During the spring New York State approved one-time $15,600 stimulus payments for excluded workers who lost their jobs during the coronavirus pandemic. It was a $2.2 billion program for people who did not receive stimulus payments through the CARES Act or American Rescue Plan because of citizenship.
Republicans blasted the bill at the time, but it passed, and was signed into law granting significant stimulus payments to hundreds of thousands of people in the state.
It was included in the state’s budget, which was passed and adopted in April. While it was criticized as being too costly to implement – its inclusion in the budget meant that the bill was set to happen regardless of individual issues with it.
Who qualified for the excluded workers stimulus payments?
Those living in New York who do not have resident status, but made less than $26,208 in 2020 are eligible.
The state said in a recent update that $250 million in benefits had already been released. An additional $600 million is undergoing final verification for applicants and should be delivered by the end of the month.
The state also said that 90,000 New Yorkers had applied for the Excluded Workers Program.
“The COVID-19 pandemic is not over yet, and as we continue our work to rebuild and recover we know people are still in need,” Governor Hochul said in a statement at the time. “The Excluded Workers Fund is a critical lifeline to thousands of New Yorkers who were an integral part of keeping our state running during the worst moments of the pandemic, and that’s why I have pushed to make sure we get money out the door as quickly as possible. This is an important first step – payments are going out ahead of schedule to provide these individuals with the financial relief they need and deserve.”
Approved applicants receive one of two benefit amounts based on the level of work eligibility documentation they provide in addition to verifying their identity and residence. Tier 1 qualifiers receive $15,600 and Tier 2 qualifiers receive $3,200. To date, more than 10,000 applicants have been approved to receive funds, with nearly 40,000 more in the final approval phase. Of those, 99 percent have qualified for Tier 1 benefits. Approved applicants receive a one-time payment on a prepaid card mailed to the address provided in the application. Cards allow for cash withdrawal or purchases with merchants.