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The U.S. Census Bureau on Monday quashed rumors that information collected from the questionnaire will be transmitted to the federal government for them to send a stimulus check to provide relief from the coronavirus pandemic, which has left millions of Americans out of a job.
Posts circulating on Facebook and Twitter falsely claimed that if you don’t fill out the census — which is currently available for the first time online — “you will not receive a check in the mail.”
“That’s how they going to know where to send the checks,” the posts claim.
However, the census, in a statement refuted the rumors, said: “Your answers cannot be used to impact your eligibility for any government benefits, including any potential stimulus package.”
Meanwhile, lawmakers Monday delayed the vote yet again on a $2 trillion economic rescue package that could include sending a one-time rebate check of about $1,200 to those who qualify or $3,000 for a family of four even as President Trump suggested workers would be back to work soon despite the growing number of coronavirus cases in the U.S.
The census’s new initiative to collect responses online rolled out as the number of cases of COVID-19 continued to grow dramatically and several state governments mandated non-essential businesses close and people stay home as much as possible and practice social distancing to prevent the spread of the virus.
The Census Bureau was forced to suspend field operations, including door-to-door census completion, until April 1.
The 2020 census will help determine how many congressional seats and Electoral College votes are allotted to each state based on its population. Data collected from the census will also help lawmakers determine how to distribute $1.5 trillion in federal spending.