April 3, 2009

Hardship Fund applications for aid open April 13

The Employee Assistance Program (EAP) will begin accepting applications to the Hardship Fund on April 13. Applications should be faxed to 607-216-1415 or mailed through the US. Postal Service to the Hardship Fund, EAP, 840 Hanshaw Road, Ithaca, NY 14853. The application period runs through May 29.

The Hardship Fund is one of a number of programs designed to help employees in the current economic downturn. It will provide one-time funds to address increases of more than 5 percent in living expenses (rent or mortgage, dependent care costs, commuting, utilities, college tuition), or a change to layoff status or military service, that could become burdensome following the university's decision not to award annual salary increases to most employees for fiscal year 2009-10. Eligible to apply to the fund is anyone who is a benefits-eligible, regular, full- or part-time, endowed or contract college faculty or staff member currently receiving Cornell benefits; or an employee on a job-protected leave, layoff status, or notified of impending layoff status after Nov. 1, 2008.

The Hardship Fund differs from the CARE (Cornellians Aiding and Responding to Emergencies) fund. The Hardship Fund is being offered only once. The CARE fund is ongoing, having begun in 2001. It exists to help people deal with the immediate consequences of a disastrous or catastrophic event beyond their control.

Both funds provide direct means for members of the Cornell community to reach out to each other in times of need.