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 and temporary financial hardship due to a sudden or non-recurring emergency (e.g., loss of family income, death of a family member, serious illness or injury, or natural disaster).

Financial assistance can be granted, up to a maximum of $1,500* per applicant, to assist MIT staff and postdoctoral scholars with rent, mortgage, utilities, food, funeral, or other essential expenses (see FAQs for additional information). The amount granted is based on the applicant’s demonstrated need, short-term nature of the financial hardship, supporting documentation, 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.

*Effective July 1, 2022, additional financial assistance may be granted to eligible MIT staff and postdoctoral scholars who experience the following catastrophic events: natural or local disaster (e.g. fire, flood, storm) that results in unexpected bills; death of MIT employee or MIT employee's spouse/domestic partner; or out-of-pocket expenses for severe medical conditions (for MIT employees not enrolled in an MIT health plan). Spouses/domestic partners cannot apply for the same qualifying event.

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);
  • Have a minimum of six months of service;
  • Have experienced the emergency within the past six months;
  • Be in good standing with the Institute, with no current disciplinary actions;
  • Provide supporting documentation (e.g., spouse/partner's layoff notice, death certificate, fire or police report, lease agreement or mortgage statement, utility bills, paystubs);
    • A temporary financial hardship is one caused by a defined, time-limited, specific event, such as loss of household income, death of a family member, serious illness or injury, or a natural disaster. Long-standing financial issues (such as ongoing debt) do not meet the temporary hardship requirement.
  • Not have received financial assistance from the MIT Staff Emergency Hardship Fund within a three-year rolling period (no earlier than three years after the previous grant was received).

Application process

  • The applicant completes and submits the MIT Staff Emergency Hardship Fund application.
  • The applicant and the MIT Center for WorkLife and WellBeing each receive an email notification that the application has been submitted.
  • The applicant submits supporting documentation using a secure, encrypted process (instructions are included in the email sent to the applicant immediately after submission of the application).
  • The MIT Center for WorkLife and WellBeing completes an initial review of the application and verifies the supporting documentation.
  • 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 local/state/federal benefits and services, as appropriate.
  • If the application is approved, funds will be disbursed as soon as possible (typically no later than 10 business days after all required supporting documentation has been received) through direct deposit. In some cases, payment will 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 supporting documentation available (e.g., spouse/partner's layoff notice, lease agreement or mortgage statement, paystubs, utility bills, death certificate, fire or police report). Instructions for the secure, encrypted transmission of your supporting documentation will be sent to you as soon as your application has been received.

 MIT Staff Emergency Hardship Fund Application

Donate to the 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
Wire Transfer

 Instructions for Wire Transfer

  • Reference the "MIT Staff Emergency Hardship Fund 2732211" in the wire details
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: Please include the faculty member's name, title, and department
    • Details: MIT Staff Emergency Hardship Fund 
  • Email a copy of the JV to Mary Ellen Royer ( and Maura Rizzuto (

If you have any questions about transferring funds to the MIT Staff Emergency Hardship Fund, please contact Mary Ellen Royer ( or Maura Rizzuto (

Frequently Asked Questions

Who can apply? What emergencies qualify? How long does it take?

See our FAQs about the Fund for these answers and more.