Department of Human Services

The Excluded New Jerseyans Fund Reaches $40 million in Submitted Applications, Will Remain Open until February 28th

February 17, 2022

(TRENTON) – Acting Commissioner Sarah Adelman today announced that though the potential payouts for the Excluded New Jerseyans cash-assistance program have reached the $40 million mark, the program will continue accepting applications through the previously announced February 28, 2022 application deadline. The Commissioner announced that Governor Phil Murphy will allocate American Rescue Plan (ARP) funds to provide assistance to eligible applicants who apply by the end of the month.

The Governor allocated additional ARP funds last month to restore the program to $40 million so more eligible people could apply. The Department also removed COVID impact as an eligibility requirement following revised federal allowances, and extended the application period to the end of February.

Without this additional funding commitment by Governor Murphy, applications would have closed this week.  With the announcement today, individuals still have the opportunity to apply through the end of this month.

“This fund provides a much needed financial boost to families who were previously excluded from federal assistance,” said Governor Phil Murphy. “By committing this additional funding, we are making sure eligible families can continue to apply through the end of the month, and that those whose applications are approved will receive their benefits.”

“We are grateful for the Governor’s continued support of this program which has already helped thousands of New Jerseyans who were left out of federal pandemic assistance,” said Acting Commissioner Adelman. “Interested individuals should check their eligibility and apply at ExcludedNJFund.nj.gov. For those who need help, free application assistance is available.”

“The program is now accessible to even more New Jerseyans who were left out of other relief. We want to make sure the community is aware that there is still time to apply for the program.  And if you already applied, we encourage you to check the status of your application online and follow the next steps to complete your application such as uploading eligibility documents,” said Deputy Commissioner Elisa Neira.

“We understand that applicants may need time to gather required documentation. Applicants are able to submit documents through the online portal at any time. During this time, their application is pending while they collect documents needed to demonstrate eligibility. This may prolong the time it takes for their application to be reviewed but people should know that if their application is approved, they will receive their benefits,” said Office of New Americans Director Johanna Calle.

The ENJF application period ends on February 28.  Applicants who submit an application but do not include required documents by the deadline will be able to provide additional documents to demonstrate eligibility after the deadline.

The application is available in English and Spanish and online resources in multiple languages can be found on the website.

The ENJF program provides a one-time, direct cash benefit to eligible low-income households that were excluded from federal stimulus checks and pandemic-related unemployment assistance. This includes undocumented individuals, residents returning from the justice system and any other individuals otherwise excluded from pandemic-related financial help.

Benefit amounts are $2,000 per eligible individual and a maximum of $4,000 per household.

Individuals with annual household incomes at or below $55,000, who live in New Jersey, are over 18 years of age and were excluded from federal COVID stimulus payments and pandemic unemployment assistance can apply to the ENJF without demonstrating COVID-related impacts. Proof of COVID impact is no longer required.

“The Excluded New Jerseyans Fund helped my family during our time of need, and I am grateful to Governor Murphy for his commitment to keeping this program open and helping families like mine,” said Bayron Santos Agustin, Trenton Resident and Excluded New Jerseyans Fund Recipient. “I have been working to get the word out in my community and encourage those who haven’t been eligible for help to apply for this important program.”

“The Latino Action Network thanks Governor Murphy for simplifying the application for the Excluded New Jerseyans fund and ensuring that more people could take part in this critical program said Christian Estevez, President of the Latino Action Network. “By reaching $40 million, we have taken a big first step in addressing a long-standing, previously unmet need in the community. I look forward to the Department of Human Services and Murphy Administration keeping this program open through the end of the month so we can continue helping families and individuals in need. The Latino Action Network stands ready to work with the Governor and the legislature to find ways to continue helping those in need through the end of this month and beyond.”

“Just two weeks after restoring the Excluded New Jerseyans Fund, applications have surged and $40 million of essential relief will go to communities in desperate need of assistance,” said ACLU-NJ Policy Director Sarah Fajardo. “We applaud the Murphy administration for restoring the Fund and simplifying the application process – these efforts worked, and thousands will benefit. But $40 million is not enough to support all 500,000 New Jerseyans ineligible for federal aid. We urge the NJ Legislature to build upon this success and allocate increased funds to ensure that all excluded communities can access relief and move our state toward true recovery.”

"LUPE FUND commends Governor Murphy and his administration on allotting additional funds to the Excluded New Jerseyans Fund,” said Iveth Mosquera, LUPE Fund President. “This is an acknowledgment and step forward for all essential workers who have risked their lives during the pandemic, and continue to be the backbone of our communities. This is a true representation of working towards a stronger and fairer New Jersey."

“IACO welcomes the news that the fund will remain open until the end of February,” said Gustavo Ramirez, Executive Director of IACO. “We’ve been working with the Office of New Americans since the launch of the program to raise awareness and assist eligible individuals with their applications and know this has been helpful to many families. We will continue to support our community members who can benefit for this critical assistance.”

“This proves that the new, streamlined application process implemented by the Murphy administration was a big success, especially when paired with investments in community outreach,” said Nicole Rodriguez, Research Director at New Jersey Policy Perspective (NJPP). “Now, thousands more families will receive much-needed pandemic relief from the Excluded New Jerseyans Fund. The state should sustain this momentum until no one is left behind in New Jersey’s pandemic recovery.”

“We applaud the Governor's commitment to ensuring all New Jersey Excluded Workers Fund applicants that applied before the Feb. 28th cut-off date will receive aid,” said a statement from Latina Civic Action. “The work of DHS simplifying the application process is commendable and shows the great need for continued relief for immigrant workers. Still, we know that hundreds of thousands of New Jersey families will still need additional aid. We are committed to work alongside the Governor and the legislature to ensure no one in New Jersey is left behind. We cannot fully recover as a state until everyone has recovered.”