State of New Jersey launches ‘Excluded New Jerseyans Fund’ for residents who were not eligible for pandemic relief

The New Jersey Department of Human Services has launched a fund for residents of the state who were not eligible for pandemic relief, including, for example, undocumented people and people released from prison.

Applications are now open. The $40 million program will provide a one-time, direct cash benefit to eligible applicants who suffered economic hardship due to COVID-19 but were excluded from federal stimulus checks and COVID-19 related unemployment assistance.           

Households with annual incomes of up to $55,000 with a documented hardship or lost income due to COVID-19 can apply for this assistance. Eligible applicants will receive a benefit of up to $1,000 per eligible person and a max of $2,000 per household.

Apply online at ExcludedNJFund.nj.gov. Applications will be processed in the order they are received and until funds are exhausted. Applicants must submit supporting documents demonstrating:

·         Exclusion from federal COVID-19 stimulus checks and Pandemic Unemployment Assistance;

·         Annual household income;

·         Identification and residency; and

·         Financial hardship due to COVID-19 caused by lost income due to reduced hours/lay off, inability to work due to isolation/quarantine, or due to their child’s remote school learning schedule, illness and/or death due to COVID-19, or inability to pay bills due to loss of income.

Applicants will be able to submit their documents online through a document upload service where they can upload PDFs, screenshots, or images of the supporting documents. Applicants are encouraged to upload all or as many of the required documents as this will help their application move through the approval process faster. While supporting documents such as proof of identity and eligibility will be requested as part of the application process, applicants will not be asked to submit data related to their place of birth, citizenship, or immigration status.

For a list of documents that may be used to prove eligibility, visit here.

Individuals will have to confirm their eligibility before they are able to start the application process. Eligibility requirements for the program may be found here. Free application assistance is available. For a list of community organizations that can help you fill out the application and answer questions, visit here.

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. Eligible applicants can expect to receive their benefit funds within 2 to 3 weeks after being notified that they are eligible.