As the eyes of the country are focused on this once-in-a-century pandemic, it appears much has been put on the backburner, including the once-in-a-decade official United States Census.
But with Washington still under a stay-at-home order, there’s no better time to pull out a pen, pick up the phone, or sit down at your computer to make sure the federal government figures you in when it divides billions of federal assistance dollars among the states.
You may have already received a letter in the mail from the U.S. Census Bureau inviting you to take the census online, by phone, or by mail, but here’s a quick summary of your options:
• The fastest way to complete the census is online by heading to 2020census.gov/en/ways-to-respond/responding-online.html. Taking the census online will require your unique 12-digit Census ID Number included on the letter you received from the Census Bureau before April 1. If you did not receive a letter, or did not record your Census ID number, you can still take the census by first clicking the link found underneath the census “login” button.
• To complete the census over the phone,call 844-330-2020 between 4 a.m. and 11 p.m. Pacific Standard Time. There are a number of phone lines available to complete the census in a language other than English; for example, Spanish speakers can call 844-468-2020. For a list of languages, go to 2020census.gov/en/ways-to-respond/responding-by-phone.html.
• Mailed census forms will arrive automatically to your home if you did not participate in the census either online or by phone. You may still fill out the census any way you wish. To respond by mail, send the census questionnaire back to the U.S. Census Bureau, National Processing Center, 1201 E 10th St., Jeffersonville, IN 47132.
EXTENDED DEADLINES AND ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
Due to the coronavirus, the deadline for responding to the census is Aug. 14, 2020.
Additionally, there are many untrue rumors about the census.
According to the Washington State Commission on Hispanic Affairs, there are rumors that your responses to the census will determine whether you are eligible for any government benefits, including the recently-passed coronavirus stimulus package: this is false.
The Census Bureau also wanted to make it clear that the 2020 Census does not ask you their citizenship status, and encourages everyone — citizen or not — to take the census.
Other census scams including asking responders for bank account information, money or donations to a political party, and even your Social Security number; Census Bureau workers will never ask for these things.