SERVICES PROVIDED BY WFF
Emergency assistance comes in the form of advocacy in most cases. Whether it is by contacting our clients’ lenders, utility companies, medical providers, funeral homes or other creditors, Working Families’ Friend helps to alleviate the client’s financial challenge or insures that they receive the services or financial assistance they need. We perform services such as:
• Advocate on behalf of people who are facing a crisis but do not have the time or tenacity to fight for themselves
• Help people problem-solve and direct them toward real solutions
• Provide emergency financial assistance. Only in extreme cases, and only if the assistance we can provide will effectively address the client’s need.
All regular employees who have completed six months of service may be eligible to participate and receive support from the program.
Because of the nature of the topics for discussion, all personal information regarding requestor's needs and any other information that may be brought forth in support of making fund disbursement decisions must be kept confidential by all Committee members.
Below are definitions relative to assistance that can be requested. Employees requesting assistance must complete a REACH application. In the event of incapacity, another responsible person acting on behalf of the employee could submit the request. The application can either be completed online or a hard copy may be printed from the website or can be requested by email (click on REACH). (Business Agents for the Locals are not eligible for any assistance from the fund. No member of the Board of Directors of REACH will be a permitted recipient of any assistance from the fund during his or her tenure on the Board.)
Hardship is a financial or personal need due to a medical or unforeseen emergency and affects the employee or a member of the employee's immediate family in the household, or classified dependent by IRS guidelines. The hardship must be unexpected, create significant need for the employee, and meet the definition of medical emergency or unforeseen emergency noted below. In addition, the employee must be unable to satisfy the need by any other reasonable means. The need for assistance cannot arise from the use of drugs, alcohol, willful conduct, the commission of a crime, or violation of law or Company rules.
A medical condition of an employee or family member requiring prolonged absence from work and resulting in a substantial loss of income to the household. The employee will have exhausted all paid leave and insurance available to them.
A severe financial hardship of an employee resulting from an illness or accident of the employee, employee's spouse, or classified dependent by IRS guidelines; loss of the employee's property due to casualty; or other similar extraordinary and unforeseen circumstances arising as a result of events beyond the control of the employee, and in which the employee did not participate.
An employee's immediate family, in the household, includes the employee's spouse/domestic partner, son, daughter, or classified dependent by IRS guidelines for whom the employee has complete responsibility for care and financial support.
Substantial Loss of Income
Significant reduction of total loss of household earnings
Combined household financial resources including, but not limited to, income, savings, insurance, etc.
Reliable proof of combined household financial resources, and the financial hardship; including, but not limited to, a dependable demonstration of a qualifying medical emergency, paystubs, W-2 form, bank statement, invoice of expense, insurance report or response, loan application or response, or Family Medical Leave application for serious illness of qualifying family member.
The need for assistance may out-script the ability of the fund to respond to all requests. Therefore, REACH, reserves the right to allocate its funds as it sees fit.
How to Apply
STEP 1: Before you Apply
What is Typically Covered through a Direct Grant
To the extent not covered by insurance or other means:
What is Typically Not Covered through a Direct Grant
STEP 2: Apply for Assistance.
MATCHING GRANT (By employees for another employee)
Otherwise known as "Pass the Hat"
Matching Grant-Pass the Hat Application
STEP 3: After you apply...
Approval: The REACH Board is responsible for approving requests for funds. The Board will determine if the employee qualifies for the requested assistance and will respond to the employee within 14 days of the receipt of the application for assistance.
Confidentiality: Because of the nature of the topics for discussion in Fund Disbursement Committee meetings, all personal information regarding requestor's needs and any other information that may be brought forth in support of making fund disbursement decisions must be kept confidential by all Committee members.
Taxability of Assistance: Assistance provided through the REACH program is generally not considered taxable. However, a recipient should consult his/her tax advisor to determine whether or not it is taxable in his/her circumstances.
Denied requests: If assistance is denied, the employee may request a second review. The Board will conduct a second review of the employee's request, including any additional information provided by the employee to support the request; a final decision will be made within 14 days. If denied, the Board will inform the requesting employee of the reason for denial in written form.
Delay in receiving proper documents could result in delay or denial of requested funds.