Bills and piles of junk mail can often make looking through the mail a less than enticing daily chore. Yet there is at least one important piece of mail we want you to open — the 2020 Census!
The 2020 Census is a once-in-a-decade chance to inform the allocation of billions of dollars for critical public services such as hospitals, schools, roads, and emergency response teams. If the number of older adults and/or people with disabilities living in your community has increased, your community may be eligible to receive more public services. Census data is also used to allocate the number of representatives your state has in the House of Representatives. Your participation can make a big difference!
ACL uses Census data to allocate funds for a variety of grants that are issued to states and territories based on population. For example, in Fiscal Year 2020, ACL used Census age and population data to provide states and territories with grants totaling more than $1.5 billion dollars for services provided under the Older Americans Act, including home and community based supportive services, meals, preventative health, caregiver supports, and elder abuse prevention.
ACL also uses Census total population estimates to allocate funding for programs that promote self-determination, integration, and inclusion for people with disabilities. In FY2020, that included:
- Over $78 million dollars for State Councils for Developmental Disabilities
- Over $56 million dollars for Protection and Advocacy programs
- Over $29 million dollars for Assistive Technology programs
- Over $116 million dollars to the Independent Living Services state grants and Centers for Independent Living.
You can respond to the 2020 Census in one of three ways:
- You can complete a questionnaire online
- The Census may be completed in any of several other languages, each with its own phone number. (To complete the Census in English, call 844-330-2020)
- Return the questionnaire received in the mail. (If you’re wondering whether the letter or postcard you received is legitimate, you can compare it to samples of the official letters and postcards they are sending to homes.)
Your responses to the 2020 Census are safe. Federal law protects your responses. Your answers can only be used to produce statistics and cannot be used against you by any government agency or court.
To help, the U.S. Census Bureau provides guides and assistance in more than 50 languages and formats, including American Sign Language, Braille, and large print.