Emergency CARE Fund

Care Fund Logo - We're Here To HelpCornellians Aiding and Responding to Employees

When crisis strikes, a little support can make a huge difference.

Sometimes insurance doesn't cover all the bills. Or there aren't family or friends nearby to lend a hand. Some of the crises that the CARE fund has helped to ease for Cornell employees include:

  • Support for families in the wake of fire or flood damage
  • Temporary shelter and supplies for victims of domestic violence
  • Transportation via Campus-to-Campus bus to NYC for medical treatment

 

"It was like a flashlight in the dark, that there was this opportunity to apply for help. My family has felt very fortunate to have received assistance for our expenses... this is a wonderful program to keep going to assist others in our Cornell family financially when they feel there is no other help available."

-- M. H., who received CARE support to help pay for flood damage to their home.

 

What is the CARE Fund?

The Emergency CARE Fund is a program offering financial assistance to faculty and staff who have experienced a non-recurring sudden or emergency-related financial hardship due to an unforeseen or unavoidable event.

The Emergency CARE Fund is funded through the generous donations of faculty, staff and others who are interested in supporting employees who are in financial need due to an unplanned circumstance. Applicants who are approved for funding may receive between $200 and $1,500 depending on the circumstances.

Without these donations, the CARE Fund is not able to offer these awards. 100% of donations go directly to employees. Any amount not awarded in a given year will be carried forward to the next fiscal year.

How to Give

Faculty, staff, and community members can donate at any time. 

One hundred percent of the donations go into an account used exclusively for providing CARE Fund grants. The maximum grant is $1500 awarded to an employee as a payroll payment.

  • Payroll Deduction Electronic Form - Elect to donate $1, $2, $5, or more from your paycheck each pay period. You may also make a one-time donation via payroll deduction. 
  • One Time Donations - If you would prefer not to use payroll deduction, you can donate by check. Make checks payable to Cornell University. In the notes section, write CARE Fund.  Mail your check to: Cornell Work/Life, 395 Pine Tree Road, Suite 130, Ithaca, NY 14850

Apply for Funds

Eligibility

  • Cornell employees who hold a benefits eligible full or part-time position (including benefits eligible post-doctoral associates and employees on short-term or long-term disability); and
  • Have worked a minimum of six months at the time of the submission of the application for Emergency CARE funds.
  • Experienced a qualified emergency. An emergency is an event of such magnitude as to dislocate people, cause significant damage or destroy homes, or otherwise cause an extraordinary, non-recurring personal catastrophe or crisis, and result in a major financial burden.

Definitions:

Emergency: The Emergency CARE Fund uses the following definition of emergency in determining is funding program: An emergency is an event of such magnitude as to dislocate people, cause significant damage or destroy homes, or otherwise cause an extraordinary, non-recurring personal catastrophe or crisis,  and result in a major financial burden.

Major Financial Burden: a sudden, unanticipated burden that cannot be paid for by the person’s current savings or paid over time through special financial arrangements with creditors.

Examples of qualifying events include:

  • Floods, hurricanes, winter storms, tornadoes, earthquakes.
  • Plane, train, or bus accident.
  • Residential fires, building collapses.
  • Serious illness that is not covered by insurance including non-routine/exceptional medical expense for employee or immediate family member.
  • Domestic abuse or family crisis that results in major financial burden.

Non-qualified events

  • Loss of employment (unless as a result of sudden disability or death in the family).
  • Ongoing or increased costs of household bills (such as utilities, credit cards, mortgage, taxes, vehicle bills and veterinary bills).
  • A situation that does not threaten the faculty or staff member’s ability to meet 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, vehicle payments.

How to apply

  • This is a limited fund. Please use your discretion when deciding whether to apply.
  • Eligible faculty and staff can submit an Emergency CARE Fund Application (pdf) to the Emergency CARE Fund email, or drop off at Faculty and Staff Assistance Program (FSAP),  312 College Avenue.
  • A committee will convene to review applications within two days of receipt and decide if the applicant meets the criteria outlined in the Emergency CARE Fund program. All applications are kept confidential.
  • Applicants may re-apply at any time; however, preference will be given to first time applicants with regard to availability of funding.

Please note that financial assistance provided through the Emergency CARE Fund is treated as taxable income subject to FICA and Federal Withholding.

CARE Fund application process

  • All requests will be kept confidential.
  • Emergency CARE Fund information and application forms are available in from the Faculty and Staff Assistance Program (FSAP),  312 College Avenue and as a downloadable (pdf) document.
  • Payments to applicants can be arranged through your local payroll office and are treated as taxable income.

Application Procedure

  • Completed applications (pdf) are submitted electronically to carefund@cornell.edu or dropped off at with the Faculty and Staff Assistance Program (FSAP), 312 College Avenue,  and forwarded to the chair of the Emergency CARE Fund Committee.
  • The Fund committee chair has access to the complete application, however the applicant’s identifying information is removed before it is sent to the full committee.
  • The committee will convene to review applications within two days of receipt and decide if the applicant meets the criteria outlined in the Emergency CARE Fund program.
  • 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.
  • The decision will be communicated to the applicant by the committee chair.
  • The chair will be responsible for documenting all received applications including date received, meeting decisions, and communications with the applicant.
  • Applicants may re-apply at any time; however, preference will be given to first time applicants with regard to availability of funding.
  • Applications will be kept on file in the FSAP office.

Emergency CARE Fund Committee Composition

A standing committee will be appointed by the Associate Vice President of Human Resources.
The committee will consist of six Cornell community members and at any given time will include:

1 Employee Assembly representative

1 Human Resources representative

1 Faculty and Staff Assistance Program (FSAP) representative

1 Faculty representative

1 At-large representative

1 Labor Relations representative

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 Tools : Help with money management, debt management, and financial planning.

Navigating Health Challenges : Resources 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

Travel Assistance to NYC: If you need to travel to New York City for medical care or other emergencies, please complete this Travel Assistance Form . Cornell University Transportation Services will provide round-trip bus tickets on the Campus-to-Campus Bus to current employees, free of charge.  After completing this request form, you will be contacted by one of the ticket coordinators. *Note:  Tickets will be provided for the patient and one caregiver.  Please contact Diane Bradac (sdb39@cornell.edu) for other circumstances.