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Retirees in Action

   Jim Carr  A message from PEF Retiree President Jim Carr

Make sure you’re counted, not scammed

The 24th U.S. Census is starting now and we all need to stand up and be counted.

Retirees can help get every household accounted for by talking one-on-one with family, friends and neighbors about the importance of being counted.  Census data is used to distribute nearly a trillion dollars in federal funding and to determine each state’s number of electoral votes and congressional seats.

New York could lose one or possibly two congressional representatives to vote and speak up for us on national issues that directly affect us such as Social Security and Medicare.

We need to get every resident in New York counted to ensure we don’t get short changed.  Retirees can take an active role in the census process by:

• Completing their census filings online or returning their census forms;
• becoming federal census takers;
• staying informed and getting involved.

The census is safe for all state residents, regardless of their immigration status.  Don’t let anyone intimidate you or your loved ones from participating.  Sharing your personal census information with other federal agencies is illegal.

Since much of the collection of information is done digitally, getting accurate census data for those over age 55, in particular, can be challenging.

Be on the lookout for scams including fake census forms that are out there. If you’re asked for a donation, money, your Social Security number, mother’s maiden name, credit card or bank account numbers, or a political contribution, it’s a scam.  Additionally, web addresses should end in “.gov” and include an “https” prefix. Make sure the “s” is included because that means it is secure.

The official U.S. Census Bureau website is census.gov.

If you receive census information through the mail, check for a return address of Jeffersonville, IN; if it’s not from there, it’s not from the U.S. Census Bureau.

Census visitors to your home must carry a valid U.S. Census ID badge.  If you think you’ve received a fake census form, or been approached by a fake census taker, contact the Census Bureau at 800-523-3205.

See the following message from the US Census Bureau:

What to Expect in the Mail 

When it’s time to respond, most households will receive an invitation in the mail. 

Every household will have the option of responding online, by mail, or by phone. 

Depending on how likely your area is to respond online, you’ll receive either an invitation encouraging you to respond online or an invitation along with a paper questionnaire. 

Letter Invitation

Most areas of the country are likely to respond online, so most households will receive a letter asking you to go online to complete the census questionnaire (or to respond by phone).

We plan to work with the U.S. Postal Service to stagger the delivery of these invitations over several days. This way we can spread out the number of users responding online, and we’ll be able to serve you better if you need help over the phone.         

• An invitation to respond online to the 2020 Census;.
• (Some households will also receive paper questionnaires.); and
• A reminder letter.

If you haven’t responded yet: 

• A reminder postcard;.
A reminder letter and paper questionnaire; and
A final reminder postcard before we follow up in person.

Letter Invitation and Paper Questionnaire

Areas that are less likely to respond online will receive a paper questionnaire along with their invitation. The invitation will also include information about how to respond online or by phone.

We understand you might miss our initial letter in the mail.

Every household that hasn’t already responded will receive reminders and will eventually receive a paper questionnaire.

It doesn’t matter which initial invitation you get or how you get it—we will follow up in person with all households that don’t respond. 

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