Viewer Lona M. asked the VERIFY team if a text message she received was real.
“Go to 2020census.gov and fill out this census form so you can get your stimulus check. That’s how they going to know where to send the checks. Forward this to everyone that you know. If you don’t fill it out you will not receive a check in the mail.”
Lona wasn’t the only one asking about a rumor that the $1,000 stimulus checks the White House is discussing is tied to the participation in the Census. Many users on Twitter also spread the claim.
So the VERIFY team broke it down.
Do you have to fill out the 2020 Census to receive a stimulus check in the mail?
The stimulus checks aren’t final yet. Nothing as of yet suggests they will be tied to the participation in the census. Nonetheless, everyone should fill out the Census form anyway.
WHAT WE FOUND
The stimulus checks the rumor refers to are a part of a proposal by the White House and select members of Congress to give money directly to Americans as part of relief for economic fallout caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
Nothing is final yet, and the deal is still being worked out. As recently as this Wednesday, President Donald Trump said they were still looking at different ways to do it and, “it hasn’t been determined yet, but it will shortly be determined.”
Secretary of Treasury Steven Mnuchin indicated that it was pretty close to being finalized in an interview on Fox Business Thursday morning. He said the plan would pay $1,000 to every adult and $500 for every child. He said they’re looking to get it out to Americans in three weeks once Congress passes it.
He also added “it’s really money direct deposited. For most people, we have all of their information.” That indicates the money would be sent to individuals regardless if they have filled out a Census form.
You should fill out a Census form regardless. The Census informs both the government and businesses in how much funding a community should receive. It also can determine how many seats in the House of Representatives each state gets, and therefore how many electoral college votes a state can have.
If that isn’t convincing enough, filling out the Census is required by law.