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What's New

  • How to Give: Faculty, staff, and community members can provide donations at any time. Set up a payroll deduction to donate.
  • Travel Assistance to Employees Seeking Care in NYC: If you are needing to travel to New York City for medical care or other emergencies, please contact carefund@cornell.edu for information about travel assistance.

About the CARE Fund

The Emergency CARE Fund is a program offering financial assistance to faculty and staff who have experienced a non-recurring sudden or emergency-related financial hardship due to an unforeseen or unavoidable event.

The program is administered confidentially through the Office of Human Resources. Financial assistance provided through the Fund is intended to assist faculty and staff with immediate, essential expenses by providing one time funds to address the faculty or staff member’s emergency financial challenge. The Emergency CARE Fund program is not designed to address ongoing financial challenges and is not a loan that requires the funds to be reimbursed.

The Emergency CARE Fund program is funded through the generous donations of faculty, staff and others who are interested in supporting employees who are in financial need due to an unplanned circumstance. Applicants who are approved for funding may receive between $200 and $1,500 depending on the circumstances.

What are the criteria for eligibility? -

The Emergency CARE Fund uses the following definition of emergency in determining is funding program:
An emergency is an event of such magnitude as to dislocate people, cause significant damage or destroy homes, or otherwise cause an extraordinary, non-recurring personal catastrophe or crisis,  and result in a major financial burden.

Examples of qualifying events include:

  • Floods, hurricanes, winter storms, tornadoes, earthquakes.
  • Plane, train, or bus accident.
  • Residential fires, building collapses.
  • Serious illness that is not covered by insurance including non-routine/exceptional medical expense for employee or immediate family member.
  • Domestic abuse or family crisis that results in major financial burden.

*Major financial burden is defined as a sudden, unanticipated burden that cannot be paid for by the person’s current savings or paid over time through special financial arrangements with creditors.


What are examples of events that do not qualify? -

  • Loss of employment (unless as a result of sudden disability or death in the family).
  • Ongoing or increased costs of household bills (such as utilities, credit cards, mortgage, taxes, vehicle bills and veterinary bills).
  • A situation that does not threaten the faculty or staff member’s ability to meet basic living expenses.
  • An event that is the result of an action taken by the staff or faculty member.
  • Bills related to an ongoing medical condition.
  • Past due bills not related to the emergency such as rent, heat, vehicle payments.

Who is eligible? -

  • Cornell faculty and academic and non-academic staff who hold a benefits eligible full or part time position (including benefits eligible post doctoral associates and employees on short term or long term disability); and
  • Have worked a minimum of six months at the time of the submission of the application for Emergency CARE funds.

How do I request financial assistance through the CARE Fund? -


Please note that financial assistance provided through the Emergency CARE Fund is treated as taxable income subject to FICA and Federal Withholding.

Emergency CARE Fund Applications

  • All requests will be kept confidential.
  • Emergency CARE Fund information and application forms will be available in Department of Inclusion & Workforce Diversity,150 Day Hall and online.
  • Additional information will be distributed to Human Resources offices across campus.

Application Procedure

  • Completed applications are submitted to the Department of Inclusion and Workforce Diversity and forwarded to the chair of the Emergency CARE Fund Committee.
  • The Fund committee chair has access to the complete application, however the applicant’s identifying information is removed before it is sent to the full committee.
  • The committee will convene to review applications within two days of receipt and decide if the applicant meets the criteria outlined in the Emergency CARE Fund program.
  • An FSAP counselor will be consulted to provide additional information or resources if appropriate. The applicant will be given information about contacting FSAP as well.
  • The decision will be communicated to the applicant by the committee chair.
  • The chair will be responsible for documenting all received applications including date received, meeting decisions, and communications with the applicant.
  • Applicants may re-apply at any time; however, preference will be given to first time applicants with regard to availability of funding.
  • Applications will be kept on file in the Department of Inclusion and Workforce Diversity.

Donations and Fundraising

  • The Emergency CARE Fund donations are used to assist fellow employees who are experiencing a catastrophe or crisis. Faculty, staff, and community members can donate at any time.
  • Ongoing donations will be accepted at any time from individuals and through planned fund-raising programs.
  • Make a donation online via this form.
  • Sign up for payroll deduction by printing, completing, and mailing in this form. (insert pd form here. It’s a pdf in the box on the existing web page)
  • Gifts to the account are tax deductible.

Emergency CARE Fund Committee Composition

A standing committee will be appointed by the Associate Vice President of Human Resources.
The committee will consist of six Cornell community members and at any given time will include:

  • 1 Employee Assembly representative
  • 1 Human Resources representative
  • 1 Faculty and Staff Assistance Program  (FSAP) representative
  • 1 Faculty representative
  • 1 At-large representative
  • 1 Labor Relations representative

Additional Resources