In anticipation of specific questions about this EAF, we have prepared this list of frequently asked questions (FAQs) for YMCA staff with details about accessing this assistance for immediate and essential needs, such as housing, food, medical care, transportation, etc.

This is a new activity for our YMCA, therefore, we will be closely monitoring the volume of applications and the capacity of the EAF. Our YMCA leadership will adjust the guidelines for qualification, application, criteria and award distribution based on the experience and information gained with administration.

We will update these FAQs with adjustments and clarifications as they are identified.

Q: How do employees qualify to apply for assistance from the EAF?
A: There are five criteria that must be met to be eligible for EAF support. To qualify, staff must:

  • be a current, part-time or full-time employee,
  • have been employed by the YMCA for at least 45 days prior to loss of wages,
  • had work reduced or eliminated due to program, site, or facility closing,
  • have not been offered work at other sites, or in other program areas,
  • be currently experiencing an inability to meet basic needs.

Q: How will the grant award decisions be made?
A: Grants from the EAF are to provide emergency financial assistance for basic needs – housing, food, medical care, transportation, etc. Awards will be made based on the need(s) documented through the application and the capacity of the funds available.

Q: How much of an award may I receive?
A: The award available in the initial six-months of the EAF is the average of the two payroll deposits prior to the disruption of your income, up to a maximum of $400. (Initially, the two payroll deposits from February 2020 will be used for award calculations.)

Q: Is there a deadline for applying for the fund?
A: No, there is no deadline for application for this assistance. Awards will be distributed promptly, based on the needs of employees applying and the capacity of the Fund.

Q: How often may an employee apply for assistance from the EAF?
A: An employee may apply for assistance more than once for basic needs, but in the initial six months of the EAF, employees are limited to the $400 maximum award. (This will be revised after the first six months’ activity, as experience is gained with EAF administration.)

Q: Do applicants have to provide details of their need for assistance?
A: The EAF application requests information confirming employee eligibility, household description and documentation of the basic need for which assistance is sought. No details of medical conditions should be included in the application – see the question below.

Q: If my need is for help with medicine or medical bills, what details are required?
A: No details of medical conditions or health care services should be included with EAF application. Copies of bills from medical providers only need to show employee or dependent’s name as patient, the date of service, the amount due, the medical provider’s name and payment address. If there are questions in the consideration of a request, the employee will be contacted for clarification.

Q: Is it necessary to respond to all questions on the EAF application?
A: Yes. Required fields are identified with an asterisk(*) and must contain an entry for the application to be submitted. Providing incomplete or inaccurate information will delay consideration and may result in the denial of an award.

Q: When will applicants receive their award payment?
A: Decisions will be made within five business days of application receipt and reported to the employee applicant. Payment will be mailed within an additional two business days of the decision.

Q: How will grant awards be distributed?
A: Awards will be made directly to the employee’s account with their landlord, finance company, utility, medical provider, etc. based on the documentation provided with the EAF application. Request for assistance with food and household supplies will be provided through gifts cards to local merchants.

Q: Is this award subject to payroll tax withholding?
A: An award from the EAF is provided as a grant rather than payroll or a payroll advance. The YMCA will not withhold payroll taxes. Employees, however, may be required to report receipt the award, based on IRS guidelines.

Q: Does the YMCA require repayment of an EAF award?
A: An award from the EAF is not a loan and does not require repayment. The EAF is a mechanism for the YMCA to provide emergency assistance to its employees in difficult times. Recognizing the value of the EAF, when an employee’s emergency passes, we hope they are encouraged to assist other employees with a contribution to the EAF.

Q: Will this payment impact unemployment assistance?
A: The award will need to be reported in consideration for unemployment qualification. Employees should contact the appropriate agency in their respective state for information specific to their situation.

Q: How can qualified employees apply?
A: A qualified employee may apply online here.
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