Category: Government (Page 2 of 2)

The V-Safe After Vaccination Health Checker

The CDC would like to hear from you after you get your COVID-19 vaccine. Specifically, they want to monitor any vaccine side effects, and they’ve created a free tool for all to use. It’s called V-Safe and you can read all about it here.

Once you’ve gotten your first shot, get your vaccination record card in hand. You’ll need it as you sign up at the V-Safe registration website . Afterwards the CDC will send you texts to check in with you about how you feel after your shot(s). V-Safe will also remind you when to get your second vaccine shot, if needed.

The FCC Wants to Hear from You!

The Federal Communications Commission offers a broadband map website, where you can research internet offerings in your region. But there’s a problem with it. It’s based only on self-reported ISP data. This government tool is only as good as what the ISPs tell the feds about themselves.

To improve the situation, the FCC has just announced that they want public input on internet availability and quality. After collecting info from us regular folk, they will update their map-search-tool and decide better where government funding may be used to help expand internet access.

Please consider using this website to submit comments on your broadband experience. Be as detailed as you can be when naming companies or describing internet speeds/choices. Your commentary may eventually help improve the broadband map website and bring internet subsidies to areas that need it!

The IRS Free File Program

The IRS Free File Program can help you file your federal taxes for free. If your Adjusted Gross Income was less than $73,000 last year, you can go to this website and find a no-cost tax prep option.

State tax prep may also be free or might incur a fee. After you fill out some basic filing info, you will arrive a Results page, naming different tax prep companies. Read about each option to see which ones offer free state filing.

Be wary when pursuing “free” tax filing options through other websites. Many tax prep companies offer that on their websites, only to reveal later on that there are hidden fees and surprise costs. Sneaky! Our government, through IRS Free File, promises a truly free tax prep experience.

Vaccinate Virginia

If you live on the Commonwealth of Virginia, the Department of Health has launched a website to help you get the free COVID-19 vaccine. If you’ve already received the vaccine or registered through other means, then you don’t have to do anything. Otherwise, please visit this site to get pre-registered:

Vaccinate Virginia

Save this website (and your confirmation code at the end of registration) to check your registration status, going foward. And this site also offers a wealth of info from the Virginia Department Health. If for any reason you can’t use the site’s registration, please use this phone number for signing up: 877-829-4682.

Turning Off Facebook Voting Reminders

As Election Day approaches, there are a lot of differing opinions about what’s going to happen and what we need to do. But I’ve found that almost everyone can come together and agree on one thing:

Facebook can STOP reminding us to vote, already.

I’m not sure why, but the Zuckerbots are popping up too much on many phones and computers as you use Facebook. If you want Facebook to stop telling you to vote, you can turn that off!

On a computer, go to:

On the right, look for Voting reminders — you can turn that Off, and have a little less nagging in your life.

In the Facebook app on your mobile device, you would tap the hamburger button to the upper-right, scroll down to tap on See More, scroll down to tap on Town Hall. Tap Settings to find the same Voting Reminders option and turn it off.

This is only for Facebook’s non-partisan voting reminders. You may continue to see political ads or posts from people you’ve connected to.

Vote by Mail

The pandemic has many citizens looking to vote by mail this autumn, and the time to get ready for this is now. If voting by mail is permitted in your state, it will take some paperwork & waiting to get you confirmed for it.

For those interested, go to and choose the state in which you are eligible to vote in. Search that state’s election website for more info on “absentee voting” or mail-in voting. Each state may have a different procedure for you to sign up, if you want to vote by mail.

For my state (VA), I had to be a registered voter to even start this process. Then I had to apply to vote by mail. After waiting some weeks, my application arrived. I filled it out and sent it in to my local registrar. That registrar will verify my info and later send me an official mail-in ballot for voting.

The process isn’t hard, but it also isn’t as quick and simple as ordering a pizza. So don’t wait until the last minute!

Any Virginian who votes by mail can check their ballot (and entire voting history) at:

If you’re in another state, check your state’s elections site for similar tracking!


UPDATE: In May 2023, this app was retired. For more info, please see:

The Commonwealth of Virginia now offers an app that will help in the fight against COVID-19. If you install and activate this free app, it will notify you if you might’ve been exposed to (someone with) the coronavirus.

For more information and links to the app downloads, go to

Stimulus Checks Coming Soon — Attention, Non-Filers!

The US government is soon to send stimulus checks to many of us. If you filed your taxes last year or receive SocSec benefits, it’ll come to you automatically. You can sit back and do nothing and your check will come to you. It’s the Non-Filers that need to step up.

According to the IRS, if your 2018/2019 income was low enough that you didn’t file taxes, then you might need to make sure you get your check. Go to this website:

Read the details, and if this applies to you, click the big blue button to get started. Note: If you’re a Non-Filer and you don’t do this, you may still get your check. But it might be greatly delayed (1-6 months?).

There is another similar offer to help with this out there, but it is from Intuit/Turbotax. I would not recommend you use that unless you already have a relationship with that company. Using the IRS link above is the most direct way of getting your check. The Intuit path will lead to a lot of marketing and ads and pressure to use Intuit services.

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