On April 19, 2021, New York State passed the Excluded Workers Fund (EWF), which will provide financial relief to undocumented individuals who suffered income loss during the pandemic and were unable to get unemployment insurance benefits or other federal pandemic relief benefits. Under the EWF, eligible New Yorkers can receive a one-time cash payment in the amounts of either $15,600 or $3,200 depending on the type of work documentation and earning applicants can provide. Applications will be available in August 2021.
How do I prove my identity?
All eligible applicants must show proof of identity and proof of New York State residency. The following non-expired items can be used for both:
- New York State driver license or New York State ID
If applicants do not have these items, they can show proof of identity by providing the following documents:
Proof of Identity (total of 4 points needed):
- Non-U.S. passport (3 points)
- New York State inpatient ID issued by State Office of Mental Health (2 points)
- Marriage certificate (1 point)
- Divorce decree (1 point)
- New York State inpatient photo identification card (2 points)
- NYC Department of Parks and Recreation card (1 point)
- Non-U.S. birth certificate (1 point)
- Non-U.S. photo ID card (1 point)
- Diploma or transcript from a high school, college or university in the U.S (1 point)
- Any other document the Department of Labor announces it will accept (3 or fewer points only)
How do I prove my residency in New York State before March 27, 2020 and currently?
- Copy of a utility bill
- Bank or credit card statement
- A current lease, mortgage payment, or property tax statement
- Letter addressed to you from the New York City Housing Authority
- Letter addressed to you from a homeless shelter that states you are living at the shelter now
- Letter to you from a non-profit that provides services to the homeless
- Any other document the Department of Labor announces it will accept
You do not need all of the documents listed above, but it may be best in preparation for the application process to gather as many as possible.
How do I prove my work history?
There are two tiers of benefits. The amount of benefits you receive depends on which documents related to employment and earnings you may have.
Tier 1 – $15,600 total benefit
- Tax return for 2018, 2019 or 2020 using a valid Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN); OR
- Six weeks of pay stubs or wage statements from the last 6-month period before the date you lost income due to the
COVID-19 pandemic; OR
- Letter from an employer showing dates of employment and why you are no longer working; OR
- W-2 or 1099 form from 2019 or 2020; OR
- Wage notice that shows employment from some time before the date you lost income due to the COVID-19 pandemic.; OR
- Any other documents the Department of labor announces it will accept.
Tier 2 – $3,200 total benefit
- For applicants who cannot provide the documents required for tier 1, but who are otherwise eligible for the Excluded Workers’ Fund, you can receive a smaller sum of benefits if you can show alternative proof of work-related eligibility, as determined by the Department of Labor.
How do I protect myself from fraud?
You cannot currently apply for the EWF. The process will be administered by the New York State Department of Labor and applications are scheduled to be available in August. You should not have to pay a lawyer or anyone else for assistance in completing this application. Be careful to not hand over your personal information to notarios.
Do you have additional questions?
If you have questions, call the Catholic Migration Services Workers’ Rights Hotline at (877) 525-2267.