Applicants to the Excluded New Jerseyans Fund now have until Nov. 30 to submit necessary paperwork to the state. (Danielle Richards for New Jersey Monitor)
The deadline for residents to submit documents to receive money from the Excluded New Jerseyans Fund has been extended through Nov. 30.
That will be the final deadline for the 15,000 applicants who have not yet submitted all the necessary documentation to the state, the Department of Human Services said in a statement to the New Jersey Monitor.
About 5,000 of those applicants haven’t submitted any documentation, leaving their application inactive and at risk of being closed if they aren’t reopened by Monday, Oct. 31, said department spokeswoman Eva Loayza-McBride.
“With this latest extension, applicants will have had nine months to gather and submit their documents since the application closed in February. We are unable to make an eligibility determination without supporting documentation from the applicant demonstrating they are eligible for the benefits,” she said.
The latest extension coincides with the one-year anniversary of the fund launching to benefit undocumented immigrants and other New Jerseyans who can show they were excluded from pandemic relief like stimulus checks and unemployment benefits.
More than 35,000 residents applied to the fund, which closed in February, and 20,000 of those have received checks totaling nearly $46 million, Loayza-McBridge said.
To be eligible, people had to live in New Jersey, have an annual household income at or below $55,000, and show proof they were excluded from federal and state COVID aid.
If approved, individual applicants can claim one-time payouts of up to $2,000, and families can claim up to $4,000.
All of the applicants whose status is pending or in danger of being closed received notifications saying what is missing from their applications, Loayza-McBridge said.
Immigrant advocates continue to urge state officials to bring the fund to $1 billion in order to help all residents who were excluded from federal and state pandemic relief. Murphy in his March budget address proposed a $53 million aid program for taxpaying undocumented immigrants, but lawmakers dropped it from this year’s spending plan.
“Every excluded New Jerseyan must have the opportunity to access current programs, and we urge the state to continue to fund programs to ensure full access to aid. Our state’s recovery cannot be complete if we leave hundreds of thousands of New Jerseyans behind,” said Sara Cullinane, executive director of Make the Road New Jersey.
The state urges anyone having trouble with their application or who is concerned about the deadline to email [email protected] or contact a community-based organization tasked with reviewing applications.
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