Questions & Answers

Quote: "This program gives us all an opportunity to extend a hand to someone in need. It's a simple gesture of great significance."  Bill Martin, former U-M Athletic Director

What is the Emergency Hardship Program?
The Emergency Hardship Program (EHP) provides assistance for University of Michigan Staff and Faculty members who are experiencing an immediate, severe and temporary financial situation due to an emergency.

The EHP provides resource recommendations and, potentially, one-time emergency financial assistance (up to a maximum of $800) to eligible staff based on need and a set of eligibility criteria. The hardship must be temporary – an employee with long-standing financial challenges will not meet the temporary hardship requirement.

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What Services does the EHP provide to University Staff?
The Emergency Hardship Program has two main components of service:

  1. Intake and evaluation. Individual confidential discussions with a counselor help define the nature of the financial challenge. Is it temporary? What’s the cause? What assistance might best help?

  2. Recommendations and assistance. Based on the intake consultation, an employee may be referred to University or community resources for financial guidance, budget counseling or other specific assistance. Or, the employee may meet the criteria to apply for a one-time Emergency Hardship Fund grant from the EHP (more details below).

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How does the EHP work?
A faculty or staff member experiencing a financial emergency hardship should contact FASAP at 734-936-8660 or UMHS EAP at 734-763-5409. A counselor will ask questions by phone or email to ensure the situation meets basic eligibility criteria.

Counselors will refer applicants to community resources whenever possible for assistance or when longer term help or debt management may be appropriate.

The counselor may recommend that an application be made for assistance through the Emergency Hardship Fund.

After that, the following steps are taken:

  1. Applicant completes an Emergency Hardship Fund application and meets with a FASAP/UMHS EAP counselor to review the application.

  2. Application is reviewed and approval or denial made by the Hardship Fund Review Committee.

  3. FASAP/UMHS EAP counselor notifies applicant of the Review Committee’s decision.

  4. If approved, payment is made directly to the vendor or creditor to which the applicant has a financial obligation.

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What emergencies qualify for financial assistance?
U-M Emergency Hardship Program provides financial assistance to staff through the Emergency Hardship Fund when they:

  • Have suffered an emergency or catastrophic situation that has caused temporary, sudden and non-recurring financial situation (e.g., natural disaster, family crisis, acute illness)

  • Are unable to meet immediate, essential expenses

  • Have exhausted available avenues of assistance

  • Have not received a prior grant from Emergency Hardship Fund.

NOTE: Financial assistance is based on demonstrated need, short-term nature of the financial hardship and funding available for disbursement. All grants are considered income and subject to all applicable income taxes.

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Who is eligible to receive assistance?
All active staff and faculty members are eligible if they:

    1. Are an employee in good standing with no current disciplinary action

    2. Have been employed for at least the last six consecutive months in a regular (non-temporary) position with an appointment of 50% or more

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Is the program confidential?
Yes. Information provided by grant applicants will be treated as confidential and shared only with individuals directly involved in grant administration, processing and tax reporting. Grant applications will be reviewed anonymously and Review Committee members will not be given the individual name associated with any grant application.

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Where do EHP resources come from?
The EHP began as a pilot with a grant from the University of Michigan Credit Union and matching funds form donations of faculty and staff. Currently the program is being supported with a generous donation from TCF Bank. Other donors include more than 166 university employees, MHealthy Active U teams and the University of Michigan Trades Union. Development and administration of the program is a collaboration between university units, specifically, FASAP, UMHS EAP, University HR and the U-M Development Office. General Fund dollars and restricted University funds are never used to provide Emergency Hardship Fund grants.

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How can I contribute money to the EHP?
The UM Development Office and MAIS have enabled simple on-line donations through Wolverine Access. More information is available here.

With continued financial support from members of our community, we can sustain an ongoing program to help the faculty and staff community care for colleagues in need.

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What percentage of my donation goes to provide funds for those in need?
One hundred percent. All donated funds to the EHP go directly to help colleagues in need as part of the Emergency Hardship Fund. No donated money is used to administer the EHP.

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How did the EHP get started?
Beginning as a pilot program in May 2007, the EHP was established on a trial basis with a start up grant from the University of Michigan Credit union and matching funds from donations of University faculty and staff. Through May 2015 there have been 172 emergency hardship grants awarded and the program has provided counseling and/or community resource information to more than 1,300 members of the university community.

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