What is considered an emergency situation?
Applicants to The STAR Fund must have a documented emergency situation that results in a loss of life, health or property and is in the face of severe financial hardship where all other sources of funding have been exhausted. This crisis situation must be an event beyond the Team Member’s control. Emergency situations considered for assistance are:
- Total Loss of home
- Transitional housing
- Funeral expenses (must be financially responsible)
- Emergency travel
- Loss or purchase of medically necessary equipment
- Medical Out of Work (Short term/Long term)
What types of requests does The STAR Fund not cover?
Qualifying emergencies do not include circumstances that involve providing assistance to pay for debt consolidation, litigation, poor financial planning, non-essential items (e.g., cable TV, credit card payments, expenses related to vehicles, etc.), bail, garnishments, or other expenses deriving from non-emergency situations. The STAR Fund does not cover requests for medical assistance that is already covered by health benefits, fuel costs for vehicle or home heating use, or any situation not based on a one-time, non-recurring incident.
What documentation is required?
All decisions made by The STAR Fund Board of Trustees are determined based on the information submitted. In addition to a completed Emergency Application, the Committee requests documentation of expenses pertaining to the emergency as well as any official documentation of the incident that has created the financial hardship. This includes but is not limited to the following:
- physician’s statement (including dates unable to work & any restrictions)
- accident, police, or fire report
- death certificate, Statement from Funeral home
- Expense receipts
What happens if The STAR Fund Admin Team or Board of Trustees requests further information?
If further information is requested, the applicant has two (2) weeks to provide the requested information. Following receipt of the requested information, the application will be presented to The STAR Fund Board of Trustees and The STAR Fund Admin Team will notify the applicant of the status of the application. If the requested information is not provided in the two-week time period, the application will not be considered.
How much funding is available and what limits apply to this funding? Depending on the nature of the request, grants can range from $100 to $2,000 for the eligible emergency event grants and from $2,000 to $5,000 for Relocation Assistance grants. (See The STAR Fund Eligibility Guidelines). However, an applicant may not receive more than the following: Emergency Event grants: Either two grants or a total of $2,000 in a 12-month period Relocation Assistance grants: One grant in the Team Member’s lifetime
What if my situation qualifies for two different guidelines? (Ex. – Funeral Expense and Emergency Travel)
In this case, the applicant would fill out one application and provide proper documentation for each applicable guideline. The committee will consider each applicable guideline separately. All limits still apply (see above).
Who will know that I have applied for assistance through The STAR Fund?
Each application is maintained by The STAR Fund Admin Team. When the application is given to The STAR Fund Board of Trustees, the applicant’s name will not be given. At no time is an applicant’s identifying information available to anyone involved in the decision-making process. Administrators of The STAR Fund are the only individuals who may have access to the confidential application for assistance, and such access is granted only to the extent required to process and fund the application, if necessary. The STAR Fund application does provide the option for the applicant to give permission for the STAR Fund Admin Team to contact their GM in cases where they can provide information to support and expedite the processing of the application.
How long does the application/funding process typically take?
Typically, once an application is submitted to be reviewed for grant funding, applications are processed 1- 2 business days after documentation is received and funds are made available within 24-48 hours from the time the Board of Trustees considers and approves the application. However, no application will be sent to the Board of Trustees without proper documentation.
What happens after I have applied for assistance?
The STAR Fund Board of Trustees (made up of Team Members representing all entities of Schmidt Family Restaurant Group) receives a copy of the application to review (which does not include any identifying information about the applicant). This group has the very important responsibility of making sure that the funds are used in the most helpful manner possible. Unfortunately, The STAR Fund is not able to provide assistance to all applicants. The committee makes decisions for assistance based on documented crises, the STAR Fund eligibility guidelines, and the bylaws that govern the committee. After The STAR Fund Board of Trustees has reviewed your application, The STAR Fund Admin Team will contact you regarding the status of your application. The committee can approve or deny an application or request additional information. The STAR Fund Admin Team will tell you what the next step in the process is following the committee’s decision.
What happens after I have been approved for assistance?
If the application is approved for assistance, checks are made payable directly to the applicant except in situations involving Relocation Assistance grants, in which case the monies are sent directly to the landlord. Checks are usually issued within 24-48 hours after the committee considers and approves the case and typically take about 3-5 days to arrive by mail. In cases where an applicant has been approved for a Medical Out of Work grant funding will be sent to the recipient on a bi-weekly basis until they return to work or the funding limit is met, whichever comes first.
Do monies have to be repaid?
Funds distributed are a grant – not a loan – and do not need to be repaid. Because the IRS considers assistance taxable income, if any applicant is granted more than $600 in assistance the applicant will receive a 1099 form at the end of the year stating receipt of the grant upon request.
The Matching Grant
Eligibility: Team Member has a need for assistance that does not meet eligible grant criteria (described above in the policy) and fellow Team Members have raised funds to help fulfill Team Member’s need. Fundraisers should be approved through the proper channels of each market and are not associated with the STAR Fund in any way. It is preferred that the Team Member first apply for and be denied a STAR grant. NOTE: an applicant cannot receive a STAR grant and matching funds for the same event.
Amount: Match of Team funds raised, up to $500 per event. Only one grant is permitted per eligible event, regardless of the number of fundraisers held.
Required Documents: A completed Matching Grant application signed by the GM and Team Member certifying the amount raised by co-workers along with a copy of money order or cashier’s check given to the Team Member in the amount of funds raised.
These FAQs provide general information regarding the operations of The STAR Fund. The STAR Fund Board of Trustees reserves the right to change its operating policies and procedures at any time in accordance with provisions set forth in its bylaw