COVID-19 Disaster Relief

COVID-19 Disaster Relief

SIF170 COVID-19 Disaster Relief

Project Manager: John Koskey

Provide emergency assistance to the Charlottesville community, UVA staff, and contract workers in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Approved: Spring 2020

Project Dates: 4/01/2020 – 3/31/2023

Total Funding: $3,500,000

Executive Summary

In April 2020 and in response to the emerging needs of the COVID-19 pandemic, President Ryan announced that the SIF would provide disaster relief support to the UVA and Charlottesville communities. One million dollars was given to the Charlottesville Area Community Foundation to help stabilize households in Charlottesville who were affected by the pandemic. An additional two million dollars was set aside to establish the Employee Assistance Fund (EAF), with the purpose of assisting UVA contract workers and employees experiencing hardship. In May, President Ryan increased the award to the EAF by $500,000.

Read more in UVA Today.

In January 2021, University Leadership transitioned the award for use as a broader Employee Assistance Fund. The UVA Employee Assistance Fund was established to support the University’s strategic vision of being a “great and good” university at a time when employees needed help when they had no other option for support. The availability of this fund fosters an environment of support and care, which brings our values and words into action, and has positive impact on strengthening our foundation of recruitment and retention of our employees.

Current Status: Completed


Since inception in 2021, there have been 177 unduplicated applications for fund assistance from Academic Division employees.  Of the 177 applicants, 135 were approved by the Review Committee, 35 were denied and seven applications remained incomplete despite a request for additional information.  Of the 35 that were denied, twenty applications were submitted by Medical Center employees (Medical Center elected to not participate).  The remaining 15 were denied due to other eligibility criteria. 

In calendar year 2022, 46 grants were provided, totaling $57,238.77. Forty-five applications were denied, twenty of which were submitted by Medical Center employees. The remainder were requests for basic needs but did not meet criteria for unexpected and non-recurring expense. 

Below is a breakdown of the categories for which funds were distributed among employees: 

  • Unexpected medical and dental expenses (36%)
  • Automotive expenses for necessary repairs, body damage repair, car rentals, and down payments for replacement vehicles. (30%)
  • Housing expenses, including home repairs, mold remediation, and roof and leak repairs. (17%)
  • Other (7%)
  • Funeral expenses (3%)