Governor to Allocate Additional American Rescue Plan Funding to Excluded New Jerseyans Fund; Application Deadline Extended
Jan. 27, 2022
(TRENTON) – Acting Commissioner Sarah Adelman today announced that additional funds will be allocated by Governor Phil Murphy to the Excluded New Jerseyans Fund, allowing for up to $40 million in total benefits, and the application period will be extended through the end of February.
Under new federal rules released this month for the American Rescue Plan – State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds, the U.S. Treasury now permits the State to forego certain documentation requirements that were required under prior sources of funding. Under the new rules, 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 additional documentation demonstrating COVID-related impacts.
Benefit amounts will continue to be $2,000 per eligible individual and a maximum of $4,000 per household. These new rules will also apply to pending applications and the Department will evaluate previously denied applications and contact those with expired applications to make sure they are aware of the new program criteria.
“The pandemic has posed challenges for residents across New Jersey, but those who were previously excluded from federal assistance have been unable to get the help they need,” Governor Phil Murphy said. “By continuing to fund the Excluded New Jerseyans Fund and simplifying the application process, we are making sure more families who are eligible for this program receive much-awaited assistance.”
“We are glad to be able to extend the application period and offer this assistance to more New Jerseyans,” Acting Commissioner Adelman said. “We continue to urge eligible residents to apply for the program and hope even more families will receive needed assistance now that there is more funding, simplified eligibility and more time to apply.”
“The Latino Action Network thanks Governor Murphy for renewing his commitment to provide $40 million to the Excluded New Jerseyans Fund, and for taking action to ensure that more people can take part in this critical program,” said Christian Estevez, president of the Latino Action Network. “We look forward to working with the Department of Human Services and Murphy Administration to get this funding to those who need it. We will continue to work with the Administration and Legislature to find a way to address the unmet remaining need in the community.”
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.
“We are pleased to be able to extend the program with additional funding and use new federal rules to streamline the application process,” Deputy Commissioner Elisa Neira said. “Individuals can continue to apply for this direct cash benefit at ExcludedNJFund.nj.gov.”
The application is available in English and Spanish and online resources in multiple languages can be found on the website.
“We continue to urge all potential applicants to visit the ENJF website and apply,” Office of New Americans Director Johanna Calle said. “We are dedicated 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 needing to document a specific negative impact. Under these rules, New Jersey is targeting disproportionally impacted households who are not only low-income, but who were also excluded from other federal COVID relief.