Hundreds of thousands of undocumented workers who lost their jobs amid the pandemic are to be given massive one-time payments in the State of New York.
As part of the $212 billion state budget, Governor Andrew Cuomo and New York lawmakers reached an agreement to allot $2.1 billion to help out struggling undocumented workers who weren’t eligible for stimulus checks and unemployment benefits during the pandemic.
According to the reports, some 300,000 NY workers who weren’t eligible for relief because of their immigration status are now to be paid up to $15,600 each in one-time payments.
In order to receive the payments, workers will have to prove they are residents of New York and provide documentation showing that their loss of job was a result of the pandemic. To qualify, they will also need to prove they weren’t eligible to receive federal unemployment benefits throughout the pandemic.
As the officials suggested, undocumented workers in New York will be allowed to prove their residence and pandemic-related unemployment status through various IDs and documents such as state-issued IDs, driver’s licenses, birth certificates, bank statements, wage notices or statements, pay stubs, previous tax forms, or letters from employers.
According to the reports, not all undocumented workers will be eligible for $15,600 one-time payments, whereas some, depending on their situation, will be eligible for smaller payments of up to $3,200 by providing basic documentation such as proof of residency and work papers.
“Just because you are undocumented doesn’t mean we don’t care and we don’t have compassion, and we don’t want to help,” Governor Cuomo expressed during a Wednesday briefing.
While he called for compassion, the governor insisted there was a “major concern” that people would make attempts at fraud in an attempt to get their hands on taxpayers’ dollars.
“It is difficult to do it in a way that can be administered without fraud, and that’s obviously a major concern for us that we protect every tax dollar,” he admitted.
“We ran an unemployment insurance program for citizens of the state, there was tremendous fraud even though we took significant measures. On this program, we’ll ask the comptroller to review it before it is administered. The comptroller’s job is to audit state funds.
“After a program is run, the comptroller will come back and do an audit and said, you did this wrong, this wrong, this wrong, this wrong.”
Cuomo added: “And we’re asking the Attorney General to specifically review the program, the guidelines, the rules, to make sure there are anti-fraud protections.
“Until the Attorney General reviews and signs off on the program, we will not implement the program, because we want New Yorkers to know, yes, we’re compassionate and we’re doing the right thing, but we’re also doing it smartly and intelligently, and the Attorney General’s approval of the program will do just that.”
What are your thoughts on this matter? Let us know in the comments and don’t forget to SHARE this post with your family and friends. For more news and stories, follow us on Facebook!