MIT Staff Emergency Hardship Fund FAQs

The MIT Staff Emergency Hardship Fund provides financial assistance to MIT staff and postdoctoral scholars who are experiencing an immediate and temporary financial hardship due to a sudden or non-recurring emergency.

 Apply to the Fund

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 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 loss of family income, new or additional expenses directly related to COVID-19, 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.

What types of expenses are eligible for financial assistance from the MIT Staff Emergency Hardship Fund?

The financial assistance can be used to cover rent, mortgage, utilities, food, child care, medical, funeral, or other essential expenses.

Does the MIT Staff Emergency Hardship Fund cover commuting expenses, such as parking and Uber/Lyft rides to work?

Generally, replacement or recurring commuting expenses, including parking and rideshares, are not eligible for financial assistance from the MIT Staff Emergency Hardship Fund.

Does the MIT Staff Emergency Hardship Fund cover equipment and technology expenses for working from home?

Staff and postdocs should check with their DLC to learn what types of equipment are provided or eligible for reimbursement. See MIT HR’s Guidelines on Providing Equipment for Working Remotely for additional information.

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 $1,500 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?

Recipients prior to April 1, 2021 may re-apply to the Hardship Fund, but the total amount granted will not exceed $1,500. For example, if an individual received a $1,000 grant previously, they may only re-apply for up to $500.

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.