Look for 2020 Census information hitting your mailbox this month

If 5 people aren’t counted, it could cost a city or county $100,000 over 10 years

ROANOKE, Va. – You’re going to get mail soon that you need to pay attention to. Census 2020 is here and you can start filling it out online.

It doesn’t take very long and the data is vital because it’s what the government uses to send billions of dollars out across the country.

Daryn Warner with the U.S. Census Bureau and Tiffany Bradbury with Roanoke City and part of the local Complete Count Committee answered some common questions.

How to verify a mailing is from the Census Bureau:

If you receive a survey or a letter in the mail from the Census Bureau, the envelope contains information that will help you verify its legitimacy. For example: “U.S. Census Bureau” in the return address or “U.S. Department of Commerce” which is the Census Bureau’s parent agency. Jeffersonville, IN in the return address. The Census Bureau has a mail processing center located there. Households will receive an invitation in the mail to complete the 2020 Census online, by phone, or by mail. The enclosed envelope to mail back a completed paper questionnaire would be addressed to Jeffersonville, IN, or Phoenix, AZ.

How to spot a scam:

Warner says the Census does not ask for money, a credit card number, bank account information or your social security number.

If you’ve filled out a census form before, there are some changes this year. You don’t have to mail it back in! You can fill it out online or make a phone call.

Bradbury says it takes 10 minutes or less to complete. When she worked for Roanoke Fire EMS, she used Census data to apply for a grant of $1 million of firefighter equipment.

If 5 people aren’t counted, it could cost a city or county $100,000 over 10 years.

You will continue to get reminders in the mail if you haven’t filled out your form -- up to 7 reminders --- before a Census worker knocks on your door.

The Census is still hiring thousands of workers. You set your hours and they can change daily.

For more information visit https://www.census.gov/

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