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.

Recent News

Second worker injury at Edgemere Commons construction site leads to new calls for removal of general contractor

South Queens elected officials, and the leader of the union that represents 10,000 construction workers, are renewing their call for the city to remove the general contractor on the Edgemere Commons mega-project in Far Rockaway after a worker was injured on the site in early February.

The incident took place about two weeks after elected officials and union leaders held a rally at the site on Jan. 25 in opposition to the general contractor, Joy Construction, after a worker was struck in the knee on Dec. 23 by splintered wood.

Dozens of people, believed to be migrants, found living in cramped Queens cellar

Mayor Eric Adams confirmed that dozens of people, believed to be migrants, were found living illegally inside a commercial business in South Richmond Hill on Monday afternoon.

The cellar dwellers were discovered inside an illegal conversion of a 2-story, mixed-use building on Liberty Avenue in South Richmond Hill, according to the city’s Department of Buildings. DOB Inspectors were called to the scene at 132-03 Liberty Ave. by FDNY first responders after fire prevention inspectors acting on a tip found the people living in cramped and illegal conditions.

NYPD honors school crossing guard who was killed at dangerous Queens intersection in October

Fallen school crossing guard Krystyna Naprawa was posthumously promoted by the NYPD to the rank of community coordinator during a ceremony at One Police Plaza on Thursday attended by her family, friends and dozens of colleagues.

The 14-year veteran was killed while on duty on the morning of Oct. 20 after safely guiding children across a busy intersection on Woodhaven Boulevard and Atlantic Avenue in Woodhaven. Moments later, Naprawa was struck by a turning dump truck that proceeded to run her over. EMS pronounced her dead at the scene.