April 14, 2021 By Allie Griffin
A local nonprofit has launched a bilingual resource guide on the state’s recently passed “Excluded Workers Fund” for undocumented immigrants who have lost work due to the pandemic.
Make the Road NY has created a website to help residents who qualify for the fund access accurate and up-to-date information about the program.
The group created the website after the state legislature established the fund as part of its $212 billion budget deal reached last Tuesday.
The $2.1 billion “Excluded Workers Fund” will provide payments of up to $15,600 to undocumented immigrants who lost their jobs during the pandemic.
Undocumented immigrants have been ineligible to receive financial support from federal relief programs—like unemployment insurance and stimulus checks—due to their immigration status.
The new fund would provide relief to undocumented New Yorkers who lost their jobs and didn’t qualify for such aid, which would cover tens of thousands of Queens residents.
There are 58,000 Queens residents who will be eligible to receive funds once applications for the program open, according to Fiscal Policy Institute.
State Sen. Jessica Ramos spearheaded the effort to establish the fund as part of the budget.
“This long overdue relief will offer hundreds of thousands of New York’s excluded workers the financial support they need to be able to provide for themselves and their families,” Ramos said in a statement last week.
“The fund created in this budget will go a long way in recognizing the vital contributions our undocumented New Yorkers have had on our state’s response and recovery, and I am hopeful other states will begin to do the same.”
The state-led fund is the most significant of its kind across the country.
Those eligible to receive a payment must provide documentation proving their eligibility, such as a tax return from 2018 to 2020 or proof of former employment. The exact requirements are still be determined by the NY Department of Labor.
Make the Road NY, which has a Jackson Heights office, will regularly update its website as more information about the application process becomes available. Applications for the fund have yet to open.
“As we celebrate these historic victories for our communities, we are also pivoting quickly to ensure swift and strong implementation and make certain that community members have access to all the most updated information about these programs,” said Theo Oshiro, Co-Executive Director of Make the Road New York.
“We will continue to provide reliable, accessible, and bilingual information and help people get ready to apply once the programs are open.”
The website is also available in Spanish here.