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  • Writer's pictureAshana K. Nandram, Esq.

Excluded Workers Fund: How to Qualify?

April 26, 2021 By Ashana K. Nandram, Esq.


During the Covid-19 pandemic, many undocumented immigrants were left without jobs and did not receive any kind of benefits or relief from the government. Lawmakers in New York have created a 2.1 billion dollar Excluded Workers Fund for undocumented workers. About 300,000 undocumented workers may benefit from this relief and can now qualify for a one-time payment of up to $15,600 or $3200.

The following information were obtained from THE CITY.

  1. You must be a current resident of NY and lived here before March 27, 2020.

  2. You must have lost all or part of your income after February 2020 because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

  3. You must not have been eligible for any government income relief (unemployment benefits or stimulus check)

  4. You must have earned less than $26, 208 in total in the past year

To qualify for up to $15, 600? Step 1: You must prove your identity. There is a point system. You need documents that will add up to four points. Four points: Non-expired state driver’s license, ID card, IDNYC card, or U.S. passport. If you have any of these then proceed to Step 2. If not then you can use other documents which add up to four points. This list is not exhaustive and additional documents may be added by the Department of Labor. Three points: Non-expired foreign passport Two points: Photo ID issued by New York Office of Mental Health One point: Marriage Certificate, Divorce Judgment, Birth Certificate from a Foreign Country, Diploma or transcript from high school or college, Foreign-issued ID card, Non-expired NYC Parks and Recreation membership card For example, if I do not have any of the documents which qualify for four points then if I have my non-expired foreign passport (3 points) and my marriage certificate (one point) I will have a total of four points. Step 2: You need to submit proof of your New York Residency, and that you lived here before March 27, 2020. Documents that meet this requirement are: Non-expired NY driver’s license, ID card, or IDNYC card. If you do not have any of these, then any two of the following will qualify, one of the documents must be dated before March 27, 2020 and the other must be dated no earlier than 30 days before the law went into effect:

  • Bank/credit card statement

  • Utility statement

  • Lease, mortgage, or property tax statement

  • Letter from a nonprofit organization that provides homeless services

  • Letter addressed to the applicant from New York City Housing Authority.

  • Letter from a homeless shelter stating that applicant currently lives there.

  • Any other document from the Department of Labor commissioner

Step 3: Proof that you filed tax returns for 2018, 2019, or 2020 using Valid Individual Taxpayer Identification number (ITIN). If you haven’t filed your tax returns then you may submit any one of the following:

  • W2 or 1099 from 2019 and 2020.

  • Letter from employer stating the dates of your employment and the reason why you are no longer employed

  • At least 6 weeks of pay stubs or wage statements from a six-month period prior to the date you became eligible for these benefits.

  • Wage Theft Prevention Act notice that was given by your employer at the time you were hired showing that you were employed in the six months before becoming eligible to receive benefits.

If you can prove that you are a resident of New York and that you filed your taxes for 2018, 2019, or 2020 using a or that you have lost income then you are eligible to receive up to $15, 600 (minus $780 for taxes). However, if you have not filed taxes and do not have proof that you lost income then you may be eligible for up to $3,200 (minus $160 for taxes). You still need to provide proof of your identity and your New York residency. We do not know when workers will receive this fund as the Department of Labor is still working to come up with additional details. There is no application form as yet. When we know the details, we will post them on our website. Please keep checking for additional details.

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