July 28, 2020 — The University of Oregon announced today a new Relief Fund to support employees facing financial hardships during the pandemic.
According to a UO Human Resources webpage, the emergency financial assistance is intended to provide aid with specific needs related to the COVID-19 crisis including:
- New or increased eldercare expenses or childcare expenses necessitated by school or childcare closures due to COVID-19.
- Medical and health expenses related to COVID-19 that are not covered by insurance. This includes expenses resulting from the employee’s own serious illness or accident or that of an immediate family member that were incurred as a result of COVID-19 and are not covered by insurance.
- Household expenses that the employee can no longer afford because they have experienced a sudden income reduction related to their UO position.
Eligible UO employees can apply for limited support of up to $500 maximum in tax-free emergency relief assistance. In households with more than one UO employee, each employee may submit an application and be awarded up to the $500 maximum so long as the requests are not for the same expense.
In June, CSWS began a Campaign for Caregivers, urgently requesting in an open letter to UO leadership that resources — such as faculty ASAs or funds allotted for research or travel — be re-purposed to support caregivers during the pandemic.
Instead, the new COVID-19 Relief Fund is supported by voluntary charitable employee donations and donor gift funds from individuals and other entities that want to assist the University of Oregon faculty and staff facing unexpected financial challenges. In addition, all awards are subject to the availability of funds. Because the fund is supported by donations, availability of funds at a given time is not guaranteed.