This Gothamist article tells the personal story of an excluded worker and the on-going efforts in New York State to create an excluded worker fund. Excluded workers are those who have lost work due to COVID, but have been excluded from any federal or state relief (federal stimulus or state unemployment due to their immigration status or recent incarceration.

“The need is urgent,” said David Dyssegaard Kallick, director of the Fiscal Policy Institute’s Immigration Research Initiative. “Unemployment insurance has been a lifesaver to so many New Yorkers. This would extend that same help to people who have been left out of federal aid.”

He said the $2.1 billion approved by the Democratic-led assembly and senate represents the federal unemployment aid these workers would have received: $600 a week in the first stimulus and $300 in the next two packages. He said $3.5 billion would also include their share of state unemployment, and he called the expense worthwhile.

“At a time when the economy is depressed, we really need people to be able to keep their families going,” he explained. “But we also need the stores to have some activity.”

Read the Gothamist article “One Year Into Pandemic, Thousands Of Excluded Workers Are Still Begging For Relief”