This page, Important Information about the Treatment of Census Bureau Worker Earnings , is part of
This page, Important Information about the Treatment of Census Bureau Worker Earnings , is offered by

Important Information about the Treatment of Census Bureau Worker Earnings

Learn how Census Bureau Worker earnings may impact your Department of Transitional Assistance and MassHealth benefits.

The federal government will be recruiting and hiring thousands of individuals, many of whom are low-income, for the nationwide 2020 Decennial Census.

Temporary census income will not impact benefits from the Department of Transitional Assistance (DTA), which include Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits, Temporary Aid to Families with Dependent Children (TAFDC) and Emergency Aid to the Elderly Disabled and Children (EAEDC) benefits.

Temporary census income may impact certain individuals’ MassHealth benefit.

Table of Contents

Questions and Answers for Department of Transitional Assistance Clients

Q. I received a job offer as a temporary employee for the 2020 Decennial Census!  Will these earnings effect my DTA benefits?

A.  No.  The money you earn as a temporary employee for the 2020 Decennial Census does not count against DTA benefits.  This means any earnings will not affect your benefit amount for SNAP, TAFDC or EAEDC. Census worker income will not be counted against your benefit through September 30, 2020 for all DTA programs.

Q.  Do I need to tell DTA about my earnings from the Census Bureau?

A.  Yes.  If you get TAFDC or EAEDC you must tell DTA when you start working and earning income, including a temporary census position. If you get SNAP benefits, you are strongly encouraged to tell DTA about your earnings from the Census Bureau. This is because DTA is required to report to the Federal Government the number of SNAP recipients who worked as temporary employees during the census.

Q.  I only get SNAP benefits from DTA and I was told that I do not have to report new income to DTA unless the amount makes me ineligible for SNAP benefits.  Is this still true?

A. If you are unsure of your reporting requirements, please contact DTA at 1-877-382-2363.

While most people who get SNAP are not required to report changes in income unless their household’s monthly gross income exceeds the allowable limit, others are required to report when they begin working.

We strongly encourage all temporary census employees to report earnings to DTA.  This is because DTA is required to report to the Federal Government the number of SNAP recipients who worked as temporary employees during the census.

Q.  I am receiving TAFDC and have a work program requirement. Should I report this temporary job to my case manager?

A.   Yes. If you have work program requirements, it is to your benefit to report this temporary job.  If you have a work program requirement, any hours you work will count towards your requirement, even though this income does not count against your benefit. You may also be eligible for work support services such as transportation or child care benefits.

Q.  I am receiving SNAP and am subject to the ABAWD work program requirement. Should I report this temporary job to my case manager?

A.  Yes. If you have work program requirements, it is to your benefit to report this temporary job.  If you have a work program requirement, any hours you work will count towards your requirement, even though this income does not count against your benefit You may also be eligible for work support services such as transportation benefits.

Questions and Answers for MassHealth Members

Q.   I received a job offer as a temporary employee for the 2020 Decennial Census!  Will these earnings effect my MassHealth benefits?

A. Earning census income may impact you or your family’s MassHealth coverage. Census income will not impact your coverage if:

  • You receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits from the Social Security Administration (SSA)
  • You receive Transitional Aid to Families with Dependent Children (TAFDC) cash assistance from DTA
  • You are a child, young adult, or parent/caretaker relative who receives Emergency Aid to the Elderly, Disabled and Children (EAEDC) cash assistance from DTA
  • You are over 65 years old and are not considered a parent/caretaker or a working disabled adult
  • You are in long term care or are part of a Home and Community Based Waiver program

Q.   Do I need to report census income to MassHealth? If so, how should I do that?

A. If your circumstances are not described in the list above (in A8), you will need to report census income. You can report this income by calling the MassHealth Customer Service Center at 800-841-2900 or visiting an Enrollment Center: https://www.mass.gov/service-details/masshealth-enrollment-centers-mecs

Q.   If I have questions about whether my MassHealth benefit will be impacted, who should I call?

A. Please contact MassHealth’s Customer Service Center if you have questions regarding MassHealth eligibility at 1-800-841-2900.

Questions and Answers about Census Positions

Q. How can I find out about temporary census positions available?

A. Individuals are encouraged to look for employment opportunities at https://2020census.gov/en/jobs.html.

Q.  How long will the 2020 Decennial Census positions last? 

A.  Most positions are anticipated to last several weeks, but employment may end sooner and work hours may be reduced if work is not available.

Feedback