MIT Staff Emergency Hardship Fund

The MIT Staff Emergency Hardship Fund provides financial assistance to MIT staff and postdoctoral scholars (associates and fellows) who are experiencing an immediate, severe, and temporary financial hardship due to a sudden or non-recurring emergency (e.g., serious illness or injury, family crisis, natural disaster).

Financial assistance can be granted, up to a maximum of $1,000 per applicant, to assist MIT staff and postdoctoral scholars with rent, utilities, or other immediate and essential expenses. The amount granted is based on the applicant’s demonstrated need, short-term nature of the financial hardship, and available balance of the Fund. The financial assistance does not need to be repaid; however, it is generally considered wage income and hence subject to applicable taxes.

MIT staff and postdoctoral scholars who meet the Fund’s eligibility criteria can apply for financial assistance online. Applications are strictly confidential, and any identifying information will be removed before the application is shared with the MIT Staff Emergency Hardship Fund Review Committee. The Review Committee reviews and approves applications, and is made up of a small but diverse group of MIT community members from across the Institute.

Donate to the Fund

The MIT Staff Emergency Hardship Fund is managed and administered by the MIT Center for WorkLife and WellBeing in coordination with the MIT Office of Resource Development, and consists solely of voluntary charitable donations. Contributions to the Fund are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law, and can be made online via credit card, PayPal, or payroll deduction. Faculty and departments may transfer up to $2,000 from a discretionary fund.

Credit Card or PayPal via the Giving to MIT website

 Donate via Credit Card or PayPal

Payroll Deduction via Community Giving at MIT

 Donate via Payroll Deduction

  • Under About Me, go to Money Matters > Charitable Contributions
  • Click the Donate Now button
  • Select payment method (credit cards also accepted) and frequency
  • Enter “MIT Staff Emergency Hardship Fund” in the Charity field
  • Enter your donation amount
  • Select your preference for acknowledgement/recognition
  • Submit
Discretionary Fund Transfer via Journal Voucher

 Donate via Journal Voucher

  • Initiate a JV in Atlas
  • Choose Revenue Transfer:
    • From Cost Object: [Discretionary Fund]
    • From G/L: 800326
    • To Cost Object: 2732211
    • To G/L: 800325
    • Description: Include the faculty's Name, Title, and Department - Discretionary Funds
    • Details: MIT Staff Emergency Hardship Fund 

If you have any questions about transferring funds to the MIT Staff Emergency Hardship Fund, please contact Mary Ellen Royer (maryelle@mit.edu) or Maura Rizzuto (rizzuto@mit.edu).

Apply to the Fund

Eligibility requirements

Applicants must:

  • Be either an active full-time or part-time benefits-eligible MIT staff member or a postdoctoral scholar (associate or fellow);
  • Be in good standing with the Institute, with no current disciplinary actions;
  • Provide supporting documentation (e.g., lease, mortgage statement, bills, spouse/partner's layoff notice, fire or police report, death certificate);
    • A temporary financial hardship is one caused by a defined, time-limited, specific event, such as the death of a family member, a fire, loss of family income, or serious illness or injury. Long-standing financial issues (such as ongoing credit card debt) do not meet the temporary hardship requirement.
  • Not have previously received financial assistance from the MIT Staff Emergency Hardship Fund.

Application process

  • The applicant completes and submits the MIT Staff Emergency Hardship Fund application, providing supporting documentation (e.g., lease, mortgage statement, bills, spouse/partner's layoff notice, fire or police report, death certificate) through a secure upload process. Applications will not be accepted without supporting documentation.
  • The applicant and the MIT Center for WorkLife and WellBeing each receive an email notification that the application has been submitted.
  • The MIT Center for WorkLife and WellBeing completes an initial review of the application, verifies supporting documentation, and notifies the applicant if additional supporting documentation is required.
  • The MIT Center for WorkLife and WellBeing removes all identifying information of the applicant to ensure confidentiality, and sends the application to the MIT Staff Emergency Hardship Fund Review Committee.
  • The MIT Center for WorkLife and WellBeing sends the applicant an email notification of the committee’s decision. The MIT Center for WorkLife and WellBeing will also refer the applicant to additional resources, such as MyLife Services, and other MIT and state/federal benefits and services, as appropriate.
  • If the application is approved, funds will be disbursed as soon as possible, and no later than 10 business days after all required supporting documentation has been received, through direct deposit. In some cases, payment may be made directly to the vendor or creditor to which the applicant has a financial obligation.

Before you begin

  1. Before applying for financial assistance using this form, be sure you have reviewed the eligibility requirements and application process above. 
  2. You must have your supporting documentation (e.g., lease, mortgage statement, bills, spouse/partner's layoff notice, fire or police report, death certificate) ready to upload from your computer or device. You will not be able to submit this form without documentation.

 MIT Staff Emergency Hardship Fund Application

Frequently Asked Questions

Who can apply for financial assistance from the MIT Staff Emergency Hardship Fund?

An applicant must be either an active full-time or part-time benefits-eligible MIT staff member or a postdoctoral scholar (associate or fellow), and be in good standing with the Institute, with no current disciplinary action. See Eligibility Requirements above for additional detail.

What emergencies qualify for financial assistance from the MIT Staff Emergency Hardship Fund?

The Fund provides financial assistance to MIT staff and postdoctoral scholars (associates and fellows) who are experiencing an immediate, severe, and temporary financial hardship due to a sudden or non-recurring emergency.

A temporary financial hardship is one caused by a defined, time-limited, specific event, such as the death of a family member, serious illness or injury, or a natural disaster. Long-standing financial issues (such as ongoing credit card debt) do not meet the temporary hardship requirement.

Is the MIT Staff Emergency Hardship Fund confidential?

Yes. All applications are received by the MIT Center for WorkLife and WellBeing, which will remove all identifying information of the applicant to ensure confidentiality before sending to the MIT Staff Emergency Hardship Fund Review Committee.

Who is on the MIT Staff Emergency Hardship Fund Review Committee?

The Review Committee is a small group of MIT community members, including support, service, research, and administrative staff on Campus and at Lincoln Laboratory; as well as faculty.

If my application for financial assistance is approved, how much money will I receive?

Financial assistance can be granted up to a maximum of $1,000 per applicant. The amount granted is based on the applicant’s demonstrated need and available balance of the Fund. All decisions of the Review Committee are final.

How will the money be dispersed?

Funds will be dispersed through direct deposit. In some cases, payment may be made directly to the vendor or creditor to which the applicant has a financial obligation.

How soon will the money be dispersed?

If approved, funds will be dispersed as soon as possible, and no later than 10 business days after all required supporting documentation has been received.

Can I receive financial assistance more than once, if I experience separate emergencies?

You may only receive financial assistance once. However, you may apply for financial assistance more than once if you have experienced a separate emergency, and have not already received funds from the MIT Staff Emergency Hardship Fund.

How is the MIT Staff Emergency Hardship Fund funded?

The Fund consists solely of voluntary charitable donations from alumni/ae, faculty, staff, postdoctoral scholars, and friends of the Institute.

How can I contribute to the MIT Staff Emergency Hardship Fund?

You can make a one-time or recurring donation online via credit card or PayPal.

What percentage of my donation to the MIT Staff Emergency Hardship Fund goes to providing financial assistance to those in need?

100% of donated funds are used to help MIT staff and postdoctoral scholars (associates and fellows) in need.

Who can I contact with additional questions?

The MIT Center for WorkLife and WellBeing manages and administers the MIT Staff Emergency Hardship Fund. You may reach out to a member of the team at worklife@mit.edu or 617-253-1592.