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Employee Emergency Fund

The Cal Poly Employee Emergency Fund provides limited financial assistance when an employee is unable to meet immediate, essential expenses because of a temporary hardship related to a qualified disaster. This is not an employment benefit and is not guaranteed; the fund may be discontinued at any time.

The Cal Poly Employee Emergency Fund was created to provide support, when available, for Cal Poly faculty and staff, full-time Cal Poly Corporation staff, and full-time ASI staff who are affected by a qualified disaster that could adversely affect them and their families as they serve the campus and our students. This fund is used to support faculty and staff where the disaster creates a temporary financial hardship.

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Important - employees must be logged in with Cal Poly email address to access application

Temporary financial hardship means an isolated hardship triggered by an unexpected event rather than pre-existing or long-term financial concerns. Given the limited amount of funds, not all qualifying requests can be approved even though there may be a clear need for assistance. This fund may be insufficient in the case of widespread disasters, community crises, pandemic, act of war or terrorism, or limited financial resources.

If you are an undergraduate or graduate student employed by Cal Poly, the Cal Poly Corporation, or ASI and your primary reason for being at Cal Poly is to be a student, you should apply through the Cal Poly Cares Fund.

Qualified disaster as used here has the same definition as described in Internal Revenue Code 139. However, Cal Poly makes no representations concerning the tax consequences of any payments made through the Cal Poly Employee Emergency Fund. Recipients should consult their own tax advisors. Internal Revenue Code 139 defines “Qualified disaster” as follows:

  1. a disaster which results from a terroristic or military action (as defined in section 692(c)(2)),
  2. a federally declared disaster (as defined by section 165(i)(5)(A)),
  3. a disaster which results from an accident involving a common carrier, or from any other event, which is determined by the Secretary to be of a catastrophic nature, or
  4. a disaster which is determined by an applicable Federal, State, or local authority (as determined by the Secretary) to warrant assistance from the Federal, State, or local government or agency or instrumentality thereof.

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To be eligible, you must:

  • Be a current stateside staff or faculty member in active work status. FERP and Rehired Annuitants are not eligible for this funding;
    • OR, be a current full-time Cal Poly Corporation staff member in active work status. Corporation intermittent and student employees are not eligible;
    • OR, be a current full-time ASI staff member in active work status. ASI intermittent and student employees are not eligible.
  • Have stateside full- or part-time continuous employment (benefits-eligible) for at least 6 months prior to the date you apply. Corporation staff must have full-time continuous employment for at least 6 months prior to the date you apply. ASI staff must have full-time continuous employment for at least 6 months prior to the date you apply.
  • Have a temporary financial hardship because of a qualified disaster, including COVID-19.
  • Have a current monthly income of less than $6,250 ($75,000/year) for an individual or less than $12,500 ($150,000/year) for couples filing jointly.
  • Be in good standing with the university, the Cal Poly Corporation, or ASI, as applicable.

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Emergency Relief Amount

The amount will range according to the needs of the individual and available funds (typical awards will not exceed $500). Payment will be issued by the Cal Poly Corporation in the form of a reimbursement for expenses incurred as a result of a temporary financial hardship due to a qualified disaster. Funds are limited and not intended to provide ongoing relief for recurring expenses. The application form is available on the Human Resources website.

Applications will be reviewed by the Cal Poly Employee Emergency Fund Committee as well as the Interim Executive Director of Human Resources and Academic Personnel, the Chief Executive Officer of the Cal Poly Corporation, the ASI Executive Director or their designees. All application materials will be treated confidentially by these parties.

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What expenses can be covered through the emergency fund?

A temporary financial hardship is one caused by a qualified disaster and incurred for things such as:

  • Personal, family, living, or funeral expenses.
  • Emergency temporary housing assistance which could include additional rent, security deposit, short-term hotel costs incurred to relocate, quarantine or isolate, for personal safety, etc.
  • Unexpected medical, mental health or dental costs related to the emergency and not covered by insurance.
  • Unplanned travel expenses related to the emergency to receive medical care, to self-quarantine or isolate. Examples could include airfare, car rental, bus or train fare, etc.
  • Temporary assistance with food insecurity resulting from the emergency.
  • Unplanned or additional childcare costs for staff and faculty required to work on campus during an emergency.

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What expenses are not covered by the emergency fund?

  • Items covered by insurance or other sources.
  • Nonessential items, luxury items, decorative items, and services (e.g., Netflix subscription).
  • Payments for lost income or compensation (e.g., wages, sick pay, family medical leave pay, etc.) or credit card debts.
  • Penalties, fines, parking or other tickets.
  • Non-essential expenses.
  • Expenses due to a lack of planning or overspending.

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How to Apply

  1. Complete the application electronically. All applications and supplementary materials will be treated confidentially by the reviewers.
  2. Include with the application:
    • Attach a copy of your most recent household earnings statement.
    • Copies of all bills related to the hardship. Other documentation may be requested during the application process.

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Decision Process

  1. You will be notified by HR staff of approval or denial within ten (10) business days after your completed application and supporting documents are received. You may be contacted by HR staff to review the application and to discuss other resources or services. If your request is time-sensitive and you need assistance by a certain date, please mark your application.
  2. If your application is approved, the check will be sent to the address you specify on your application.

Note: If your application is found to contain misleading or inaccurate information, it will be considered invalid and will not be forwarded to the selection committee.

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Effective Date

This program is effective September 1, 2021. Applications for expenses incurred on or after March 1, 2021 will be considered.

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How to Contribute

Contributing to the fund is your opportunity to help other university faculty and staff members. Click Here if you would like to make a charitable contribution to The Cal Poly Employee Emergency Fund.

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