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Something you can do while you “shelter in place” for corona virus – Census 2020, by April 1!

March 30, 2020

Dear Friends,

We at Champaign County Health Care Consumers hope that you are all staying safe and healthy, and that you are sheltering in place, if you are able to do so. If you have healthcare needs that we can help with, please don’t hesitate to contact us – we are still working, even though our office is closed to the public.

We are profoundly grateful to all of the front line workers – everyone from healthcare providers, store workers, sanitation workers, first responders, truckers, postal workers, etc. – who continue to serve our community and our nation during this novel corona virus pandemic, and we hope for their safety and good health. Please, if you can, stay home as much as necessary in order to protect yourselves and our fellow community members.

Now, let’s talk about the 2020 Census. (Please get yours done by THIS Wednesday, April 1!)
Despite the changes to our daily lives during the corona virus pandemic, we MUST still complete the 2020 Census! In fact, it is as important as ever to complete the Census, because resources for local communities depend on an accurate Census count. Read through this message to learn surprising and important information about why a complete Census count is so important!

You have ALREADY received 2-3 mailings inviting you to respond to the Census online and by phone.
The mailings you have received have a Census ID for your household. If you log on to the 2020 Census website, you will use this ID to complete your household’s Census. Likewise, if you prefer to do your Census by phone, you will call the number listed on your Census mailing, and provide your Census ID.

If you are a UIUC student, please use your Champaign-Urbana address for the Census!
If it were not for the corona virus, you would still be in C-U on April 1 for UIUC, so please use your local C-U address for answering Census questions.

Please respond by April 1!
That’s THIS Wednesday! If you do not respond by April 1, reminder letters and paper questionnaires will be mailed to your household. And then, if you do not respond to the paper Census, eventually, a Census worker will follow up with you in person.

Let’s try to avoid the need for in-person follow-ups – complete your Census today!

The website for completing your Census is:

The phone number to call to complete your Census is 1-844-468-2020

Below is more information about what the Census is, why the Census is so important, the questions asked on the Census, and how your personal information is kept safe. You might find some of this information surprising! Please read on…

What is the U.S. Census?
The U.S. Census is a Constitutional requirement. It is a complete count of every person living in the United States and where they are actually located at the time of the Census. The Census is completed every 10 years. The results of the Census determine many things, including the number of seats for each state in the U.S. House of Representatives, and the results are used to draw Congressional and state legislative districts. Sadly, Illinois has lost a Congressional seat due to undercounting every Census since the 1930s.

Why is the Census so important?
The results from the U.S. Census are used by our government to determine how to best distribute over $675 billion in federal funds EACH year for various services including school and Head Start funding, school breakfast and lunch program funding, highway and transportation services, healthcare (including funding for hospitals, clinics, etc.), Pell Grants, employment training, Section 8 housing, community development, and so much more!

The Census count affects almost every aspect of local communities and the resources they have to meet their community needs!

To learn more about what the Census is used for, please visit: here and here.

What does Illinois stand to lose from an unsuccessful Census (an undercount)?
Each State stands to lose an average of $1,800 per year for each person who goes uncounted!  

For Illinois, this will be about $1400 a person, per year.
For example: An under count of 40,000 people in Champaign County, would cost the state of Illinois $56,000,000 per year for a total of $560,000,000 lost until the next Census in 2030.

Did you know that Illinois has lost 1 Congressional seat EVERY Census since the 1930s?
Let’s put a stop to this pattern! Please complete your household’s Census by April 1!

Questions asked on the Census.
The U. S. Census asks 9 questions:
1. How many people were living or staying in this residence on April 1, 2020?
2. Where there any additional people staying here on April 1, 2020 that you did not include in Question 1?
3. Is this a house, apartment, or mobile home?
4. What is your telephone number?
5. Please provide information for each person living here. If there is someone living here who pays the rent or owns this residence, start by listing him or her as Person 1.  If the owner or the person who pays the rent does not live here, start by listing any person as Person 1. (First Name, Last Name)
6. What is Person 1’s sex?
7. What is Person 1’s age and what is Person 1’s date of birth?
8. Is Person 1 of Hispanic, Latino, or Spanish origin?
9. What is Person 1’s race?
And repeat for each person living in the household.

How is your personal information kept safe.
The U.S. Census Bureau is a government agency that is separate from all other government agencies.  Employees are screened with thorough federal background checks, reference checks, and finger printing before hired.  They are sworn to keep your information safe.

The information collected is protected by Title 13, which states the following:
1. Private information is never published. It is against the law to disclose or publish any private information that identifies an individual or business such, including names, addresses (including GPS coordinates), Social Security Numbers, and telephone numbers.

2. The Census Bureau collects information to produce statistics. Personal information cannot be used against respondents by any government agency or court.

3. Census Bureau employees are sworn to protect confidentiality. People sworn to uphold Title 13 are legally required to maintain the confidentiality of your data. Every person with access to your data is sworn for life to protect your information and understands that the penalties for violating this law are applicable for a lifetime.

Violating the law is a serious federal crime. Anyone who violates this law will face severe penalties, including a federal prison sentence of up to five years, a fine of up to $250,000, or both.

Questions? Need more information?
If you have any questions or need more information, please feel free to contact us at CCHCC at

If we cannot answer your questions, we will refer you to someone who can!

Thank you for completing your Census by THIS Wednesday, April 1!
Thank you for doing your part to help us get a complete Census count for our community! Please continue to stay safe and healthy.

Best wishes,
Champaign County Health Care Consumers