The COVID-19 pandemic is causing financial strain for many families. It is common to feel stressed when so much is uncertain and you feel concerned about your family’s well-being. As a UW employee you have access to resources that can help you understand your options, request financial support and address your immediate needs.
Understand your financial situation
Assessing your finances and understanding your options can be overwhelming during the best of times. Talking with a financial expert during COVID-19 can provide confidence that you are asking the right questions, help you to think about your budget in new ways and understand of the pros and cons of various financial options.
- UW CareLink consultants can talk with you about your specific situation and schedule a phone appointment for you with one of their in-house financial and/or legal experts.
- Fidelity Investments retirement planners are available to help you review your investments and consider the impacts of COVID-19 on your future plans. Schedule an appointment with a licensed Fidelity financial professional phone or Zoom video conference.
- The Whole U and UW financial partners offer free, virtual workshops, consultations, ongoing financial education, and more to help employees assess their finances and reach financial goals. Click here to access workshops, discounts, and additional content for continuous learning sponsored by HomeStreet Bank, BECU, WSECU, Fidelity Investments, and TIAA.
Request financial assistance
UW employees who are experiencing a financial hardship due to COVID-19 may be able to access financial support for critical expenses. Eligibility is different for each of these programs and some may have tax implications depending upon your individual circumstance.
- The UW COVID-19 Employee Emergency Fund was created to assist UW employees earning experiencing a critical, temporary, and unforeseen financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 crisis.
- UW Voluntary Investment Fund (VIP) participants may request a Corona Related Distribution (CRD) of up to $100,000 if certain qualifying circumstances are met, as described in the CARES Act. Participants can also request larger loans if they meet the qualifying requirements, and temporarily defer already existing VIP loan payments. For more information, please contact Fidelity Investments at 1-800-343-0860.
- Deferred Compensation Program (DCP) participants may request up to a $100,000 distribution if they meet qualifying circumstances related to COVID-19. Learn more on the Washington state Department of Retirement Systems website.
- State and federal changes to Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA) and the Dependent Care Assistance Program (DCAP) due to COVID-19 have added some qualifying expenses and extended timelines for requesting reimbursements. Learn more about your FSA or DCAP options from Navia Benefit Solutions.
Address immediate needs
It can be hard to ask for help but you are not alone in navigating financial challenges related to COVID-19. Whether you are experiencing hardship personally or are concerned about family members or friends, public agencies and non-profit organizations are standing-by to help with basic needs and more. Talking with someone about the emotional impacts of financial stress can make it easier to tap into networks of support at UW and in the community.
- WA-211 is as a free, confidential central access point for connecting Washington residents to community resources including utility assistance, food, housing, crisis intervention and much more.
- UW CareLink has compiled COVID-19 resources to support your family’s needs and can match you with a counselor who is the right fit for your situation. You receive five free in-person counseling sessions for each issue you work to address.