the New York State legislature struck a deal with Gov. Andrew Cuomo on a $2.1 billion fund that will provide much-needed relief to people who have been excluded from receiving aid from the coronavirus stimulus relief packages passed by Congress.
The goal of the fund is to provide relief for groups that have been excluded from coronavirus relief like additional unemployment checks and stimulus payments. That includes undocumented workers and people recently released from prison.
The application process for workers seeking to receive funding from the Excluded Workers Fund (EWF) is slated to begin in August 2021. A link will be posted here as soon as it becomes available. In the meantime, please see the details below so you can begin to gather the required documentation you will need to apply.
What Do I Need To Apply:
o be eligible to receive benefits from the Fund, applicants must show they:
- Lived in New York State before March 27, 2020, and continue to live in New York State;
- Are not eligible for and did not receive unemployment insurance or any other COVID-19 income relief or other specified benefits from the state or federal government;
- Earned less than $26,208 in the 12 months prior to April 2021; and
- Lost a certain percentage (to be announced) of income after February 23, 2020 and during the benefit period from March 27, 2020 through April 1, 2021 due to unemployment, partial employment, or inability to work due to a disability. Applicants may also be eligible if they became responsible for a majority of their household income due to death or disability of the head of household.
Applicants should begin collecting the following documents, which can be used to prove identity, residency, and work-related eligibility once the application opens this summer. There may be additional acceptable documents and this list will be updated accordingly.
Proof Of Identity:
Applicants must provide one or more of the following documents. Each document is assigned a point value and every applicant must establish 4 points or more. At least one document must include a photo and show date of birth:
- New York State driver license or New York State ID (4 points)
- U.S. passport (4 points)
- IDNYC (4 points)
- Non-U.S. passport (3 points)
- New York State inpatient ID card issued by State Office of Mental Health (2 points)
- Marriage certificate (1 point)
- Divorce decree (1 point)
- NYC Department of Parks and Recreation card (1 point)
- Non-U.S. birth certificate (1 point)
- Non-U.S. ID card (1 point)
- Diploma/transcript (1 point)
- Any other document the DOL announces it will accept (3 or fewer points only)
Proof Of Residency:
Applicants must provide one or more of the following documents, each showing their name and address within New York State. Documents establishing proof of current residency must be dated no earlier than 30 days prior to April 19, 2021 (unless otherwise noted):
- A non-expired New York State driver license, non-driver ID, or IDNYC (this document may have been issued more than 30 days prior to April 19, 2021)
- Copy of a utility bill
- Bank or credit card statement
- A current lease, mortgage payment, or property tax statement
- Letter addressed to the applicant from the New York City Housing Authority
- Letter addressed to the applicant from a homeless shelter indicating applicant currently resides at the shelter
- Letter addressed to the applicant from a non-profit that provides services to the homeless
- Any other document the DOL announces it will accept
Proof Of Work Eligibility
Applicants may qualify for EWF benefits in one of two amounts described below based on proving work-related eligibility. NOTE: Each applicant is eligible for only one benefit payment.
Workers who can provide the following, in addition to meeting all other requirements, would be eligible for $15,600 (minus taxes):
- Tax return for 2018, 2019, or 2020 that was filed using a valid Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN); OR
- Letter from an employer that has dates of employment and the reason you are no longer working; OR
- Six weeks of pay stubs or wage statements from the six-month period prior to when you became eligible, which means the date when you started to lose income due to the COVID-19 pandemic; OR
- W2 or 1099 from 2019 or 2020; OR
- Wage notice that shows employment for some time before the applicant became eligible, which means the date when you started to lose income due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Any other documents the DOL announces it will accept.
Workers who CANNOT provide the documents required above but can establish all other requirements, including proof of identity, residency, and work-related loss using documents that DOL will announce would be eligible for a $3,200 (minus taxes):