My Two Census

Formerly the non-partisan watchdog of the 2010 US Census, and currently an opinion blog that covers all things political, media, foreign policy, globalization, and culture…but sometimes returning to its census/demographics roots.

Monday Mailbag: Why aren’t enumerators who are let go being given this paperwork?

Subject: Why Aren’t All Enumerators Being Given This Paperwork?

Message Body:
When I separated from the Census I was given my SP-50 along with this paperwork ( which includes a form that advises me that I may be eligible for Federal Unemployment.  This is of interest to me since I’d already run out of EDD extensions when I began working for the Census.  When I visited the EDD website I learned that there was indeed Federal Unemployment Insurance money that is seemingly just for people who were recently separated from the military or some other branch of the Federal Government.  To apply for EDD under these circumstances one must fill out a supplemental Federal form along with one’s regular Unemployment Application (  The thing is I just spoke to two other enumerators who were recently separated from the Census and all they received was their SP-50s.  They did not get the additional paperwork I got.  Is the Los Angeles area Census attempting to keep Census workers from the knowledge that they are eligible for this type of unemployment?

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17 Responses to “Monday Mailbag: Why aren’t enumerators who are let go being given this paperwork?”

  1. Also in Cali Says:

    Thank you!

    This is some of the most useful information received so far.

    I haven’t been officially severed, yet I also haven’t worked in a fortnight, so this will come in handy.

  2. anonymous Says:

    Thank you, too! Does this apply to other states as well?

  3. anonymous Says:

    Thank you, too! Are there forms for other states as well?

  4. Also in Cali Says:

    Google UFCE. Unemployment Compensation for Federal Employees

  5. dave Says:

  6. Ena Umerator Says:

    Actually, if you haven’t been given your “walking papers” yet, you are still in the computer and are going to (in all likelyhood) be used for the next operation which gears up in a few weeks.

  7. Still counting.. Says:

    Probably because it will be mailed to you from the office. Just like when you were hired you got something in the mail a couple weeks after that showing that you were a federal employee.

    Were you all expecting them to have printed it out in advance? ha ha ha ha

  8. doorknocker Says:

    I’m confused. I thought the initial paperwork we all signed (it took HOURS) specifically stated we are NOT eligible for Unemployment benefits??

  9. David Says:

    When i get hired by the census I decided to quit my part time job since the census would of paid me about 5 more dollars an hour. Does this mean I might be eligible to unemployment?

  10. nerfoo Says:

    Is it possible that the tip-emailer’s friends are not eligible for UCFE for any reason? Just a quick search on the terms ‘UCFE compensation’ or ‘UCFE eligibility’ bring you to a list of what’s required to be eligible for it. In fact, one of the first hits is for ‘page 2′ of one of the documents linked in the original post. A page 2 that’s not included in the original post’s link. I’ll try posting the links in a subsequent comment, as it seems that my comments with links are held for moderation.

    Also, if the LA office was trying to keep the info from census employees on purpose, why did the original email-tipster get it, then? At the most, I don’t see some kind of conspiracy here – it’s probably just a matter of miscommunication as people try to do this temp job as best they can with little experience & too many interpretations from management about what’s supposed to be done.

  11. nerfoo Says:

    Links to info re: UCFE eligibility –

  12. me Says:

    Wow, does anyone know for sure if we qualify for unemployment when this is over?

    Are managers any different?

    I was unemployed/self employed when I started with the Census, and I ill not have a full 12 months of paid work history – I heard that may disqualify me.

    So hard to get a simple, straight answer from anyone…..

    And I think I do remember signing something saying I understood I would not be eligible for unemployment, then again, there was SO much paperwork, who knows what all was signed – and many of the signatures were made for documents not allowed time to read, “read them later”, yeah, good times

  13. R.K. Says:

    You are eligible if you MEET your state requirements.

    If you work in two states most likely it will be the state where you held federal employment.

    There was a huge complain and class action suit filed in 2000. I believe even the president got involved. They ALL ended up collecting unemployment if they met the prerequisites of their state.

    It is no different this time are due to precedent and that several others have already started to collect.

  14. California FOS Says:

    You will not get a straight answer from the Census Bureau about your eligibility for unemployment insurance benefits, because the Census Bureau does not determine your eligibility. Your state’s unemployment insurance agency (in California, it’s the Employment Development Department) does based on the information you provide when you file a claim.

    The requirements vary from state to state. In general, you must have earned a minimum amount of money during a 12-month period that begins anywhere between 12 and 24 months prior to the date you file a claim. (In other words, the money you made within the last 3 to 12 months generally does not count toward this minimum.) Also, you must have been separated from employment through no fault of your own. (If your SF-50 says “Lack of Work” or “Expiration of Appointment,” then you meet this requirement.)

    Generally speaking, if your only employment during the last two years is an eight-week tour with the Census Bureau, you will not qualify for UI. If you were working somewhere else before you came to the Census, or if you have worked for the Census (continuously or not) for at least a year, then you will likely qualify.

    The best advice anyone can give you is to apply for benefits as soon as you turn in your last D-308, and let the state agency make its determination. If you are denied the first time, and you do not have grounds for appeal, then check to see what your “base period” for earnings is. You may qualify if you file again in 3 or 6 or 9 months, if you are still unemployed at that time, because by then your Census earnings will fall into that “base period” and you will then be able to claim UI based on those earnings.

    The short answer is, it really does depend on what state you live in, how long you have worked for the Census Bureau, and what your previous employment history is. The only place you can get an authoritative answer is your own state’s UI agency.

    Also, if your state requires a copy of your SF-50 to process your claim and you have not received one in the mail, your LCO is able to print one out for you.

  15. lagirl Says:

    wow great info CA FOS. Thanks so much for contributing. Really appreciate it!

  16. Jack Says:

    I am a supervisor and every day it is a new story. I can tell you without any doubt they do not want to pay benifits. They are “waiting” to decide who will move on to the next phase (validating vacancies etc…) and anyone chosen will NOT be permitted to move on to the last phase. At first it was 1/3 would be selected now it is 1/5. They have said they need 100% of all regions meeting compliance (i.e. less than 1% refusals)and my team is done. The next town over has over 800 EQs left and that puts them way over 1%. So we are getting punished because we did our job by not being able to work. And it is a big mystery who will move on. It is crazy. Until they are ready, don’t expect the paperwork.

  17. margaret Says:

    I had no problem finding this form on the CA EDD site when filing for unemployment. It is not something the Census would provide us at termination. However, although you have not yet received your SF-50, you can ask your LCO for an SF-8 which contains no PII but can be used to file for UI, which is what I did. It will take a while to process all the SF-50s from NRFU much less VDC and they are holding on to some folks for FV so use an SF-8