What is the EWF?

New York State has created a $2.1 billion Excluded Workers Fund. The EWF will provide direct cash aid to workers who don’t qualify for unemployment benefits or federal Covid-related relief but who lost income because of Covid. This is the first fund like it in the U.S.

Am I eligible?

Take this quiz to find out.

In brief: you are eligible for funds if you (1) live in New York State and have been a resident since at least March 27, 2020; (2) lost at least 50% of income at some point between February 23, 2020 and April 1, 2021 due to the Covid pandemic; (3) are not eligible for unemployment insurance or federal Covid-related income relief; and (4) earned $26,208 or less in the last 12 months.

How much is available?

The EWF has two tiers. If you qualify for Tier 1 you receive $15,600. If you are in Tier 2 you receive $3,200. For both tiers, the state will deduct 5% in taxes. Your tier depends on the level of documentation you provide.

What documents do I need?

EWF requires proof of your identity, where you live, and your recent work history. See the list of accepted documents by scrolling down the Dept. of Labor’s EWF website — Spanish, English. Start collecting your documents now.

How is my employer involved?

To be eligible for the EWF, you need letters from each of your employers explaining how your wages or income were affected by Covid. This information is secure and will not be seen by anyone outside the EWF. This link has suggestions for how to talk to your employer about the letter you need and includes a sample letter.

Can I get help applying?

In September not-for-profit groups in Ulster County will hold clinics to help workers complete the application. At least one will be in Kingston. When dates and other details are available, UIDN will spread the word. In the meantime the video below, available in Spanish and English, can help you understand the process.



Thanks to the Fund for Excluded Workers Coalition, Make the Road New York,
and the Worker Justice Center of New York for this information and for the organizing that secured the Excluded Workers Fund.