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The UK Employee COVID-19 Response Fund was established by UK in May specifically to provide financial support to individuals who are experiencing an unforeseen, temporary financial hardship caused by the pandemic.

To be eligible to receive assistance from the UK Employee COVID-19 Response Fund, an individual must:

  • Be a current (faculty and staff, including temporary/STEPS employees) or retired (as defined in UK Administrative Regulation 3:1) University employee at the time of their application and fund distribution. The Advisory Committee may also consider other, unique situation or circumstances
  • Be experiencing a financial hardship due to or connected with COVID-19; and
  • Submit an application and supporting documents.

Hardships due to or connected with COVID-19 include:

  • Recovery from COVID-related illness
  • Out-of-pocket, unreimbursable medical expenses or co-pays
  • Funeral expenses
  • Caregiver responsibilities for a family member
  • Threat of loss of essential utilities
  • Threat of loss of household
  • A major unexpected expense that is not covered by an active insurance policy

Expenses must have occurred on or after March 13, 2020.

Awards will depend on the availability of funds and are made by the Advisory Committee whose members review the applications. All awards are made from gifted funds; no state funds are used to provide awards. Awards cannot be used to reimburse the cost of nonessential, luxury or decorative items and services. An individual may receive one award per year.

Application process for UK Employee COVID-19 Response Fund Assistance

  1. Employees requesting assistance must complete an assistance application. Please contact Erika Chambers at about an application.
  2. As quickly as possible, the Advisory Committee will review all eligible, completed applications and supporting documents, determine the availability of funds and the ability to meet the applicant’s need(s) prior to making a decision.
  3. If the application is approved, the Advisory Committee will notify the applicant in writing and provide instructions on next steps. The committee may request additional information before making a decision, which will place an applicant in a pending status. Applicants will have 30 calendar days to provide the requested information.
  4. All approved fund distributions will be provided directly to or on behalf of an applicant.
  5. Fund recipients are encouraged to consult with a tax advisor to determine whether the grant constitutes taxable income.

Donating to the UK Employee COVID-19 Response Fund

This fund is supported by voluntary charitable employee donations and contributions from individual donors and other entities that want to assist UK employees during unexpected financial challenges.
Donors can contribute to the UK Employee COVID-19 Response Fund by any of the following methods:

  • Online through the University of Kentucky or the Blue Grass Community Foundation (select University of Kentucky Employee COVID-19 Response Fund in the drop-down menu).
  • Mailing a check. Make checks payable to Blue Grass Community Foundation and indicate that your gift should be directed to the University of Kentucky Employee COVID-19 Response Fund. Mail checks to: Blue Grass Community Foundation, Attn: UK Employee COVID-19 Response Fund, 499 E. High Street #112, Lexington, KY 40507. OR make checks payable to the University of Kentucky, with a direction for the Employee COVID-19 Response Fund. Mail checks to: University of Kentucky Attn: UK Office of Philanthropy, 210 Malabu Drive Suite 200, Lexington KY 40502.  
  • Payroll deduction. Enroll or make changes to payroll deductions here. Follow the prompts for entering contact information, then select "I want to choose my specific fund(s) and search for Fund Name: Employee COVID-19 Response Fund.

Gifts made through the Blue Grass Community Foundation can be made anonymously. Donors are encouraged to consult a tax adviser regarding the tax benefits associated with their gifts.