For cities and states across the country veterans and their families are an important part of community life. No matter where they may be, it is important that everyone be counted.
Veterans and their families may not realize just how important they are when it comes to the 2020 Census. Data collected during the Census is used to plan and fund government programs that provide assistance or services directly for veterans and evaluate other government programs and policies to ensure they fairly and equitably serve everyone’s needs, for years to come. Although the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) maintains veterans’ records, these statistics do not provide federal program planners, policymakers, and researchers with additional statistics about all veterans, regardless of whether they use VA services.
State, local and federal officials will also use data from the 2020 Census to determine funding for infrastructure and critical public services such as hospitals, schools, emergency response services and road maintenance and construction. These are important services that veterans and their families use no matter where they may be living. Now more than ever, this critical funding is needed to ensure that our communities and veterans received the best in services.
West Virginia has one of the lowest self-reported response rates to the 2020 Census. In times of need, we are known to answer the call for help. Now it is time that everyone, especially our dedicated service men and women, to answer the call to be counted. The coronavirus pandemic has changed some aspects of how the Census works to ensure that everyone is counted, but it is now easier than ever to participate.
The 2020 Census asks a few simple questions about you and everyone who was living with you on April 1, 2020. You can answer these questions online, over the phone, or by responding to a packet mailed or dropped off to you at home. It only takes five minutes of your time, but that time is valuable in the years to come.
You can visit 2020census.gov to fill out the questionnaire online or you may call 844-330-2020 to speak with a representative who will be glad to help you.
For those who were active duty military on April 1, the Census Bureau has clear guidance to help you decide how to respond to the 2020 Census based on where on that date. Additional information how to respond is available at 2020census.gov.