Vanderbilt COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund supports university community

The Vanderbilt University Employee COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund stands ready to assist employees with financial burdens that have been incurred as a result of COVID-19.

The emergency relief fund provides reimbursements of up to $500 to eligible employees for expenses related to additional child care or education, COVID-related medical bills or alternative housing arrangements required for self-isolation or quarantine.

While the university community has a greater than 95 percent vaccination rate, the higher transmissibility of the delta variant is causing a spike in the rate of infections in the Nashville region.

studio headshot of Cleo Rucker
Cleo Rucker (Vanderbilt University)

“We know that faculty, staff and postdoctoral scholars are navigating additional challenges with everything from child care and education to additional medical bills and quarantines during these unprecedented times,” said Cleo Rucker, associate vice chancellor and chief human resource officer. “This fund is designed to help ease those burdens for those who are carrying out our university’s vital mission.”

Reimbursements from this emergency relief fund are available to full-time benefits eligible faculty and staff employed by the university who have completed six months of service. Postdoctoral scholars employed by the university are also eligible. Only employees with an annual salary of less than $150,000 are eligible.

The University Working Group on Schools and Childcare collaborated with the Division of Administration in 2020 to establish this emergency relief fund as an option for employees who are experiencing financial vulnerabilities as they care for their families.

Eligible employees may submit multiple requests for reimbursements from the emergency relief fund, but the total across applications cannot exceed $500. Among the items covered are:

  • Family care expenses such as additional child care or tutoring, educational materials for remote learning or homeschooling, and increased costs to care for other family members due to COVID-19–required changes in normal care and/or schooling.
  • COVID-19 medical expenses not covered by insurance, including co-pays, deductibles and over the counter medications.
  • Short-term housing needs related to self-isolation or quarantining required by health officials for management of a COVID-19 case.

The emergency relief fund is in addition to the Employee Hardship Fund, which is also available to help staff with unexpected expenses due to a significant life event. Students are not eligible for reimbursements under the emergency relief fund or Employee Hardship Fund. Undergraduate, graduate, and professional students with COVID-19 hardship expenses should email the Office of Student Financial Aid and Scholarship at

Human Resources will evaluate and process applications for the Employee COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund on a rolling basis and then communicate a decision within two weeks of submission. Expenses that have already been reimbursed, or may be reimbursed in the future, are not eligible. Documentation of expenses may be required.