Welcome to today’s Tip of the Week.
Today we’re going to talk about a special program released for people in New Jersey. This is a one-time, direct cash benefit to eligible households who have suffered an economic hardship due to COVID-19.
This program is created for people who were excluded from both the federal stimulus checks and COVID-related unemployment assistance.And we wanted to address today because you can qualify for it even if you are an undocumented immigrant.
Let’s jump right ahead and start with the basics: What is the Excluded New Jerseyans Fund, or ENJF?
Excluded New Jerseyans Fund
Like I mentioned before, the ENJF is a one-time, direct cash benefit, for households that have suffered an economic hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The main requirement to qualify for this benefit is that you must have been excluded from both the federal stimulus checks and COVID-related unemployment assistance. But we’ll look at all the requirements later on.
With this program, eligible households will receive a benefit of up to $1,000 per eligible individuals and a max of $2,000 per household. In simpler words, you could get up to $1000 dollars, and if your partner is also eligible, they could get another $1000, but that would be the limit.
Households with incomes up to $55,000 a year with documented hardship or lost income due to COVID-19 can apply for assistance.
I’m creating this video as Breaking News because applications for this program are now open and the applications will be processed as first comes, first served until the funds are over, and applying for it doesn’t guarantee you’ll get it.
So, you guess it right, you need to act fast if you want to receive this benefit.
Eligibility and Documentation
Now, let’s talk about the eligibility criteria and the documents required.
To be eligible, you must demonstrate 4 things:
1. You were excluded from both federal stimulus checks and COVID-related unemployment assistance.
This means that you must be able to show that you didn’t receive any of those benefits. And the way to prove this is through bank statements and a Self-Attestation Form.
You will need to provide bank statements for the following months: April & May of 2020, December 2020 & January 2021, and April 2021 & May 2021. But if you don’t have a bank account you should still apply for it, their workers will reach out to help with that.
The Self-Attestation Form is a document found within the Application, which is a declaration of hardship by you that you were excluded from both the federal stimulus checks and COVID-related unemployment assistance.
2. Prove the impact of COVID in your household.
You can do this by demonstrating:
- Reduced income/wages because of employment loss or hours reduction, or
- Paystubs showing household income for 3-6 months, from any period since March 2020 (should demonstrate loss of income);
- Notice from employer;
- Bank statements that reflect a significant change in direct or manual deposits over the course of 3-6 months.
- Inability to pay for basic costs such as housing costs and medical expenses, or
- Proof of rental or utilities arrears.
- Unpaid COVID-related medical bills for doctor’s visits, hospitalization, or medication for oneself or a family member.
- Letter from Landlord that confirms hardship.
- COVID illness or death of a household member
- Funeral expenses related to a household member due to COVID-19.
- Death certificate.
- COVID-related medical documentation. (Positive COVID test or hospitalization documentation)
3. Show a household income of $55,000 or less.
For this criterion, you’ll need to show:
- Bank statements (Last 2 most recent months, showing annual income of less than $55,000)
- Paystubs (Last 2 most recent months, showing annual income of less than $55,000)
- Letter from Employer
- Award Letter from a Social Service Agency (example – Social Security or Veteran Affairs)
4. Demonstrate your identity, residency, and age.
To do this, there are 3 lists of documents that you can show.
For List A, you will only need to show one of these documents:
- New Jersey or Municipal ID card with full name and address
- New Jersey Driver’s License with full name and address
- Student identification card from a school located in New Jersey
- Utility bill, cell phone bill, or internet bill showing your name and address
- Bank statement or insurance statement showing your name and New Jersey address
- 2019/2020 Tax Return showing name and New Jersey address
- Paystub from employer showing your name and New Jersey address
- Rent receipt, lease, mortgage statement, or property tax statement showing your name and address
- Letter from social service agency, health care provider, or government agency showing name and New Jersey address from the past 12 months
If you can’t show any of those documents, then you can show a document from List B, which establishes your identity, plus a document from List C, which establishes your residency.
These are the documents approved for List B:
- Student identification card from any school
- Passport from any country
- Consulate identification card
- Birth certificate from any country
- A child’s U.S. birth certificates listing the applicant as a parent
- Work issued identification
- International driver’s license
- Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) issuance letter from the IRS or ITIN card
- Department of Corrections ID
- Marriage certificate or divorce record from any country
- High school or college transcript from any country
- S. court documents where the applicant is named as a party
- S. Union ID
- S professional license
And these are the options from List C:
- Signed and dated letter stating the full name and phone number of the person writing the letter from the following entities:
- Landlord acknowledging New Jersey residency
- Representative from your place of worship
- Medical provider, service provider, or shelter
So, just to be clear, you will need to provide any of the documents from List A, or in case you don’t have it, you will need to provide a document from List B, plus a document from List C.
The criteria to be eligible is truly simple to fulfill and that’s the whole idea of this fund, to help as many people as possible.
Finally, for the application, once you checked if you meet the criteria and gather the required documents, you can proceed with the online application. The only way to do the application is via the Official Site of the State of New Jersey.
Applications can only be submitted online via their portal. Applicants can submit one application per household, allowing two qualifying individuals in the same household to apply together for the maximum benefit possible.
And one thing to take into consideration is that if someone is assisting you with the application, they will also need to sign the application to confirm their assistance.
This brings us to the end of this video, but before you go, I want to let you know that we are offering to help file for this benefit, free of charge, to anyone who qualifies for it. Some conditions may apply, contact us and find out if we can start working on your application.
Reach out to us if you have any doubts, or if you want our help to file for this program, but as I mentioned before, you need to hurry since this is a one-time program and the funds are limited.
Give us a call at the number listed below to schedule a call so we can start with your application.
If you enjoyed this video, please give us a like and subscribe, or if you know someone who may qualify for this benefit, share it with them, I’m sure they’ll appreciate it.
As always, stay healthy and be well.