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A third round of stimulus payments are on their way. But has your second one shown up yet? Next question: Did you file last year’s 2019 taxes on paper instead of e-filing? If so, that might well be the reason you don’t have your money yet.

The IRS got behind on processing the paper tax forms we sent a year ago. If all had gone well, those who were eligible should have received a $600 stimulus check (the second one) by Jan. 29, 2021.

The IRS has a specific page for you to check the status of your stimulus payment, but it’s only good for the third stimulus check. All information for your first and second stimulus money has been removed from their website.

Start with and scroll to Get My Payment. Click on it and fill out the information. You’ll go to a page that tells you the status of the payment you’re to receive now, the third payment. If it says that payment information is Not Available, it means you’re not going to receive a payment the easy way (and might be why your second payment is still missing). On the Get My Payment page, click on Frequently Asked Questions to see what applies to you.

Even if you don’t normally file, you’ll need to file for 2020 (preferably e-file) if you want that stimulus money quickly. Look for Line 30 on the Form 1040 or 1040-SR. It’s called the Recovery Rebate Credit. If you received Notice 1444 or 1444B in the mail from the IRS, it will tell you what figures to use.

If you’re confused about COVID vaccine and when our lives are going to change for the better, you’re not alone. We’re considered to be fully vaccinated once two weeks have passed after the second dose of Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or two weeks after the one-dose Johnson & Johnson.

What’s new is this, per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: If fully vaccinated, you can be indoors with other fully vaccinated people without wearing a mask. You can meet indoors with unvaccinated people in one household unless one of those people has a health risk. If you’ve been around someone who has COVID, you don’t have to stay away from people or get tested unless you have symptoms … or live in a group setting. In that case, stay away from others for 14 days and get tested, even if you don’t have symptoms.

It gets worse. According to the CDC, as fabulous as this new vaccine is, even if fully vaccinated, we still need to wear masks in public. We still need to social distance. We still need to avoid medium and large crowds. We still need to stay out of poorly ventilated spaces. We should delay travel.

So what’s the holdup? Why are we still under restrictions after getting the vaccine? The best I can figure out is that the answer lies with the COVID variants, the different versions created as the virus mutates.

(c) 2021 King Features Synd., Inc.

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