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Economic Opportunity Council of Suffolk to Provide Outreach and Assistance to Excluded Workers

LongIsland.com

EOC is a not-for-profit organization that promotes self-sufficiency among low-income families and individuals in Suffolk County.

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The Economic Opportunity Council of Suffolk, Inc. (EOC) has been given a $300,000 New York State grant to assist in outreach to Suffolk County residents who lost income during the COVID-19 pandemic and were left out of various federal relief programs, including unemployment and pandemic benefits.
 
EOC is a not-for-profit organization that promotes self-sufficiency among low-income families and individuals in Suffolk County.
 
The $2.1 billion Excluded Workers Fund (EWF) was approved in April as part of the New York State budget. The fund is managed by the New York State Department of Labor.
 
Unlike other employees, undocumented workers who lost their jobs or had their hours cut because of the pandemic did not qualify for federal unemployment benefits or stimulus checks. The EWF aims to compensate these workers.
 
“This historic fund offers desperately needed help to the undocumented community,” said Adrian Fassett, CEO of EOC. “Excluded workers have faced months of lost income for themselves and their families. EWF funds will help them make up the difference.”
 
This is the largest program of its kind in the country that supports workers who couldn’t qualify for government assistance during the pandemic. They include domestic workers, food service workers, construction workers, care workers, and many others.
 
To be eligible for one-time payments of up to $15,600, workers must prove that they lost at least 50 percent of their weekly earnings between February 23, 2020 and April 1, 2021 because of the pandemic. Applicants must also show that they are state residents, have not already received other unemployment benefits, and earned less than $26,208 within the twelve months prior to April 2021. The amount that applicants receive is largely dependent on the level of employment documentation provided.
 
Suffolk County residents interested in the EWF program should contact EOC of Suffolk at 631-842-6100 or go to https://dol.ny.gov/EWF.