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

BP launches new advisory panel for youth to become civically engaged in the future of Queens

In an effort to get more young people involved in civics, Queens Borough President Donovan Richards has created a new advisory panel known as the Youth and Young Adult Council to introduce the “youngest and fiercest” community advocates to both community service and organization.

Members of the advisory body will advocate concerns through means of community engagement by participating in one of two cohorts. The first will be made up of high school representatives between the ages of 13 and 17, while the second cohort will be comprised of young adults between the ages of 18 and 25.

‘Where do we go now?’ Michaels set to close its doors in Fresh Meadows next month

The Michaels located at 187-04 Horace Harding Expwy. in Fresh Meadows will be permanently closing its doors on Feb. 23. The announcement that Michaels will be leaving the Fresh Meadows Shopping Center has led to an outpouring of reactions from many community members.

“We know this is disappointing to our customers in Queens, but we hope to continue to serve them at our other locations in New York City or online at Michaels.com,” a spokesperson for Michaels said in a statement to Patch.com.

Queens senator holds Lunar New Year celebration at Tangram in Flushing

Hundreds of revelers joined state Senator John Liu for a Lunar New Year celebration Friday night at Tangram in Downtown Flushing. The event featured free food from 25 local restaurants, as well as musical and cultural performances and giveaways.

Liu was joined at the event by several local leaders, including Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz, Assemblyman Edward Braunstein, Councilwomen Sandra Ung and Linda Lee and many more. Many of the leaders spoke about the importance of this celebration to the Queens community as they celebrated the start of the Year of the Rabbit.

These Queens eateries are participating in the upcoming NYC Restaurant Week

NYC Restaurant Week is underway, so nix that skillet and bring family and friends to your favorite neighborhood spot, or get inspired and break bread somewhere new and different. During this special citywide culinary event, food-lovers will enjoy curated menus and prix-fixe prices that are easy on the wallet.

Bookings began on Jan. 17 and are available until Feb. 12, and you can reserve a table at 30 participating Queens restaurants, along with hundreds more across the five boroughs.

Flushing BID launches free online raffle to support local businesses in the community

The Flushing Business Improvement District (BID), on Friday, Jan. 20, announced the launch of Lucky7, a free online raffle to celebrate the Lunar New Year, promote local businesses, and bring shoppers from other regions to downtown Flushing. 

“This event is to celebrate the culture in Downtown Flushing. The food culture, shopping culture, but most importantly to celebrate the Lunar New Year culture in Downtown Flushing,” said Dian Yu, executive director of the Flushing BID. “This is a unique opportunity for people not familiar with Downtown Flushing to truly experience the food and fun that’s only available in Flushing.”

Queens lawmaker reintroduces legislation to make Lunar New Year a federal holiday

As the Asian American community prepares to begin celebrating Lunar New Year on Sunday, Jan. 22, Queens Congresswoman Grace Meng on Friday reintroduced a package of legislation to commemorate the holiday. 

Meng’s legislative Lunar New Year package includes the Lunar New Year Day Act, which would establish Lunar New Year as the 12th federal holiday recognized across the United States. It also includes a resolution, “Recognizing the cultural and historical significance of Lunar New Year,” that commemorates the long history and explains the cultural importance of the holiday. 

Lunar New Year ‘special celebration’ held at Queensborough Community College in Bayside

Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz joined Councilwomen Sandra Ung and Linda Lee on Wednesday, Jan. 18, for a special celebration in honor of the Lunar New Year at the Student Union Building at Queensborough Community College in Bayside.

Ung escaped the Cambodian genocide as a child, and her family emigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old. Now she represents Flushing with its enormous Asian American population. She said she is proud to see how many Lunar New Year celebrations she sees around the city compared to when she first arrived in Queens.

BP Richards, local leaders speak with small business owners in Flushing in effort to improve the neighborhood

Queens Borough President Donovan Richards joined several Queens leaders Wednesday morning for a walking tour through Flushing to get input from the community on how to improve the neighborhood.

The Jan. 18 tour comes in the wake of public safety concerns in downtown Flushing. While crime was a main concern among the business owners Richards spoke with Wednesday, there were other areas they wished to see improvements in across the area, including traffic and sanitation issues.