Know Your Rights
Source: City Limits
Subject: Workplace Justice
Type: Media Coverage

Would-be Beneficiaries of New York’s Excluded Workers Fund Face Obstacles

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“We are asking, first of all, for the Department of Labor to open its offices and offer in-person appointments to simplify the application process. Many of our workers do not have access to the technology needed or, worse, they do not have time to come to our organizations for assistance,” said Ángeles Solís, spokesperson for Make The Road NY (MRNY.)

In addition to the difficulties posed by online-only applications, those seeking to obtain the benefit—intended to provide aid to residents who were locked out from accessing other COVID relief  money—will have to figure out how to prove through a letter from their employer that they lost earnings starting in February 2020 due to COVID-related lack of work.

Another key factor to be eligible for the fund is to have had earnings below $26,208 in the last 12 months, and applicants must show that they’ve lost of at least 50 percent of their income, what advocates argue is stricter criteria than other government COVID-19 relief funds, like unemployment.