UC Davis Employee Emergency Fund

We're aiding employees in times of personal hardship with grants of up to $1,000.

Assistance is typically provided to an employee whose income cannot cover their needs, or the employee has experienced a loss of wages through no fault of their own. Grants would typically be used to help with housing, utilities, food or transportation. Assistance can also be provided when employees with limited resources are faced with medical expenses or expenses related to the death of an immediate family member, or a change in family situation.

If you are experiencing hardship, please apply.

General Guidelines

  • Applicant must be a career or contract employee at UC Davis or UC Davis Health.
  • Applicant has worked for at least 6 months at 50% time or greater.
  • Applicant may only receive one award in a 12-month period.
  • Only one application per family will be reviewed.
    • For example, if two members of the immediate family both work for UC Davis, only one can submit an application for assistance.
  • Applicant cannot have access to funds in savings/checking account, be eligible for unemployment insurance, or have access to a credit card to cover hardship. 
  • Supporting documentation must be submitted with the application (e.g., eviction/foreclosure notification, past-due bill, police/fire report, invoice of funeral expenses).
  • Recipients must provide documentation (e.g., receipts), substantiating how the funds were used. 
  • Grants will only be offered if funds are available.
  • Maximum grant is $1,000.

Apply for a Grant

Although COVID-19 is the impetus for the fund, UC Davis knows that personal hardships can occur at any time and the fund will continue past this immediate crisis.


  • Employee submits a request via a confidential application for a grant of up to $1,000
  • Eligibility committee reviews application and makes a determination within 5 days
    • If approved - employee receives funds within 3 days
    • If denied - employee will be notified immediately and may appeal a decision once


Evaluating Applications and Criteria

To legally provide charitable funds to individuals via employer-sponsored channels, recipients of the grants must be selected based on determination of an objective financial need.

The UC Davis Cares Fund evaluation committee will determine if the applicant lacks the means to maintain their basic needs, specifically:

  1. Is there sufficient evidence of a financial hardship?
  2. Is there a qualifying event/circumstance?
Qualifying Event   +   Demonstrated Hardship  =  Qualified Need
  • Read more about Qualifying Events
  • A Qualifying Event is defined as a circumstance experienced by the employee or the employee’s immediate family member for reasons beyond their control that prevents the employee from meeting basic living expenses.

    Examples include death of a family member, unusual uninsured medical expenses, loss of residence. 

    Eligible Triggering Circumstances fall into two categories: qualified disasters (the COVID-19 pandemic is defined as one in the U.S.) and personal hardship (such as job loss by a spouse).

  • Read more about Demonstrating Hardship
  • Hardship funds should serve as a safety net when there are no other options.

    The application process will include questions about other resources the applicant has available (e.g. Are you eligible for or accessing unemployment insurance? Do you have savings you can access?).

    The most clear-cut demonstration of need, however, is a critical bill that is past due – rent/mortgage, an electricity bill, etc.

    Funding can also be provided in good faith for food support or clothing if there is a clear and documented loss of income or extraordinary expense.


  • Will the grant be taxed?
  • Payments that are not COVID-19 related will be taxed as income.

    For COVID-19 Related Payments

    In accordance with Section 139 of the Internal Revenue Code, employers are now able to make tax-free “qualified disaster-relief payments” (QDPs) to employees under Section 139 of the Internal Revenue Code. A QDP is defined in section 139(b)(1) as any amount paid to or for the benefit of an individual “to reimburse or pay reasonable and necessary personal, family, living, or funeral expenses incurred as a result of a qualified disaster.”
  • What are the criteria for receiving a grant?
  • You must have a financial hardship and a qualifying need. See webpage content for more details.
  • What type of information do I have to provide to apply?
  • You must provide evidence that there is a financial need such as a past due utility bill, a medical bill not covered by insurance, a hardship due to a divorce or change in family relationship.

    Redact any personal identifying info, including account numbers, medical or other sensitive materials, before submitting application.
  • How long will it take to find out if I will receive a grant?
  • Decisions will be reached within 5 days of the receipt of completed application.  Decision will be announced within the 5 day period.
  • How long will it take to receive the grant after approval?
  • Within 3 business days
  • Who decides if a grant will be provided?
  • A confidential committee appointed by the Chief Human Resources Officer will review all applications for compliance to program guidelines.  The committee will not know the identity of the applicant.
  • Where does the money for these grants come from?
  • Employees and other entities can contribute to this tax deductible fund. 

    There will be two funds, one for UC Davis Health and one for UC Davis campus.
  • How do I donate to the UC Davis Cares fund?
  • Check out the instructions at the top of this page for donating to the Davis Campus or UC Davis Employee Emergency Funds.
  • Is my donation to the fund tax-deductible?
  • Yes, your donation is tax-deductible.
  • Is there a limit on the amount of grants?
  • Employees may receive no more than $1,000 in a 12-month period.

    Funds are limited to the amount of money available in the UC Davis Cares Fund.
  • Can someone get more than one grant?
  • Employees are limited to one grant per rolling 12 month period.
  • Can any employee apply for this?
  • Career and Contract staff employees who have been employed at UC Davis for greater than 6 months at 50% time or more are eligible for these grants.
  • Can student employees apply for these grants?
  • Student employees are not eligible for these funds.
  • How do I apply for a grant?
  • Davis Campus Employees - Request Application

    UC Davis Health Employees - Complete and Submit Application
  • How long will this fund be available?
  • The fund will remain available to employees as long as there is money in the fund.
  • Is this fund only for needs related to coronavirus impacts?
  • No, this fund is available to employees based on the qualifying events and resulting hardship.