The purpose of the Emergency Assistance Fund is to assist UWF Workforce employees who request financial assistance and/or services due to circumstances resulting from an emergency and/or other unanticipated events.
Types of Assistance
Emergency Assistance Fund
Referral Services for Additional Assistance
Application for Assistance
Determination of Need
Categories of Need
Repayment and Donation
This document is designed to serve as a guide to those individuals who wish to explore the availability of emergency assistance from the Staff Senate. It also serves as the source for the guidelines to be followed by the Emergency Assistance Administration Committee in carrying out its responsibilities.
In general, the Staff Senate Emergency Assistance Fund is designed to provide financial assistance and/or services for emergency and/or destitute situations. The program provides assistance through direct financial aid from the Staff Senate Emergency Assistance Fund as well as referrals to appropriate community services.
Eligible UWF workforce employees may be granted discretional financial assistance from the Staff Senate Emergency Fund. This fund originates from employee contributions, donations, and various fund raising campaigns organized by the Staff Senate. Because of the limited sources of income for this fund, a grant of up to $500.00 may be allowed for each emergency situation. This limitation is necessary in order for the Staff Senate Emergency Fund to respond to as many individual applications as possible. The actual amount of a direct financial assistance grant is determined by the Staff Senate Emergency Assistance Administration Committee and is based on an analysis of need, as described in the "Determination of Need" section of this manual.
In general, the Staff Senate Emergency Fund is intended to provide financial assistance and/or services to UWF workforce employees who are faced with dire circumstances resulting from an emergency and/or other unanticipated event.
In order to provide complete emergency assistance, the Staff Senate Emergency Assistance Program should utilize the services provided by various community service organizations, UWF's Human Resources, and the local AFSCME Union, if applicant is currently a dues-paying member. The Staff Senate, through the Emergency Administration Committee, will coordinate with these agencies on behalf of an eligible employee or family to secure the necessary services. Because each agency has its own policies and regulations, services rendered by these agencies are governed by the agency. This referral and coordinating service expands the scope of the Staff Senate Emergency Assistance Program to include assistance that is otherwise beyond the means of the program. A directory of community service organizations of Escambia County, Florida, is on file with the Staff Senate Chair, the Emergency Assistance Administration Committee Chair, and the Office of Human Resources. The directory describes the various agencies and services offered.
Specialized programs of assistance may be organized for any given situation. (One example would be to conduct a food/clothing campaign for an eligible employee or family whose home has been destroyed, or to coordinate a special blood drive for someone who is in need of a rare type of blood.)
Financial assistance from the Staff Senate Emergency Assistance Program is limited to the following:
a) UWF workforce employees who have attained permanent status;
b) Retired UWF workforce employees may receive direct financial assistance for one year following the date of retirement;
c) In the event of the death of an eligible UWF workforce employee or retiree, the deceased's spouse or children may receive assistance for up to one year from the date of death.
Assistance is limited to one award per employee per 18-month period and to no more than $2,000 per eligible employee during any 10-year period. Exceptions may be granted to any of the above requirements with a majority approval by both the Emergency Assistance Administration Committee and the Staff Senate.
The Application Form may be obtained from the Emergency Fund Administration Committee Chairperson or may be printed from the Staff Council's web site. The name of the applicant will be held in strictest confidence by the Committee. In the event an eligible employee cannot personally seek an application, forms may be obtained by a designated representative; e.g. spouse, child, friend of the family, or co-worker with prior notification and approval of the beneficiary. An applicant may also submit to the Committee Chairperson a request to mail the application. For identification purposes, eligible employees must present their UWF Nautilus card to the Committee; designated representatives must present picture identification and state their relationship to the eligible employee. A copy of the Nautilus card will be attached to the application.
Only COMPLETE applications will be considered by the Committee. All areas of the application must contain either specific information, N/A (not applicable), or zero. Letters and/or telephone requests will not be considered.
Verification of the emergency and/or destitute situation is necessary to determine need. Documentation should include as appropriate: death certificate, police report, medical records, depleted leave reports, etc. Copies of the invoices or bills that are to be considered for payment should also be submitted with the application.
"Need" exists when an individual or family lacks resources to purchase the basic necessities of life or meet the contingencies created by an emergency and/or destitute situation.
In order to determine whether the problem presented is within the scope of the USPS Staff Council Emergency Assistance Program, the following questions are to be considered by the Committee:
Is the applicant eligible for these services?
Is it necessary?
Can the problem be better handled by a community agency specializing in that particular field?
The Emergency Assistance Committee Chairperson, or designee, will conduct a preliminary investigation to determine the eligibility type(s) and/or amount of assistance that best accommodates the situation. Direct financial assistance will require completion of a household financial analysis to determine the extent of the financial need. A financial analysis form is available on-line or in an application packet obtained from the Emergency Assistance Committee Chairperson.
When an application for assistance is submitted, a case number is assigned. The case number is formatted with the last two digits of the current year and a consecutive ascending two-digit number (i.e., 99-01, 99-02, etc.) This case number will be included on all forms and information. The case number will be used in all transactions concerning the application; such as appeals, awards, correspondence, etc. The Chairperson, or designee, will present the request, along with a recommended assistance proposal, to the Assistance Committee for evaluation and appropriate action. At all possible times the committee should meet as a group. Decisions of the assistance Committee may be appealed to the Staff Senate. Decisions of the Staff Senate or its steering committee are final.
The following examples are types of emergencies or destitute situations which the Assistance Committee will consider. Each application will be considered on an individual basis.
Lost or Stolen Funds - Assistance for basic maintenance may be requested because of lost or stolen funds. Such assistance shall be limited to the actual need (up to $500). A copy of a police report must be furnished to the Committee.
Following a Disaster - When the eligible employee does not have insurance coverage, or the coverage does not allow immediate payment for damage caused by fire, flood, hurricane, etc., financial assistance for basic maintenance (up to $500) shall be granted as soon as possible to alleviate immediate expenses.
Upon report of such an emergency, the Committee shall contact local agencies (Salvation Army, Waterfront Rescue Mission, Red Cross, etc.). If additional need is required, a special food/clothing drive may be conducted on the UWF campus.
Medical Care - Upon recommendation by the Committee, financial assistance up to $500 may be given to an eligible employee or his/her immediate family as a result of extended illness, medical bills and care, or incidental expenses resulting from an illness.
Record of sick leave (paid or unpaid leave) of the employee (e.g., amount accumulated, how used, etc.) May be taken into consideration by the committee.
If the requested emergency assistance is within the guidelines, MEDICAL INSURANCE PREMIUMS will be considered.
Death in the Immediate Family - Assistance for basic maintenance (up to $500) may be provided to relieve dependents of immediate financial concerns. Immediate family is defined as spouse, children, parents and grandparents.
Miscellaneous - If the requested emergency assistance is within the guidelines, utilities (electricity, gas, water/sewer) will be considered for payment.
Payment - Payment will be made directly to the vendor, company or organization designated by the eligible employee.
The Emergency Fund Administration Committee will consider each case individually; however, the following are examples of circumstances or events that will not be considered emergencies:
Finance a leave of absence or vacation
Finance a marriage, divorce, or adoptions
Pay income taxes or related penalties and interest
Payment of creditors (bank cards, department stores, oil companies, etc.)
Repayment and Donation
The Staff Senate Emergency Assistance Program has no requirements for the repayment of financial grants. Repayment is encouraged and welcomed once the recipient's crisis has passed and financial stability has been achieved. Repayment aids the Staff Senate Emergency Assistance Program in assisting others. Repayments or donations may be made through payroll deduction or direct gifts to the fund through the Staff Council Treasurer. In addition to payroll deduction gifts, there are fund raising activities held throughout the year, usually at the annual UWF Employees Spring Picnic and an annual drive via the campus mail.
Payroll Deduction Form (PDF)