United Way’s 211 Helpline to Aid in Application Completion of NYS Excluded Worker Fund

Under a new grant award from the NYS Department of Labor, United Way’s 211 Helpline of the Hudson Valley Region is now conducting education and assistance for Hudson Valley residents who think they may qualify for the newly established New York State Excluded Workers Fund.  The Excluded Workers Fund offers financial relief to workers who have suffered income loss due to COVID-19 but who are ineligible for Unemployment Insurance or related federal benefits.

New York is one of only a handful of states to aid these excluded workers when it created a $2.1 billion aid fund in this year’s State budget. New York’s Excluded Worker Fund (EWF) is the first entirely state-administered and state-funded program in the nation to bring relief to individuals excluded from government-issued economic relief.  Some 300,000 New Yorkers are expected to directly benefit.  This one-time payment is a culmination of a year’s long advocacy effort by the over two hundred organizations.  United Way of Westchester and Putnam, which manages the 211 Helpline for the Hudson Valley Region, is one of several nonprofit organizations statewide to receive funding to offer New Yorkers support and assistance with the online application process.

Residents who show adequate proof of eligibility may qualify for the Excluded Workers Fund benefit that provides a one-time payment to eligible workers who lost their jobs or income during the benefit period (through April 1, 2021). New York State residents may qualify for EWF benefits in one of two amounts, depending on the amount of work proof you are able to provide:

Tier 1 – $15,600 (minus taxes); OR • Tier 2 – $3,200 (minus taxes.)

Qualifications include: having lived in New York State before March 2020 and continue to live in New York State; Are not eligible for and did not receive unemployment insurance, COVID-19 income relief, or other specific benefits from the state or federal government; earned less than $26,208 in the 12 months before April 2021; and lost income during the period from through April 1, 2021, because you became unemployed, partially unemployed, or unable or unavailable to work due to COVID-19.  Residents may also qualify if they became responsible for most of the household income because the head of your household died or became disabled.

For the latest information and to learn more about eligibility for the Excluded Worker Fund (EWF) please visit on. dol.ny.gov/EWF. For further assistance in the EWF application process dial 211.

United Way’s 211 Helpline of the Hudson Valley Region located in White Plains, NY, is a free and confidential, information and referral service. Nationally certified call specialists are available 24/7 in over 200 languages to answer questions about food assistance, housing and shelters, utilities, abuse prevention, suicide, foster parenting, medical help, and more. In 2020, the call center answered 114,000 calls. www.211hudsonvalley.org