FAQ for Applicants
Who can apply for Aid-a-Gator relief?
Current faculty and staff employed by the University of Florida may apply for financial assistance through Aid-a-Gator. For purposes of this program, this includes graduate assistants, medical/veterinary residents and post-doctoral fellow and associates. This program does not apply to volunteers, faculty on emeritus (i.e., unpaid) status or undergraduate student employees.
Undergraduate students and graduate students not on assistantship who are experiencing financial hardship should contact the Office of Student Financial Affairs at (352) 392-1275 or visit the office in S107 Criser Hall (8 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday-Friday) for support.
When can I apply for aid through Aid-a-Gator, and what can be covered with awarded aid?
Aid-a-Gator funds are intended to be a temporary life-preserver, not an income supplement or an alternative to insurance, FEMA or other types of public aid. Aid-a-Gator offers support to colleagues facing unexpected, temporary financial hardship, such as with rent, utilities or other essential expenses or out-of-pocket costs as a result of sudden illness, family crisis (such as a house fire) or natural disaster (hurricane, flooding, tornado or sinkhole). If you find yourself dealing with a serious financial hardship as a result of such a life crisis, consider applying for Aid-a-Gator funds.
What constitutes “out-of-pocket” costs?
This could apply to a variety of financial costs directly tied to the effects of an unexpected life crisis, such as money spent on food, hotels, utility bills, rent or mortgage payments, car payments, tree removal, emergency day care due to extended school closures, etc. This would not include lost wages or lost income, nor would it include existing debts (i.e. existing past-due bills, credit card debt, etc.).
Do I have to repay an Aid-a-Gator grant?
Typically, you will not have to repay the amount awarded to you. The Aid-a-Gator program is designed to be a grant and not a loan. However, if you submit to your insurance company, FEMA or another disaster relief program a request for reimbursement for the same costs detailed in your Aid-a-Gator application and you are subsequently reimbursed for those costs, the university asks that you return the amount back to Aid-a-Gator. This way, even more faculty and staff can receive assistance and benefit from the program.
Can I apply multiple times and for different expenses?
The maximum amount an employee can be awarded is $1,500 in a calendar year. If you are awarded an amount less than the maximum and another crisis arises, you may submit a new application. However, the total cap of $1,500 per employee per calendar year remains.
Can an Aid-a-Gator application request money to cover lost wages/income if I missed work due to an unexpected life crisis?
No. This program is not intended to supplement income or cover lost wages due to missed work, as Aid-a-Gator is not a leave program or a salary replacement program. Instead, this program is designed to assist with unforeseen costs and bills directly related to an unexpected, temporary hardship. Applications requesting funds solely for unpaid leave will not be granted.
What documentation is required to be submitted with the application?
This will depend on the individual claim. However, you should provide any documentation that is relevant to the specific financial need and hardship you experienced as an unforeseen and temporary hardship. Consider submitting copies of bills/letters/paid invoices/receipts, photographs of home damage and proof of ownership of damaged items. If you have questions about what may be helpful to your application, you can email AidaGator@hr.ufl.edu for guidance specific to your situation.
Can multiple family members apply if they are employed at UF and meet the qualifications?
Yes, as long as all family members are current UF employees and are not requesting reimbursement for the same costs or expenses. The cap on $1,500 in a rolling year is per individual employee, not per family.
How long should it take from application submission to receipt of funds?
Applications will be reviewed as received. During large-scale events, such as a hurricane, funds may be limited and application awards will be made on a first-come, first-served basis. Awardees will be notified via email whether their application is accepted or denied, or if additional information is needed. Email notifications will contain additional details specific to each award.
How can I receive funds (cash, check, gift card, direct deposit)?
Typically, awards will be processed through the payroll system and will be directly deposited into the bank account on record with Disbursement Services.
Will Aid-a-Gator grants be taxed?
Generally, Aid-a-Gator awards will be taxed as income and applicable payroll deductions will be made. However, if there is a large-scale disaster, an assessment will be made as to whether the Internal Revenue Code section addressing disaster relief payments may apply. Under such circumstances, Aid-a-Gator funds can be excluded from income (and, as such, would not be subject to income, Social Security or Medicare taxes). If such a large-scale event occurs (such as a hurricane), this website will be updated with information specific to the event.
What if I am awarded a grant that is later reimbursed by my insurance, FEMA or some other disaster relief fund?
The university understands that it may not be clear in the middle of a crisis what costs may eventually be covered by insurance, FEMA or other disaster relief funds. If you are granted an Aid-a-Gator award for costs that are later reimbursed by another organization, we ask that you return the Aid-a-Gator funds to the Aid-a-Gator fund. This way, more faculty and staff can receive assistance and benefit from the program.
Who reviews and decides on the applications to Aid-a-Gator?
After Hurricane Irma, when the program was established, the university called on the Sick Leave Pool (SLP) Committee to assist UF Human Resources in reviewing Aid-a-Gator applications. The SLP Committee did an outstanding job assisting after Irma and has been asked to continue serving as the ad hoc Aid-a-Gator review committee. UF Human Resources operates the Aid-a-Gator program.
Who do I contact for more information or to ask questions?
Aid-a-Gator for faculty and staff is administered through UF Human Resources. We have created an email account specific to this program: AidaGator@hr.ufl.edu. If you have details you would like to discuss, send an email with your name and phone number, and we will get in touch with you as quickly as we can.
If my application is denied, is there an appeals process?
No. Applications could be denied for a variety of reasons, including lack of funding, untimely submission, improper requests, refusal to provide additional information, etc. Applicants who are denied funds but who believe this may have been based on an error are free to email AidaGator@ufl.edu to provide additional information. If mistakes are made, we will make every attempt to correct them; however, there is no right to appeal and no appeals process. To best secure your chances of being awarded a grant through Aid-a-Gator, make sure your application is complete, clear and detailed and provides as much relevant supporting documentation as possible.
What happens if there is not enough money for people applying for aid?
Aid-a-Gator is completely dependent upon donations. We hope that people will donate to Aid-a-Gator even when there are no large-scale events in the headlines. Unfortunately, some applications may be denied due to a lack of funds, not due to the content of the application.