Frequently Asked Questions about the Emergency Hardship Program

What is the Emergency Hardship Program?
The Emergency Hardship Program (EHP) provides assistance for University of Michigan employees who are experiencing an immediate, severe and temporary financial situation due to an emergency. The EHP provides resource recommendations and emergency financial assistance (up to a maximum of $1000 for utility or transportation expenses, and in exceptional cases up to $1,500 for rental assistance) to eligible employees based on need and a set of eligibility criteria. The hardship must be a one-time /temporary situation. Those individuals with long-standing financial challenges will not meet the temporary hardship requirement. 
What services does the EHP provide to university staff?

The Emergency Hardship Program has two main components of service:

  • Intake and evaluation. Individual confidential discussions with a Resource Coach help define the nature of the financial challenge. Is it temporary? What's the cause? What assistance might best help?
  • Recommendations and assistance. Based on the intake consultation, an employee may be referred to other University or community resources for financial guidance, budget counseling, or other specific assistance.
How does the EHP work?
An employee experiencing a financial emergency hardship should contact the MHealthy Resource Coach at 734-647-7888 or email [email protected]. The MHealthy Resource Coach office will ask questions by phone to ensure the situation meets basic eligibility criteria. Resource Coach staff will refer applicants to community resources whenever possible for assistance such as when longer-term help or debt management may be appropriate or needed. If the Resource Coach determines the employee is eligible, the employee will complete an application that is reviewed by the Emergency Hardship Review Committee. The application process can take 1-2 weeks.
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 a qualifying emergency or catastrophic situation that has caused a temporary, sudden, or non-recurring financial situation (e.g., natural disaster, death of a family member, major accident, acute illness)
  • Are unable to meet an eligible expense
  • Have sought and exhausted available avenues of assistance

Financial assistance is based on available funding. All grants are considered income and subject to all applicable income taxes.

How frequently can an employee receive a grant?
Employees are eligible for an EHP grant one time every five years. 
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. 
How is the program funded? 
The EHP began as a pilot in 2007 with a grant from the University of Michigan Credit Union and matching funds from donations from faculty and staff. The program has received ongoing support from the UM Credit Union, and generous donations from other financial institutions (ie; TCF Bank), Bill Martin, individual faculty and staff members, MHealthy Active U teams, and the University of Michigan Trades Union. Development and administration of the program have been a collaboration between university units, specifically, FASCCO, Michigan Medicine Office of Counseling and Workplace Resilience, University Human Resources, and the Office of University Development. General Fund dollars and restricted university funds are never used to provide Emergency Hardship Fund grants. 
How can I contribute?

Make your donation online.

Follow the prompts to configure your gift if you would like to contribute via payroll deduction.

What percentage of my donation goes to provide funds for those in need? 
All donated funds are used to help colleagues in need. No donated funds are used to administer the program.