The Excluded Workers Fund paid out millions during the summer of 2021 and as of October is no longer accepting new applications. Activists are working to get the program renewed. If the fund reopens, UIDN will spread the word and provide assistance.

What period does the fund cover? It covers wages lost between March 27, 2020, and April 1, 2021.

Who is eligible? Workers who did not qualify for unemployment insurance or federal Covid-related relief and have not earned more than $26,208 in the 12 months before the law’s effective date.

Applicants must be able to show that they are current New York residents and lived in the state before March 27, 2020. They also must show that they lost wages or income after February 2020 because of:

  • Covid-related unemployment, partial unemployment, or inability to work; or
  • Covid-related death or disability of a breadwinner or other major source of  household income.

How much money will excluded workers receive? 2.1 billion dollars have been budgeted. These funds will be distributed using a two-tier system.

Workers in tier one may receive up to $15,600 before taxes. To be eligible applicants must have filed a tax return for tax years 2018, 2019, or 2020 using a valid ITIN (Individual Tax Identification Number). Or, they may provide one of the following:

  • A letter from an employer giving the dates the worker was employed and stating why s/he is no longer employed;
  • At least six weeks of pay stubs or wage statements for the six months before the worker lost the job or hours because of Covid;
  • A W-2 or 1099 form for 2019 or 2020 showing wages or income;
  • A Wage Theft Prevention Act notice showing employment in the six months before the worker became eligible for benefits (Employers are supposed to give workers this notice when they are hired.)

Workers in tier two may receive up to $3,200 before taxes; this is equivalent to two federal stimulus checks. Applicants will have to show proof of residency and identity as described elsewhere on this page.

Download information, including a list of documents needed to apply, in English or Spanish.

Demo in support of a fund for excluded workers.

Other documents and rules may be added. Sign up here to get updates from the Fund for Excluded Workers Coalition.

How do workers prove they are New York State residents?

Applicants may use a current NYS drivers license, NYS non-driver ID, or community-issued ID card to prove residency. Or, they may use two of the following  documents, one dated before March 27, 2020, and one dated no more than 30 days before the law went into effect:

  • Utility bill
  • Bank or credit card statement
  • Current lease, mortgage payment, or property tax statement
  • Letter addressed to applicant from a local housing authority
  • Letter from a homeless shelter stating that applicant currently lives at the shelter
  • Letter from a non-profit that provides services to the homeless

How do workers prove their identity?

NYS has created a point system — applicants need at least four points to prove identity. Here are currently acceptable documents and the assigned points:

  • 4 points each:
    • Current New York state driver’s license or non-driver identification card
    • Current United States passport
    • A community-issued identification card
  • 3 points: Current passport issued by a country other than the U.S.
  • 2 points: NYS Office of Mental Health photo ID card
  • 1 point each:
    • Marriage certificate or divorce decree
    • New York State inpatient photo identification card
    • Current membership card from a department of parks and recreation
    • Foreign birth certificate
    • Consular ID card or another photo ID issued by country of citizenship
    • Diploma or transcript from a U.S. high school, college, or university