Skimm'd while taking care of (tax) business

theSkimm50 West 23rd Street, Suite 5B; New York, NY, 10010, United States Update Profile

MARCH 26, 2020


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Skimm'd while taking care of (tax) business


"We've also got a little Netflix and chilling happening" – How the Obamas are dealing with staying at home. First families, they're just like us.


The Story

Lawmakers reached an agreement on the biggest stimulus package in US history.

Great. What does that mean for me?

It depends on your situation. Most Americans will get a one-time payment of $1,200. And families get an extra $500 per child. If you make above $75k, you won't get the full $1,200, and those making above $99k don't qualify. The gov will decide how much to give you based on your gross income from your latest tax returns (think: from 2018 or 2019 taxes).

What if I'm unemployed?

This new package lets more people to qualify for unemployment benefits. Those who lost their jobs would get whatever their state usually provides for unemployment, plus $600 per week for up to four months. And those who aren't typically eligible for benefits including gig workers (think: Uber, Lyft drivers) and freelancers will be covered.

When will I get my check?

First, Congress needs to finish voting on the bill. Last night, it passed unanimously in the Senate. Now it goes to the House, where it's expected to pass tomorrow. After that, the timeline for actually getting the checks is unclear. But Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Americans would receive checks within three weeks. The money could be sent out electronically or by mail.

What else does this bill cover?

$367 billion have been set aside for small businesses (think: for loans to help pay workers or pay rent). $130 billion for hospitals fighting the coronavirus. And industries like airlines can get some relief from the package's $500 billion loan fund. But businesses from the Trump family or any senior gov official don't qualify for loan money.


This is the third coronavirus relief package that lawmakers and the Trump admin have worked on to provide some ease from the financial fallout. But as historic as this package is, it's still unclear if it will be enough to help Americans and industries deal with an uncertain future.

Psst...Getting a check in the mail is good news. But here's what else the coronavirus could mean for your wallet.


As the spread of COVID-19 continues, the UN is urging countries to release some of its prisoners because "physical distancing and self-isolation in such conditions are practically impossible." And to consider releasing the elderly population (who are more susceptible to the virus) and low-risk offenders.

Public health and prison officials have warned that cramped and unsanitary conditions in prisons are a breeding ground for the virus. And that it not only endangers inmates but also staff – who could spread it to their families and communities.

In the US, President Trump has said his admin was considering releasing older, nonviolent prisoners from federal prisons. But action is already happening on the state and county level: New York, California, and Ohio are releasing older and terminally ill patients. Prisons and jails across the country are taking precautionary measures like screening staff for fevers and limiting visitors. And some police officers are being asked to minimize the number of nonviolent arrests.


What's come to a close…

This investigation. Yesterday, prosecutors in Turkey announced the indictments of 20 Saudi nationals for the murder of Washington Post columnist and dissident Jamal Khashoggi. Reminder: Khashoggi was killed in October 2018 inside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul. Now, following a similar conclusion made by the CIA in 2018, Turkish officials concluded that Khashoggi was strangled and dismembered in a planned murder.

  • Not so fast: The accused are apparently in Saudi Arabia. Despite Interpol being involved, the kingdom is reportedly refusing to let them be extradited to Turkey. That prevents the case from moving to a trial, because Turkish law requires the defendants to be present in court for a trial to proceed.

What's a welcome discovery...

This AI program. Scientists have reportedly developed a program that uses artificial intelligence to screen people for lung cancer. The software looks for DNA mutations – that may lead to cancer – in a person's blood. Although the program is still in its experimental stage, doctors are hopeful that it proves its worth and can make lung cancer screening as simple as a routine blood test.

What's getting in on the action…

Pornhub. Earlier this week, the adult entertainment streaming giant said it's donating 50,000 surgical masks to health care workers and first responders in New York City. And will make its premium content free for users worldwide for 30 days due to COVID-19. The goal: to encourage people to stay home to flatten the curve, and provide everyone with "an enjoyable way to pass the time."

When your kids keep begging you to play video games…

Say "yes" this time.

Who's feeling the love down under...

Bindi and Chandler.


Q: How does the coronavirus affect my student loans?

A: In response to the economic side effects of COVID-19, federal student loan interest dropped to 0% for at least 60 days as of March 13. That won't actually lower your payments. But since 100% of your money will go toward the loan principal, you could (eventually) pay off the debt faster. If that's not enough, you can request a pause on your payments. Also interest-free.

We answered more of your coronavirus money Qs here. And we've got a lot more to help you stay financially healthy right now. Sign up to stay updated.


The COVID-19 pandemic is affecting us all in different ways. No matter your situation, sometimes you just need to press pause. Enter: our picks to help you take a break…

1. A night at the (virtual) museum. Ben Stiller's not there. But your fave pieces of art are.

2. Yoga. In your apartment? Groundbreaking. We're trying these CorePower yoga flows today. Fingers crossed we can move tomorrow.

3. What is, an online Jeopardy game? We'll take a good distraction for 500.

PS: Want more? Sign up for our weekly SkimmPicks email that will give you more recs to add to your queue.


For when you haven't started your taxes yet…

All in good time. But seriously you should get on it. Though the filing deadline was extended, the IRS is still processing refunds. And with many ways to file, H&R Block is available to help even during these uncertain times. You can drop off your docs at an office, work with a tax pro remotely, or file online yourself. Easy peasy.*

For when you're afraid to speak your mind…

Some motivation. Activist and author Glennon Doyle joined our latest episode of "Skimm'd From The Couch" sponsored by Sephora. She talks about how she started writing, and what her voice sounds like in her own head. Listen up.*

For when you have a little extra time on your hands…

Spend it wisely. Like with this language learning app. It can help you become conversational in a new language. With just three weeks of consistent practice. Plus Skimm'rs get up to 50% off. Oui oui.*

For when you have a video conference meeting in 10 minutes...

Time to "get dressed." This luxury sleepwear brand makes products you'll look and feel good in. So your co-workers will never know you just rolled out of bed. PS: Skimm'rs get $20 off. Cuddle up.*

*PS: This is a sponsored post.


In times like these, community matters more than ever. Send a shoutout in the link below to the people you're missing while social distancing. Or let us know how you (or someone you know) is making an impact by helping others.

Give a little with...Katie D (NY). She's part of the GiveDirectly team which recently launched an emergency COVID-19 cash relief fund for low-income families. In one day, the org sent cash (via debit cards) to 200 families receiving SNAP benefits in areas most impacted by COVID-19. The org plans to expand their work internationally. Want to help out? Learn more and donate here.

Go remote with…Eileen P (NY). She's part of a private practice that uses telemedicine, teletherapy, and telecoaching to continue providing appointments for their clients. This option has helped maintain mental health and combat isolation during these difficult times. The practice is now hosting groups for anyone interested, current client or not. Check them out here.

(Some) Birthdays...theSkimm's Juan Mejia (NY), Pete Strome (NY), Divya Sukumar (NY), Jennifer Kashani (CA), Carlos Mendoza (CA), Allison Jones (CA), Jocelyn Shoemake (CA), Carly Snyder (NY), Eva Van Wyk (IA), Angela Plicht (AZ), Rachel Munzer (CT), Erin Kharazi (WI), Emily Schultz (TX), Taryn Coghill (MN), Missoura Goldberg (VA), Jenn Jones (TX)

*Paging all members of theSkimm. Reach out here for a chance to be featured.