QUEENS, NY— The office of State Senator Jessica Ramos announced today that Excluded Worker Fund applications processed by her office have resulted in over $607,860 in assistance to constituents of District 13.
“Our district was the epicenter of the epicenter of the pandemic, with every single facet of our neighbors’ lives and livelihoods feeling the impact. Passing and implementing the Excluded Workers Fund was a critical step to getting New York back on its feet - and I’m so grateful for my team’s diligent and compassionate work from the inception of this bill to now seeing the money return to our local economy,” said State Senator Jessica Ramos.
“Constituents have told us that this money is going into groceries and supplies for their children, and to catch up on skipped medical appointments. This $550,000 is going back to small businesses that were equally rocked by the crisis, and sets a strong foundation for recovery that Queens can build on. While we celebrate this milestone, we must also acknowledge that many workers, particularly upstate, are still in need of support. Bolstered by seeing the success of the EWF in real time, we’re going to make an extension of the fund a priority next session and ensure that the entire state can see the benefits of this fund.”
The Excluded Workers Fund was passed in 2021 to provide financial relief to workers across the state who lost their income due to the pandemic and didn’t qualify for unemployment insurance - either because of their immigration status or worker classification. It is the first fund of its kind, nationwide.
Approved applicants received one of two tiers of benefits based on their eligibility, proof of residence, and level of work. Tier 1 payments accounted for 99% of EWF grantees statewide, meaning the worker successfully proved both in-state residence and payment of taxes in 2019, 2020, and 2021. As of November 3rd, 2021, the Department of Labor announced that the fund was reaching exhaustion, and they would stop processing new applicants.