the governor will allocate additional US bailout funding to the New Jersey Disenfranchised Fund; Application deadline extended
January 27, 2022
(TENTON) – Acting Commissioner Sarah Adelman announced today that additional funds will be allocated by Governor Phil Murphy to the New Jersey Excluded Fund, allowing for up to $40 million in total benefits, and the application period will be extended until at the end of February.
Under new federal rules released this month for the U.S. Bailout – State and Local Fiscal Stimulus Fund, the U.S. Treasury now allows the state to waive certain documentation requirements that were required by the previous funding sources. Under the new rules, people with an annual household income of $55,000 or less, who live in New Jersey, are over 18 and have been excluded from federal COVID stimulus payments and assistance -pandemic unemployment can apply to the ENJF without additional documentation demonstrating COVID-related impacts.
The benefit amount will continue to be $2,000 per eligible person and a maximum of $4,000 per household. These new rules will also apply to pending applications, and the Department will assess previously denied applications and communicate with those whose applications have expired to ensure they are aware of the new program criteria.
“The pandemic has posed challenges for New Jerseyans, but those who were previously excluded from federal assistance have not been able to get the help they need,” said Governor Phil Murphy. “By continuing to fund the New Jersey Excluded Fund and simplifying the application process, we are ensuring that more families who qualify for this program receive much-needed help.”
“We are pleased to be able to extend the application period and offer this assistance to more New Jerseyans,” said Acting Commissioner Adelman. “We continue to urge eligible residents to apply for the program and hope that even more families will receive the help they need now that there is more funding, easier eligibility and more time to apply.”
“The Latino Action Network thanks Governor Murphy for renewing his commitment to provide $40 million to the New Jersey Excluded Fund and for taking action to ensure more people can participate in this vital program,” said Christian Estevez, president of the Latino Action Network. “We look forward to working with the Department of Social Services and the Murphy Administration to provide this funding to those in need. We will continue to work with the administration and legislature to find a way to meet the remaining unmet needs in the community.
The ENJF program provides a direct, one-time cash benefit to eligible low-income households who have been excluded from federal stimulus checks and pandemic-related unemployment assistance. This includes undocumented people, residents returning from the justice system, and anyone else otherwise excluded from pandemic-related financial assistance.
“We are pleased to be able to expand the program with additional funding and to use new federal rules to streamline the application process,” said Deputy Commissioner Elisa Neira. “Individuals can continue to apply for this direct cash benefit at ExcludedNJFund.nj.gov.”
The app is available in English and Spanish, and online resources in multiple languages are available on the website.
“We continue to urge all potential candidates to visit the ENJF website and apply,” Johanna Calle, director of the Office for New Americans, said. “We are committed to providing as much assistance as possible to New Jersey families in need.”
The new federal rule allows states to make certain low-to-moderate income residents eligible for such assistance without having to document a specific negative impact. Under these rules, New Jersey is targeting disproportionately affected households who are not only low-income, but who have also been excluded from other federal COVID relief.
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