Several different kinds of stimulus payments have gone out to Americans this year, outside of the big stimulus checks that Congress approved in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Some, such as the payments stemming from California’s Golden State Stimulus, are state-specific. Others are more broad-based, such as the child tax credit payments that are going out to Americans with eligible children. Another state-specific program, meanwhile, is New York’s new Excluded Workers Fund.
This is a pretty impactful emergency effort, which launched just a month ago. And which will send out millions of dollars in stimulus aid to New Yorkers this month. According to the New York Governor’s office, the Excluded Workers Fund was created “to bring financial relief to thousands of workers across the state.” Specifically, to those who lost income during the pandemic and didn’t qualify for other government-issued COVID-19 benefits.
NYC Excluded Workers Fund details
There are two tiers of benefits available to eligible recipients. How much they get depends on the “level of work eligibility documentation they provide,” per the governor’s office.
Tier 1 qualifies recipients to get $15,600. Under Tier 2, they’ll get $3,200.
Thus far, the state has approved more than 10,000 applicants. More than 40,000 are in the final approval phase. And of those, 99% have qualified for Tier 1 benefits.
“The Excluded Workers Fund is a critical lifeline to thousands of New Yorkers who were an integral part of keeping our state running during the worst moments of the pandemic, and that’s why I have pushed to make sure we get money out the door as quickly as possible,” said New York Governor Kathy Hochul. “This is an important first step. Payments are going out ahead of schedule to provide these individuals with the financial relief they need and deserve.”
Here’s how New Yorkers will get this cash. Approved recipients will get their payment in the form of a prepaid card. And the state will mail it to the address they provided in their application. Recipients can then use the cards to make cash withdrawals or to pay merchants.
Anyone can apply online, 24/7. The application and an accompanying FAQ document are available in 13 different languages on the state Department of Labor’s EWF page.
“After 18 months of the COVID-19 pandemic, impacted communities are finally receiving the emergency relief they are owed,” Bianca Guerrero, from the Fund Excluded Workers coalition, said in a news release. “The fact that 90,000 excluded workers have applied in the first 30 days demonstrates the dire need of this program.
“The Fund Excluded Workers Coalition, comprised of 200 organizations across New York State, is proud of the organizing by excluded workers and their communities that led to this moment. New York State must set a new precedent for the rights of immigrant workers across the country. We will continue to closely monitor implementation of this program to ensure all eligible New Yorkers apply for this relief.”