si la vacuna se recomienda para personas que tienen enfermedades de inmunodeficiencia como el hipotiroidismo de Hashimoto, además de tener más de 60 años, y aparte de eso, me gustaría saber, cuando intenté llamar en algún lugar, me pidieron mi tarjeta de seguro. Entonces, me preguntaba qué pasa con eso. Pensé que era una vacuna gratuita. Entonces, tengo una pregunta de dos partes.

 

Bill Walsh: De acuerdo. Bien, empecemos con la Dra. Gottlieb. ¿Puede ayudar a Sharon, Dra. Gottlieb?

 

Lindsey Gottlieb: ¡Sí, claro! Entonces, primero, en cuanto a: "¿Debería ponerme la vacuna si estoy inmunodeprimido o si tengo más de 50 años?" La edad es la respuesta más fácil y rápida, que es que todos los espectros de edad de 18 años o más en Moderna y Johnson & Johnson, y de 16 años o más en Pfizer se incluyeron en los ensayos y no hubo límites de edad superiores. Y sabemos que la edad avanzada está asociada con un mayor riesgo de enfermarse mucho por COVID-19.

 

Por lo tanto, la vejez es definitivamente una buena razón para vacunarse. También las condiciones comprometedoras, ya sean medicamentos que debilitan el sistema inmunitario o una afección subyacente, todavía se recomienda que esos grupos se vacunen. Y, de hecho, probablemente sean un grupo muy importante para recibir la vacuna, pero advertimos a las personas que debido a que esos grupos no se incluyeron en los ensayos y porque sabemos que a veces se necesita un sistema inmunitario fuerte para poder montar una fuerte respuesta inmunitaria a una vacuna, que es posible que no estén tan protegidos por la vacuna como las personas que no tienen esas afecciones subyacentes.

 

Ahora, esa es realmente la razón por la que es tan importante que otras personas también se vacunen, para ayudar a proteger a aquellas personas que podrían no formar una respuesta fuerte a la vacuna, pero que aún alentamos a las personas a que se vacunen. La última parte es sobre el seguro, entonces, algunas instalaciones le pedirán su seguro médico porque pueden facturar al seguro por la visita, pero no debería haber gastos de bolsillo. Y si no tienes seguro, aún deberían permitirte programar la cita. Por lo tanto, ningún dinero debería salir de su bolsillo.

 

Bill Walsh: Bien, gracias, Dra. Gottlieb. Jean, ¿de quién es nuestra próxima llamada?

 

Jean Setzfand: Nuestra próxima llamada es Umish de Nebraska.

 

Jean: Hola, Umish, bienvenida al programa. Continúa con tu pregunta.

 

Umish: Mi pregunta es que mi hijo preparó una declaración de impuestos este año para el año pasado, y recibió la respuesta del IRS de que alguien ya había usado ese Seguro Social y no puede hacerlo. Entonces, no obtiene nada. No están aceptando eso, luego llamamos al IRS como en línea, vimos el número. No hay nadie con quien hablar, pero nos dijeron, "Envíen este formulario y ese formulario", llenamos el formulario. Ya han pasado unas 2 o 3 semanas, pero nadie nos ha dado ninguna respuesta. Entonces, ¿cómo se puede solucionar esto?

 

Bill Walsh: Interesante. Erin Collins, ¿tienes algún consejo para Umish? Erin, puede que estés en silencio.

 

Erin Collins: Lo estaba. Gracias. Si estamos hablando de una declaración de impuestos subyacente versus un pago de estímulo, entonces si él tiene problemas con su declaración de impuestos, probablemente deba llamar a la gente de mi oficina, que es la Oficina de Servicios del Defensor del Contribuyente. Si visita nuestra página web, puede buscarla por ubicación. Tenemos una oficina en un área de Nebraska, debes incluir un número de teléfono y un número de fax. Así que le sugiero a tu hijo que se comunique con alguien de nuestra oficina allí y espero que puedan ayudarlo.

 

Bill Walsh: Está bien, parece que tal vez pueda ser un problema de identidad robada que otra persona solicitó con el número de seguridad de su hijo. ¿Qué recurso tiene en ese caso?

 

Erin Collins: Sí, es lo mismo. Trabajamos mucho con personas con robo de identidad y sospecho que esos son algunos de los formularios a los que Umish hizo referencia que le dio el IRS. En este momento, debido a que el IRS está lidiando con los problemas de COVID-19 y el distanciamiento social, no tienen tantas personas físicamente en el edificio, lo que realmente está ralentizando el progreso de resolver los problemas dentro del IRS. Mi corazón está con su hijo porque ante un caso de robo de identidad, es difícil resolverlo, pero como dije, si se comunica con el Servicio de Defensa del Contribuyente en Nebraska, con suerte, ellos pueden ayudarle.

 

Bill Walsh: Y, Erin, ¿cuál es el mejor sitio web o número de teléfono para que la gente llame para obtener esa información local?

 

Erin Collins: El sitio web es, si vas a irs.gov, hay una sección completa en Servicio del Defensor del Contribuyente. Tenemos un mapa de Estados Unidos, puedes elegir qué ciudad, qué estado y enumera todos los números de teléfono locales a los que puedes llamar.

 

Bill Walsh: Muy bien, irs.gov. Buena suerte, Umish. Parece que podría ser una situación complicada. Muy bien, Jean, tomemos otra llamada.

 

Jean Setzfand: La siguiente persona que llama es Marcia en Nueva York.

 

Bill Walsh: Hola, Marcia, bienvenida al programa. Continúa con tu pregunta.

 

Marcia: Mi pregunta es, si tuviste la COVID-19, ¿es necesario colocarse la inyección porque todavía tienes los anticuerpos en este momento?

 

Bill Walsh: ¿Cuánto tiempo hace? No sé si te refieres a ti o no, pero ¿has dado positivo o...?

 

Marcia: No, no soy yo, pero conozco a alguien que tuvo COVID-19 y me preguntaba si uno tuvo COVID-19, ¿es necesario vacunarse?

 

Bill Walsh: ¿Podría tener algo que ver con cuánto tiempo hace que dieron positivo y tuvieron COVID-19? ¿Hace cuanto tiempo fue? Solo una idea.

 

Marcia: Hace dos meses.

 

Bill Walsh: ¿Hace dos meses? Bien, bien, Dra. Gottlieb, ¿disculpa? ¿Hace un mes? Bueno. Dra. Gottlieb, ¿qué le puede decir a Marcia sobre eso?

 

Lindsey Gottlieb: Sí, recomendamos que las personas que previamente tuvieron COVID-19 se vacunen. Como mencioné anteriormente, los CDC dijeron que está bien esperar hasta tres meses después de la infección inicial para vacunarse porque al menos durante esos tres meses, probablemente uno esté bastante protegido por los anticuerpos que formó a partir de la infección inicial, pero nos preocupa que los anticuerpos y la respuesta inmunitaria de una infección previa no permanezcan necesariamente en el cuerpo y lo protejan tanto tiempo como lo hará la vacuna. Y también, que no todos los que tenían la infección desarrollaron el tipo correcto de anticuerpos. Entonces, por esa razón, todavía recomendamos que cualquier persona que haya tenido COVID-19 se vacune, pero si desea esperar tres meses para hacerlo, no debería haber problema.

 

Bill Walsh: Bien, gracias, Dra. Gottlieb. Y estamos casi al final de la hora y Dra. Gottlieb y Erin Collins, quería preguntar si había algún pensamiento final o recomendación que nuestros oyentes deberían entender más de nuestra conversación de hoy. Dra. Gottlieb, ¿por qué no empezamos por usted?

 

Lindsey Gottlieb: ¡Claro! Nuevamente, muchas gracias por invitarme. Creo que no hay duda de que en este punto de la pandemia, las vacunas y la vacunación de la mayor parte de nuestra población lo más rápido posible es probablemente lo más importante que podemos hacer, en combinación con seguir usando mascarilla cuando estamos en público para salir realmente de esta pandemia. Por lo tanto, vacúnense cuando puedan hacerlo, traten de ser pacientes si el proceso demora un poco más de lo que les gustaría para obtener su cita y, como dije antes, la vacuna que puedas obtener primero es probablemente la mejor para ti.

 

Bill Walsh: Bien, muchas gracias Dra. Gottlieb. Erin Collins, del IRS, Defensora Nacional del Contribuyente. ¿Algún pensamiento final o recomendación?

 

Erin Collins: Sí, recomendaría que la gente no use el teléfono. Desafortunadamente, las líneas telefónicas del IRS están realmente saturadas, el volumen ha aumentado mucho y, nuevamente, la cantidad de empleados que trabajan con los teléfonos ha disminuido. Entonces, se ve que tal vez 1 de cada 5 o 1 de cada 8 llamadas telefónicas están siendo respondidas. Por lo tanto, visiten irs.gov, que tiene muy buena información, así como el sitio web de AARP, tiene buena información fiscal general, y si vas a presentar tu declaración de impuestos, hazlo electrónicamente. No presentes una declaración en papel. Las devoluciones en papel tienen retrasos muy largos en su procesamiento. Presenta la información de forma electrónica y, si puedes proporcionar información de enrutamiento bancario, obtendrás tus reembolsos y pagos de estímulo mucho más rápido.

 

Bill Walsh: Está bien, muchas gracias, Erin. Esta ha sido una discusión realmente informativa y gracias a cada una de ustedes por responder a nuestras preguntas. Y gracias a nuestros socios, voluntarios y oyentes de AARP por participar en el debate de hoy. AARP, una organización sin fines de lucro con membresía y no partidista, ha estado trabajando para promover la salud y el bienestar de los adultos mayores durante más de 60 años. Frente a esta crisis, estamos brindando información y recursos para ayudar a los adultos mayores y a quienes los cuidan a protegerse del virus y prevenir su propagación a otras personas mientras se cuidan a sí mismos.

 

Todos los recursos a los que se hizo referencia hoy, incluida una grabación del evento de preguntas y respuestas de hoy, se podrán encontrar en aarp.org/elcoronavirus a partir de mañana, 26 de marzo. Una vez más, esa dirección web es aarp.org/elcoronavirus. Ve allí si tu pregunta no fue respondida y busca las últimas actualizaciones, además de información creada específicamente para adultos mayores y cuidadores familiares. Esperamos que hayas aprendido algo que pueda ayudarte a ti y a tus seres queridos a mantenerse saludables.

 

Acompáñennos nuevamente el 1 de abril, a la 1 p.m., para escuchar un evento en vivo especial, Coronavirus en la comunidad negra. Gracias y que tengan un buen día. Con esto concluye nuestra llamada.

Coronavirus: The Stimulus, Taxes and Vaccine

March 25, at 1 p.m. ET

Listen to a replay of the live event above. 

This live Q&A event addressed vaccine distribution efforts, the latest coronavirus relief law, and key information about filing your taxes.

Meet the experts:

  • Lindsey Gottlieb, M.D.
    Director of Infection Prevention,
    Mount Sinai Morningside

  • Erin Collins
    National Taxpayer Advocate,
    Internal Revenue Service

  • Nancy LeaMond
    Special Guest
    Senior Vice President
    States and Community Engagement, AARP

Resources:


For the latest coronavirus news and advice, go to AARP.org/coronavirus.


Replay previous AARP Coronavirus Tele-Town Halls

  • May 6 - Coronavirus: Vaccines, Variants and Coping
  • April 22 - Your Vaccine Questions Answered and Coronavirus: Vaccines and Asian American and Pacific Islanders
  • April 8 - Coronavirus and Latinos: Safety, Protection and Prevention and Vaccines and Caring for Grandkids and Loved Ones
  • April 1Coronavirus and The Black Community: Your Vaccine Questions Answered
  • March 25Coronavirus: The Stimulus, Taxes and Vaccine
  • March 11 - One Year of the Pandemic and Managing Personal Finances and Taxes
  • February 25Coronavirus Vaccines and You
  • February 11 - Coronavirus Vaccines: Your Questions Answered
  • January 28 - Coronavirus: Vaccine Distribution and Protecting Yourself
    & A Virtual World Awaits: Finding Fun, Community and Connections
  • January 14 - Coronavirus: Vaccines, Staying Safe & Coping and Prevention, Vaccines & the Black Community
  • January 7 - Coronavirus: Vaccines, Stimulus & Staying Safe
  • Dec 3 - Coronavirus: Staying Safe & Coping This Winter
  • Nov 19 - Coronavirus: Vaccines, Staying and A Caregiver's Thanksgiving
  • Nov 12 - Coronavirus: Coping and Maintaining Your Well-Being
  • Oct 1 - Coronavirus: Vaccines & Coping During the Pandemic
  • Sept 17 - Coronavirus: Prevention, Treatments, Vaccines & Avoiding Scams
  • Sept 3 - Coronavirus: Your Finances, Health & Family (6 months in)
  • Aug 20 - Your Health and Staying Protected
  • Aug 6 - Coronavirus: Answering Your Most Frequent Questions
  • July 23 - Coronavirus: Navigating the New Normal
  • July 16 - The Health and Financial Security of Latinos
  • July 9 - Coronavirus: Your Most Frequently Asked Questions
  • June 18 and 20 - Strengthening Relationships Over Time and  LGBTQ Non-Discrimination Protections
  • June 11 – Coronavirus: Personal Resilience in the New Normal