Emergency CARE Fund

Carefund logo, closeup blurry cherry blossoms, "Cornellians Aiding and Responding to Employees; when crisis strikes, a little support can make a 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 ease for Cornell employees include:

  • House damage from floods, fires, winter storms, hurricanes
  • Temporary shelter and support for victims of domestic violence
  • Serious illnesses with exceptional medical expenses not covered by insurance

 

Button: Donate now by payroll deduction

You can also use the red button to make changes to your current payroll deduction

 

button: donate by paypal

 

 “The funds I received allowed me to transport my critically ill daughter to receive urgent care from some of the nation’s best doctors. The care she received saved her life and now, a little more than a year, later – my daughter is healthy and thriving again.  At the time, my savings were depleted, my credit card was maxed out, and I had no way to pay for my daughter’s airfare. I am deeply grateful for the help I received from my colleagues at Cornell. On behalf of my entire family, thank you all.”

-- Recipient of CARE support for emergency care.

Read  about more ways that the Emergency Care Fund has made a difference for Cornell employees in crisis.

 

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 by payroll or check 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 payroll or check 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.

  • Donate by Payroll – Sign-up to donate $1, $2, $5, or more from your paycheck each pay period. You may also make a one-time donation via payroll deduction. Modifications to your current payroll deduction can be made by re-submitting this form. Donations are deducted after tax.
  • Donate by Credit/Debit Card or PayPal --  Donations using PayPal result in a 2.9% fee and a 0.30 cent per transaction fee. These fees are subtracted from your donation before distribution to the CARE Fund.
  • Donate by check - 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
  • Donation in lieu of retirement gift/party -- Cornell employees who wish to forego a retirement gift and/or party may request their department make a donation to the Emergency CARE Fund in their name. To arrange a departmental transfer, email carefund@cornell.edu.
  • Change or stop your payroll deduction --  fill out the Payroll Deduction Authorization Form and send to the Payroll UCO mailbox at 377 Pine Tree Road, Ithaca,  NY 14850, or fax to (607) 255-3198.

Eligibility Guidelines

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.

Apply

This is a limited fund. Please use your discretion when deciding whether to apply.

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

Please note:

  • 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 availability of funding.
  • Financial assistance provided through the 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.

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.

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.

Volunteer

There are a number of ways in which Cornellians may volunteer to support this program in addition to making financial contributions. To learn more about volunteer needs/opportunities, please contact Work/Life in Human Resources at worklife@cornell.edu or 255-5298.

    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.

    Travel Assistance to NYC: If you need to travel to New York City for medical care or other emergencies, Cornell University Transportation Services provides round-trip bus tickets on the Campus-to-Campus Bus to current employees, free of charge. 

    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