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University Hardship Fund

The TLC University Hardship Fund is sponsored by the Tender Loving Care (TLC) Brigade and coordinated through the OEA. We recognize that faculty and staff may experience hardships that require emergency financial assistance.The Hardship Fund is not a loan, rather it is a program available to assist eligible faculty and staff (Full-time benefits-earning faculty (9 month or 12 month) or staff who has worked at FIU for at least one year) who are experiencing a “qualified” emergency and who have exhausted all avenues for obtaining assistance. The program is designed to address an event or catastrophe that is non-recurring, sudden, unexpected, and critical, such as but not limited to the following:

  • Domestic violence directly involving a faculty or staff member.
  • Death of an immediate family member, as defined by FIU’s Bereavement Leave policy.
  • Acute illness of a faculty or staff member, or of an immediate family member. (i.e., unexpected, sudden and temporary – not chronic like diabetes or hypertension) as defined by FIU’s Bereavement Leave policy.
  • Critical injury (i.e., automobile accident, unforeseeable surgical complications).
  • Fire in primary residence of a faculty or staff member.

To get involved and make a difference, please consider donating to the University Hardship Fund.


ELIGIBILITY – all of the following are required for consideration:

  • Full-time benefits-earning faculty or staff who has worked at FIU for at least one year.
  • The event must have occurred during the actual employment period at FIU.
  • Faculty or staff member’s performance record must be in good standing.

INELIGIBLE – conditions under which applicants may not apply:

  • If the facts of the hardship have not changed and the application has been denied prior, please do not re-apply.
  • Recipients of an approved hardship fund application will not be eligible to re-apply.
  • If the faculty or staff member has an active insurance policy that covers the property and/or other type of loss that is the basis of the application, they are ineligible to apply.

The 4-Step Application Process

1. Process:

  • Faculty or staff must complete the Confidential Application below, which requires documentation of the need and attestation to the accuracy and truthfulness of the situation, and submit same to the OEA.
  • Applicant must meet with staff of the OEA to determine whether the hardship situation meets the criteria of a “qualified” emergency.
  • Supporting documentation must be submitted to the OEA in a timely manner to justify all requests. It is the responsibility of the applicant to provide required documentation by the time indicated by the OEA in order to expedite the review process.
  • Delays in the collection of required supporting documents may impact the scheduling of an application review.
  • A release of information authorization form must be signed by the applicant allowing the OEA to communicate with third parties involved in the situation. Every effort will be made to ensure confidentiality and privacy.

2. The Application Review:

  • Applications are submitted to the OEA, whose staff will guide the applicant through the process.
  • The OEA will manage all of the supporting documents to ensure confidentiality to the extent possible and be the principal contact for the applicant throughout the process.
  • Only complete applications, as determined by the OEA, will be presented before the TLC Brigade committee, a multi-disciplinary group of FIU faculty and staff, active and retired.
  • With the applicant’s written permission, the OEA representative will present the TLC University Hardship Fund application to the TLC Brigade committee. Personally identifiable facts will be excluded from mention during the application review process with the committee members.
  • Every effort will be made to convene the TLC Brigade committee for an immediate review of a completed application. The TLC committee will review the case, and based on facts presented, they will determine whether the fund request is to be approved. Awards are made based on the severity of the need and documented reasonable efforts to resolve the situation prior to submitting the application. Efforts made by applicant may include initiating contacts with companies to which payments are owed (i.e., utility, mortgage, car note, etc.), to seek payment plans or other accommodations, initiating contact with community agencies that offer assistance, and seeking assistance from family members or others.
  • The TLC Brigade committee may request additional information prior to rendering a decision and that would place the application on a PENDING status.
  • If the additional information requested is not received within 30 days, the application will no longer be considered an emergency and become null and void.
  • The TLC Brigade committee’s decision is final. There is no appeal process.

3. Resources:

  • While the applicant may not be eligible to receive the TLC University Hardship Fund grant, the OEA will offer guidance and support in accessing other resources, (e.g., counseling, food pantry assistance and other community assistance information).
  • The OEA will offer to follow up with the applicant to provide additional support, as needed.

4. Disbursement of Funds:

  • All grants approved by the TLC University Hardship Fund will provide funds directly to debtors/creditors. No payments will be made directly to the faculty or staff member.
  • The maximum grant award will not exceed $1,000.
  • The grant, if approved, can only be awarded once during the recipient’s employment with FIU.
  • Arrangements for funds to be paid may take up to five (5) business days after the application has been reviewed and the request is approved. Every effort is made to process the check request as soon as possible.
  • The faculty or staff member awarded the fund will be taxed at 32.6% for the gift in their payroll. Details regarding the payroll deductions will be discussed in person.
  • Only individuals involved in the financial processing of the check request will be aware of the recipient’s name.

To begin the application process, please complete and submit the TLC University Hardship Form. Once the application has been received, a staff member from the OEA will be in contact with you to arrange for a confidential consultation to discuss your submission.

Please feel free to contact the OEA at (305) 348-2469 with questions you may have regarding this process.


TLC Brigade Logo, its golden hearts over the FIU logo with TLC in large gold letters


Thank you so much! My daughter has been sick so I am taking care of her and my grandchildren while working full time. This will help a lot!Anonymous
Thank you for the help. I’ve always loved FIU because we are like a family here. This will help my family and me get through a hard time.Anonymous

How to Give

  • Recurring Biweekly Payroll Deductions – Your Gift Amount will be deducted continuously. (i.e., $1.92 = $1.92 per pay period until you request a change)
  • One Payment Payroll Deduction – Your Gift Amount will be deducted from one pay check only. (i.e., $100 = $ 100 from one pay period)
  • Pay Directly with Credit Card
  • Download Pledge Form

Give Through Payroll