The purpose of this memorandum is to advise you of our decision to offer state agencies the opportunity to participate in a demonstration project to exclude the income of temporary census employees.
We have developed the demonstration project in response to a request from the Bureau of the Census to exclude as income the earnings of temporary census employees, especially census takers. The Bureau has found that the most effective workers are those recruited from and working in their own neighborhoods. The Bureau requested that the Food Stamp Program exempt census income from food stamp eligibility determinations so that it can more successfully recruit persons residing in low-income neighborhoods. Although this demonstration project is intended primarily as a recruiting incentive for census takers, it will apply to all temporary workers hired by the Bureau of the Census for Census 2000. A similar demonstration project was conducted for the 1990 census. Under the demonstration project, the census earnings of all temporary workers hired to work during the period from February 1, 2000, through December 31, 2000, will be excluded for Food Stamp Program purposes. Since formal approval of waivers under this demonstration project will not occur until after February 1, 2000, we will make the waivers retroactive for any workers hired between February 1, 2000, and the date the waiver is formally approved.
Attached for your reference is a sample letter to State agencies requesting participation in the demonstration project. Copies of the letter should be mailed to the State agencies in your region upon receipt of this memorandum. Your office has the authority to approve waivers under this demonstration project. So that we may accurately monitor the project, we are requesting that you promptly notify us when the State agencies in your region determine whether or not they will participate in the demonstration project.
A small number of State agencies will be requested to participate in the evaluation phase of the project. Those State agencies will be selected, in part, based on the determination by the Bureau of the Census that participation will not result in a significant additional burden. Those State agencies that have agreed to participate in the evaluation phase will be required to participate in computer matches with the Bureau of the Census. The computer matches will be limited to information regarding individuals who have participated in the demonstration project, and will, at a minimum, provide information on the number of food stamp participants who were temporary census employees and, therefore, had income excluded.