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Apply for an Employee Emergency CARE Fund Grant

red heart with text: "Cornell Employee Emergency CARE Fund"

Help us to help Cornell employees in need.

What To Know

About the CARE Fund

The Employee Emergency CARE Fund offers financial assistance to faculty and staff who have directly experienced a non-recurring sudden or emergency-related financial hardship due to an unforeseen or unavoidable event. Learn more about the CARE fund.

The fund is limited, and applications must meet outlined criteria to be considered and awarded. Approval of eligible applications is also contingent on funding availability.

Please carefully review ALL the information below BEFORE applying!

Apply for a CARE Fund Grant

CARE Fund Grant Application

What To Expect

  1. A committee will review the application within two days of receipt and decide if it meets the criteria.
  2. The decision will be communicated to the applicant by the committee chair.
  3. If approved, payments to applicants will be arranged through your local payroll office. They are treated as taxable income.


Eligible Employees

Cornell employees who hold a benefits-eligible full or part-time position (including benefits-eligible post-doctoral associates and employees on short-term disability); and experienced a qualified emergency as defined below.


After reviewing these definitions, please review the below “Examples of qualifying events” and “Non-qualifying events” before applying.

  • Emergency:  The Employee Emergency CARE Fund uses the following definition of "emergency" in determining its funding program: An unforeseen combination of circumstances impacting the employee directly and causing a major financial burden, resulting in an urgent need for assistance or relief. 
  • Major Financial Burden:  A sudden, unanticipated financial burden, experienced by the employee, that cannot be paid for without a detrimental impact on the employee's current or available resources. 

Examples of qualifying events experienced personally by the employee:

  • Natural disasters such as floods, hurricanes, winter storms, tornadoes, and earthquakes. 
  • Residential fires, building collapses, or floods.
  • Dislocation due to an unhealthy or unsafe living environment.  
  • One-time medical emergency or personal injury expenses that are not covered by insurance for the employee or an immediate family member. An immediate family member is a dependent, spouse/domestic partner, or other family member (regardless of biological connection) for whom the employee provides at least half of the financial support and resides with.  
  • Domestic abuse or family crisis.
  • Homelessness/inability of the employee to meet basic needs for food/shelter due to exceptional unforeseen circumstances.  
  • Loss of income when a financially contributing household member (not employed by Cornell) has died or due to a new disability.   

Examples of non-qualifying events

  • Loss of employment (unless the result a of sudden disability or death of a family member who resides in the household).
  • Ongoing or increased costs of household bills (such as utilities, credit cards, rent/mortgage, taxes, vehicle bills, and veterinary bills).
  • A situation that does not directly threaten the faculty or staff member’s ability to meet their own basic living expenses.
  • An event that is the result of an action taken by the staff or faculty member.
  • Bills related to an ongoing medical condition.
  • Past due bills not related to the emergency such as rent, heat, and vehicle payments.

Additional Notes

  • The committee chair has access to the complete application, however, the applicant’s identifying information is removed before it is sent to the full committee. All applications are kept confidential.
  • An FSAP counselor will be consulted to provide additional information or resources if appropriate. The applicant will be given information about contacting FSAP as well.
  • Applicants may re-apply at any time; however, preference will be given to first-time applicants with regard to the availability of funding.
  • Financial assistance provided through the Employee Emergency CARE Fund is treated as taxable income subject to FICA and Federal Withholding.
  • The Application Review Committee is a standing committee appointed by Human Resources.  It consists of Cornell community members as well as representatives from HR, the Faculty and Staff Assistance Program, and Workforce Policy & Labor Relations.

Additional Resources

Domestic Violence Resources: Information on workplace accommodations and other campus and community resources.

Elder and Adult Care: Resources or caregivers, including workshops, support groups, networking, and more.

Faculty Staff Assistance Program: Free, confidential guidance and support to benefits-eligible employees and their partners to address issues that may be affecting their personal lives and/or job satisfaction or performance.

Care@Work:  Cornell provides free membership to benefits-eligible faculty, staff, retirees, postdoc associates, and graduate students to find and arrange caregiving services such as babysitting, elder companionship, transportation, pet sitting, errands, house sitting, yard care, etc.

Financial Assistance: Grant programs and other financial resources available to Cornell employees.

Financial ToolsHelp with money management, debt management, and financial planning.

Navigating Health ChallengesResources and guidance for dealing with crises such as cancer, mental health, substance abuse, and caregiving.

Parenting: Support and resources for pregnancy, adoption, childcare, parental leave, networking, financial assistance, and more.

Self Care: Support for your personal wellbeing