Setting up a fund to cover natural disasters is, in many ways, more straightforward for many companies, at least for establishing the types of events that establish grant eligibility. What constitutes personal hardship can be very subjective. While it is impossible to cover every possible eventuality, there are some fairly standard inclusions that can be used to get started.
Most personal hardship funds are used to help cover unforeseeable events, and some are granted in a compassionate capacity. An example of this is a bereavement grant for the death of an immediate family member. The death of a loved one can result in travel and funeral costs that may be out of reach for an employee. Unexpected medical expenses or other related costs can arise due to an accident or sudden serious illness of an employee or an immediate family member. There are also costs which fall outside of normal insurance parameters that could be considered suitable for a personal hardship grant.
Some employees may find themselves temporarily in need of assistance due to divorce, particularly a single-parent not yet receiving any support payments. Victims of domestic abuse or other victims of violent crimes may require assistance with legal fees, moving expenses, or counseling that goes beyond the scope of their insurance policies.
Finally, other disasters, such as a house fire or a home being struck by lightning may result in unforeseen expenses and hardship for families, beyond the costs associated with repairing the home or replacing lost items. Temporary housing and clothing costs, added transportation costs, and other miscellaneous expenses can prove to be burdensome for many families in the wake of this type of disaster.
The above examples are only sample categories that are widely included in personal hardship grant funds, but certainly are not an exhaustive list. Each company’s profile is unique, with unique challenges. Speak with employees or conduct a survey to find out what their particular issues are, and then create your fund specifically to address the most pressing needs of your organization’s employees.