The Department of Human Services has removed COVID impact as an eligibility requirement for the Excluded NJ Fund and extends the application period to the end of February.
Last month, Latinas in Business President and CEO, Susana G Baumann spoke to Elisa Neira, Deputy Commissioner at the New Jersey Department of Human Services, about the Excluded New Jerseyans Fund.
The ENJF program provides a one-time, direct cash benefit to eligible low-income households that were excluded from federal stimulus checks and pandemic-related unemployment assistance. This includes undocumented individuals, residents returning from the justice system and any other individuals otherwise excluded from pandemic-related financial help.
Since our conversation with Elisa, the potential payouts for the Excluded New Jerseyans cash-assistance program have reached the $40 million mark and the program will continue accepting applications through the previously announced February 28, 2022 application deadline.
Acting Commissioner Adelman announced that Governor Phil Murphy will allocate American Rescue Plan (ARP) funds to provide assistance to eligible applicants who apply by the end of the month.
The Governor allocated additional ARP funds last month to restore the program to $40 million so more eligible people could apply. The Department also removed COVID impact as an eligibility requirement following revised federal allowances, and extended the application period to the end of February.
“This fund provides a much needed financial boost to families who were previously excluded from federal assistance,” said Governor Phil Murphy. “By committing this additional funding, we are making sure eligible families can continue to apply through the end of the month, and that those whose applications are approved will receive their benefits.”
“We are grateful for the Governor’s continued support of this program which has already helped thousands of New Jerseyans who were left out of federal pandemic assistance,” said Acting Commissioner Adelman. “Interested individuals should check their eligibility and apply at ExcludedNJFund.nj.gov. For those who need help, free application assistance is available.”
The ENJF application period ends on February 28. Applicants who submit an application but do not include required documents by the deadline will be able to provide additional documents to demonstrate eligibility after the deadline. The application is available in English and Spanish and online resources in multiple languages can be found on the website.
“The program is now accessible to even more New Jerseyans who were left out of other relief. We want to make sure the community is aware that there is still time to apply for the program. And if you have already applied, we encourage you to check the status of your application online and follow the next steps to complete your application such as uploading eligibility documents,” said Deputy Commissioner Elisa Neira.
Watch the webcast: NJ Office of New Americans talks about the Excluded New Jerseyans Fund
The one-time, direct cash benefit amounts are $2,000 per eligible individual and a maximum of $4,000 per household. Individuals with annual household incomes at or below $55,000, who live in New Jersey, are over 18 years of age and were excluded from federal COVID stimulus payments and pandemic unemployment assistance can apply to the ENJF without demonstrating COVID-related impacts. Proof of COVID impact is no longer required.
Various Latinx organizations are applauding these changes that now make the fund accessible to more people, especially immigrant populations who have struggled to receive aid during the pandemic.
“The Latino Action Network thanks Governor Murphy for simplifying the application for the Excluded New Jerseyans fund and ensuring that more people could take part in this critical program,” said Christian Estevez, President of the Latino Action Network. “By reaching $40 million, we have taken a big first step in addressing a long-standing, previously unmet need in the community. I look forward to the Department of Human Services and Murphy Administration keeping this program open through the end of the month so we can continue helping families and individuals in need. The Latino Action Network stands ready to work with the Governor and the legislature to find ways to continue helping those in need through the end of this month and beyond.”
“LUPE FUND commends Governor Murphy and his administration on allotting additional funds to the Excluded New Jerseyans Fund,” said Iveth Mosquera, LUPE Fund President. “This is an acknowledgment and step forward for all essential workers who have risked their lives during the pandemic, and continue to be the backbone of our communities. This is a true representation of working towards a stronger and fairer New Jersey.”
“The work of DHS simplifying the application process is commendable and shows the great need for continued relief for immigrant workers. Still, we know that hundreds of thousands of New Jersey families will still need additional aid. We are committed to work alongside the Governor and the legislature to ensure no one in New Jersey is left behind. We cannot fully recover as a state until everyone has recovered,” said a statement from Latina Civic Action.
For more information on the Excluded New Jerseyans Fund and to apply, visit: ExcludedNJFund.nj.gov