Census 2020: As important as ever
Eliza Stauffer, Disability Law Center advocate
Utah started 2020 with a bang – Covid-19, earthquakes and social distancing have impacted all of us in some way. Still, as we strap into this new year, it can be calming to think about all the things that are the same. The Disability Law Center is still working to protect disability rights (albeit from home), elections are still on track (State primary is June 30!) and the Census is still as important as ever!
The 2020 Census counts every person living in the United States (citizens and noncitizens alike) and five U.S. territories. Filling out the Census helps your community get the resources it needs. In fact, for every person not counted, Utah loses $18,660 over the next 10 years. Those funds are used for Medicaid, national school lunch programs, Section 8 housing choice vouchers, the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP), special education and other important programs. Utah is counting on you to make sure you’re counted!
In mid-March, homes across the country began receiving invitations to complete the 2020 Census. You may have already received yours in the mail, have you looked?
There are 3 ways to respond to the Census: online, by phone or by mail. You will receive a PIN specific to where you live which you can use to fill out the form. If you have questions about how to fill it out, or did not receive a PIN in the mail, you can visit the census website for help. There is language assistance in over 50 languages! There has been a push to ensure the website is accessible and also there are support options available via phone. Let us know if you have accessibility issues.
April 1st is Census day, but don’t worry if you haven’t filled anything out yet! Census Day, April 1st, is the day the Census wants to know where you were living. It is not the last day to fill out the Census, or the only day you can do it, just the day it will ask about. There are only nine questions on the Census. They ask very basic demographic questions: who lives in the household; how they are related; their age, sex, and race; whether they own or rent their house; and their phone number. The Census does not ask about citizenship, and all of your answers are kept private.
Help your community! Be Counted! Fill out your Census! If you have any questions, you can visit the Census website or give the Disability Law Center intake team a call at 801-363-1647.