The New York State Excluded Worker Fund passed in this year’s budget at last provides a meaningful level of assistance to undocumented workers who have been excluded from major federal pandemic assistance.

The $2.1 billion fund creates two tiers of aid. Tier 1 is on a rough par with unemployment insurance, and provides $15,600 to undocumented workers who can meet its strict standards of proof of eligibility. Tier 2 pays $3,200, and is on a par with the three rounds of federal stimulus payments ($1,200, $600, and $1,400).

Statewide, the Fiscal Policy Institute estimates that 290,000 workers will benefit from the Excluded Worker Fund. That includes 92,000 we estimate will qualify for Tier 1 benefits and 199,000 for Tier 2 benefits. The full report shows the boost to local economies and the number of people expected to get benefits in each region of the state.