You are reading

Application Period Opens for Excluded Workers Fund, Undocumented New Yorkers Who Lost Jobs Are Advised to Apply

The Excluded Workers Program provides out-of-pocket workers with a payment of up to $15,600 each(Photo: Dept. of Labor)

Aug. 5, 2021 By Michael Dorgan

Undocumented New Yorkers who lost their jobs in the midst of the pandemic and did not qualify for federal unemployment benefits can now apply for financial relief thanks to a new state fund.

The fund, called the Excluded Workers Program, provides out-of-pocket workers with a payment of up to $15,600 and is primarily for undocumented immigrants.

The program opened to qualified applicants Tuesday and $2.1 billion in total is being made available.

Unlike other employees, undocumented workers who lost their jobs—or had their hours cut—due to the pandemic did not qualify for federal unemployment benefits or stimulus checks. In an effort to compensate these workers, state lawmakers established the Excluded Workers Program as part of the 2021-2022 New York State budget.

To be eligible for a payment, workers must prove that they lost at least 50 percent of their weekly earnings between Feb. 23, 2020 and April 1, 2021 due to the pandemic.

Applicants must also show that they are state residents, have not already received any other unemployment benefits and earned less than $26,208 in the 12 months prior to April 2021. A resident who became the main breadwinner of a household due to a COVID-19 related death or disability may also apply.

The amount each applicant receives is largely dependent on the level of employment documentation that is furnished. The NYS Dept. of Labor is disseminating the funds.

There are two types of payouts listed by the NYS Dept. of Labor—a Tier 1 amount of $15,600 per applicant and a Tier 2 amount of $3,200 per applicant.

Tier 1 applicants need to provide a higher threshold of work documentation like annual tax returns or pay stubs whereas Tier 2 applicants face less stringent requirements. Tier 2 is targeted for workers who often get paid in cash and cannot easily prove income on paper.

For instance, Tier 2 applicants would need to provide alternative proof of employment like work-related text messages, travel records and an employer-issued ID card to qualify.

Applicants must establish that they worked for at least 15 hours per week for more than six weeks in the six-month period prior to being unemployed or having their hours cut.

The NYS Dept. of Labor estimates that it will take around six to eight weeks to process an application.

Approved applicants will then receive a one-time payment on a Visa prepaid card that will be mailed to the address provided on their application. The program will be discontinued once all the funds have been used up.

Interested applicants can apply by clicking on this link and filling out the online form. Application forms do not include questions about immigration status.

email the author: [email protected]
No comments yet

Leave a Comment
Reply to this Comment

All comments are subject to moderation before being posted.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Recent News

Long Island woman sentenced to more than two decades in prison for 2021 hit-and-run that killed NYPD cop: DA

A Long Island woman was sentenced to more than 20 years in prison for speeding through an NYPD roadblock while drunk and killing a highway patrolman in a 2021 hit-and-run collision on the Long Island Expressway in Fresh Meadows.

Jessica Beauvais, 35, of Myrtle Avenue in Hempstead, was convicted in October of aggravated manslaughter and other crimes following a 13-day trial in Queens Supreme Court. Beauvais had a blood alcohol level of twice the legal limit two hours after plowing into Detective Anastasios Tsakos while he was diverting traffic around another fatal collision, and then speeding away from the scene of the collision.

Crunching the Queens crime numbers: felony assaults across the borough on the rise, burglaries down slightly in northern Queens

Feb. 21, 2024 By Ethan Marshall

The number of felony assaults across Queens increased during the 28-day period from Jan. 22 through Feb. 18, compared to the same period of time last year, according to the latest crime stats released by the NYPD Tuesday. At the same time, the number of reported burglaries experienced a slight but noticeable drop in northern Queens.

Queens father, son charged with possessing cache of loaded ghost gun assault weapons in Fresh Meadows home: DA

A Fresh Meadows father and son are criminally charged with possessing an arsenal of loaded ghost gun assault weapons that were found after a court-authorized search was executed at their home on Wednesday.

Hyung-Suk Woo, 26, and his father, Jin-In Woo, 55, of 198th Street, were arraigned late Wednesday night on a 130-count indictment charging them with 97 counts of criminal possession of a weapon and a slew of other charges after the raid uncovered the assault weapons, as well as silencers made with a 3-D printer and other weapons-related paraphernalia, Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz announced Thursday.