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The Faculty and Staff Hardship Fund


The Faculty and Staff Hardship Fund was established in 1994 to financially assist Vanderbilt faculty and staff who are experiencing a temporary hardship due to a significant life event. An award is intended to be a major step for the employee in the return to financial stability.

Everyone who applies for the fund is clearly in financial distress and in need. The greatest difficulty in determining eligibility for an award is the determination of whether the employee is experiencing a temporary financial hardship or has chronic financial difficulty.

An employee whose expenses regularly exceed net income has chronic financial difficulty. As a result the employee may not be eligible for this one-time Hardship Fund gift.

Eligibility Criteria for the Hardship Fund:

The following criteria apply for each employee to be eligible to receive an award:

  1. This must be a temporary hardship;
  2. The employee must be a full time employee;
  3. The employee must have been employed at Vanderbilt for at least one year; and
  4. The employee cannot be on a disciplinary status, such as PIC.

Awards are subject to payroll tax.

The Faculty and Staff Hardship Fund Committee, composed of your peers, determine if your request matches the established criteria of the Fund. The application process is administered through Work/Life Connections-EAP.

Applying for The Hardship Fund:

To apply, the Vanderbilt faculty/staff member needs to schedule an appointment with a Work/Life Connections-EAP clinical counselor by calling for a confidential appointment at 615-936-1327. The clinical counselors serve as the liaison between the applicants and the Hardship Fund Committee.

During the initial appointment, the Work/Life Connections-EAP clinical counselors will discuss the eligibility requirements for the Fund, help the individual determine if they meet all the requirements, and possibly suggest other potentially helpful community resources. The counselor will work with the employee to help determine if their current financial situation is more likely to be considered temporary or chronic. They will also help the employee complete the application form, if needed.

The Hardship Fund application can be returned to WLC-EAP either in person or by fax (615-936-3678). It then is sent to a committee of volunteer Vanderbilt employees who review the applications and determine 1) if the applicant fits the criteria, and 2) whether or not an award should be granted. Once a decision has been made by the committee, the counselor will notify the applicant about the application’s outcome.

Financial difficulties are stressful. The Work/Life Connections-EAP clinical counselor may be able to help the employee handle the stress that comes from this continuing debt, develop a financial recovery plan, and offer suggestions for utilizing other community resources.

Phone (615) 936–1327 to begin the application process.

How to Donate to the Faculty and Staff Hardship Fund:

To donate to the Staff/Faculty Hardship Fund, you can do so in one of two ways:

  • Payroll deduction
  • Direct contribution with cash, check, or money order.

If you would like to use Payroll Deduction, please use the Vanderbilt Gives website.

For cash or check donations, download the printable Faculty-Staff Campaign Card and send to this address:

Faculty-Staff Campaign
PMB 407733
2301 Vanderbilt Place
Nashville, TN 37240-7733

Another way to contribute to the Fund is to enroll in the Kroger Community Rewards Program. Under the system, shoppers register their Kroger discount cards online and choose a favorite charity from a list of local nonprofits that Kroger has agreed to help fund. Kroger then tracks all the card holder’s purchases (excluding alcohol, tobacco and gasoline), with every dollar counting as a vote for the shopper’s preferred organization.

Shoppers don’t sacrifice any in-store discounts or gas points they earn on their Kroger card; the charitable component is a separate, extra feature.

Participating in this program is an easy way for Vanderbilt employees to help co-workers in crisis. After registering your Kroger card online and selecting “Vanderbilt” as your designated charity, all you have to do is swipe the card when you check out at the store. Last year this program donated over $10,000 to the Vanderbilt Faculty and Staff Hardship Fund. Going forward this will benefit both the VU and VUMC Hardship Funds.

Contribute using the Kroger Community Rewards Program.

Donations to the general use Hardship Fund are not considered to be tax deductible charitable contributions according to IRS guidelines, but you may consult with your tax adviser.

Posted on Thursday, September 29, 2011 in Services, Services for Staff, Work/Life Connections and tagged , , ,


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Vanderbilt Health & Wellness - 615-936-0961
Occupational Health Clinic - 615-936-0955
Work/Life Connections-EAP - 615-936-1327
Health Plus - 615-343-8943