Oxy Employee Relief Fund

The Oxy Employee Relief Fund was established by members of the College community to support colleagues at Occidental who are experiencing unanticipated or emergency financial hardships due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Leer en español


Apply for Relief Funds

Apply now 

Donate to the Relief Fund

Donate online*    Payroll deduction

*Please note that this is the standard Occidental giving form. Select “Other” as the gift designation and be sure and type “Employee Relief Fund” in the corresponding text box.


Who is eligible? The fund is open to active employees and employees who have been recently furloughed due to COVID-19 whose annualized pay is less than $100,000. Students are not eligible for the Employee Relief Fund.

What kind of financial support is available? The fund is intended to support those who have experienced a financial hardship as a result of COVID-19. The maximum available to each employee will be a one-time payment of up to $1,000. Funding is awarded on a case-by-case basis and is contingent on donations and the availability of funds in the Employee Relief Fund account. This means that requests may be fully funded up to the $1,000 maximum, partially funded, or not funded at all. Funding is not guaranteed to all who apply.

What expenses are eligible to be covered? Consistent with IRS Code section 139, payments from the fund can cover any reasonable and necessary personal, family or living expense incurred due to COVID-19, a federally qualified disaster. Eligible expenses may include rent, grocery and meal deliveries, internet, technology, child care, tutoring, unreimbursed medical expenses, protective items such as hand sanitizer, face masks, and gloves, increased utility costs, or other additional expenses related to COVID-19 incurred between March 1, 2020 and December 31, 2020.

How can eligible employees apply? You can apply right now: the simple application is now live. No submission of receipts is required. All information will be kept confidential. This means that the people who review applications and make decisions about the allocation of funds will not know the name of the person requesting them.  

How are funds distributed? A five-person review committee will make award decision recommendations and notify the Business Office for processing. Committee members (all volunteers) are:

  • Jeff Cannon (faculty)
  • Sylvia Chico (staff)
  • Gabi Rodriguez (student)
  • Linda Schraeder (staff)
  • Jim Tranquada (staff)

Applicants will be informed by a representative of the Relief Fund of decisions on applications, and disbursements will be made through Accounts Payable in the Business Office within 72 hours of approval. While our goal is an expedited review of applications, the time it will take will depend on the number of applications and the timing and amount of contributions received.

What is the timing of relief payment? Assuming funds are available, the first relief payments are scheduled to be issued between Friday, September 18 and Friday, September 25, 2020.  Thereafter, disbursement of relief payments will be on a rolling two-week timeline, depending on availability of funds.

How can I donate? Donations can be made by any member of the community by using this online giving form. Please note this is the standard Occidental giving form, so it is important that you select “Other” as the gift designation, and in the corresponding text box, please type “Employee Relief Fund.” In addition, employees can take advantage of the payroll deduction option to set up a recurring donation.

Whom may I contact with questions about the Employee Relief Fund? Questions may be submitted to ERF@oxy.edu.  

Additional FAQs

Q: Will payments impact unemployment?

A: These payments should not impact unemployment benefits.  The California EDD website indicates that “money paid to a claimant for expenses is not considered remuneration for services and, therefore, is not wages.”

Q: Is a Relief Fund payment considered taxable income for the recipient?

A: No

Q: Are donations tax deductible?

A: Yes