Excluded Worker Fund

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Applications are now closed, and no money is guaranteed for any claims submitted after September 24th.

If you have questions about your application status, please call us at (716) 206-3550.
There is no way to move up on the list or submit a new claim. If you receive a call or offer that asks you for money to get your claim approved, report it to the NYS Attorney General at (800) 771-7755.

What is the Excluded Workers Fund?

The Excluded Workers Fund will provide a one-time payment to workers who lost income between March 27, 2020 and April 1, 2021 but are excluded from state Unemployment Insurance and federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance.

Applications for the Excluded Workers Fund are closed due to the near-exhaustion of the fund. You can contact WNYCOSH at (716) 206-3550 (in multiple languages) for more information. This is an answering machine and you must leave a message to receive a call back. All calls to the Worker Center Hotline are strictly confidential.

We highly recommend that you make sure you have all the documentation you need before you begin applying. Once you submit an application you CANNOT change it. If you make a mistake and have already submitted your application, call the Department of Labor at (877)-393-4697

Who Qualifies for the Fund?

In order to qualify for the Fund you must meet ALL of the following criteria:

  • Currently live in New York State
  • Lived in NYS prior to March 27, 2020
  • Worked at least 15 hours/week prior to April 3, 2020
  • At some point between February 23, 2020 and April 1, 2021 lost 50% or more of your wages or income because of:
    • COVID-related unemployment, partial unemployment, or inability to work, OR,
    • COVID-related death or disability of a breadwinner or major household source of income
  • Be ineligible for Unemployment Insurance or federal COVID-related income relief, AND,
  • Have earned $26,208 or less between April 19, 2020 and April 19, 2021

You can apply for the fund even if you received 1 or more stimulus checks.

What can I get from the Excluded Worker Fund?

There are two tiers in the fund.

Tier 1: $15,600 pre taxes ($300 per week for 52 weeks)

Tier 2: $3,200 pre taxes (equal to the 3 federal stimulus checks). Workers ineligible for Tier 1 may qualify for this tier.

New York State will withhold 5% of the benefit for state taxes and fund payments may be subject to federal taxes.

The NYS Department of Labor will mail 1099-G tax forms to all Excluded Workers Fund (EWF) recipients to the address listed on their EWF application.

The information from this form must be included in tax filings for the 2021 calendar year.  As you may know, payments from the EWF are considered taxable income. Although payments were mailed with state taxes already taken out, they may still be subject to federal income tax. For more information, visit dol.ny.gov/ewf

Will my personal information be shared?

No. There are criminal penalties for disclosing any information, including from employers, submitted as part of your application to any government agencies, including ICE.

The Department of Labor will only use the information provided to determine eligibility for the Fund and it will not be shared with anyone outside of the application process, unless to comply with a judicial warrant or court order.

What happens after I apply?

You will be asked to choose to receive notifications and updates by email or text. Once you start or submit the application, pay attention for those notifications in case of an urgent message. You must have an email address that you can check regularly or a phone that can receive text messages in order to apply and to receive updates on that status of your application.

You will be notified on the status of your application thru whichever method you choose.

What if I am denied?

If you are denied or disagree with the Department of Labor’s decision on your case, you have the right to appeal. You will receive a text or email from DOL when they make a decision or identify a problem with your application.

To appeal: You have 7 days to log in to your account and select the “Appeal” button before the determination is final. DOL will re-review your application. DOL will ask for more information or documentation, and you have 7 days after receiving that request to provide that information.

If you do not provide the information, DOL will use the information they have. Once the review is complete, you will get a notification with the decision. Appeals can take up to three weeks to process, and may take longer if more information is required.

If you received a notice from the Department of Labor that your claim was denied due to lack of funds, you are not able to appeal the decision at this time.

What do I need to apply?

Checklist for options to prove identity for Excluded Workers Fund application
Checklist for options to prove NYS residency for Excluded Workers Fund application
Checklist for options to prove NYS residency for Excluded Workers Fund application
Checklist for options to prove work history for Excluded Workers Fund application
Checklist for options to prove work history for Excluded Workers Fund application


WNYCOSH Hotline: (716) 206-3550
Department of Labor: (877)-393-4697
Other WNY Organizations Who Can Help with Applications and Questions:

Healthy Community Alliance


Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Buffalo

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