ROCKY HILL, CT – Connecticut United Ways COVID-19 Response Fund is beginning to disburse payments to those who are suffering the financial consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Fund has raised approximately $450,000 for the first round of distributions to help Connecticut residents who have lost their jobs, lost hours at work, or may be facing other financial hardships as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Fund is working with social service agencies across Connecticut to identify those most in need. Through a partnership with EML Payments Limited (“EML”), an innovative system has been developed that will enable the funds to be rapidly distributed to beneficiaries. Once a beneficiary has been pre-qualified by a participating social service agency, funds can be loaded to the mobile wallet on the beneficiary’s smartphone. The funds can be used to pay for necessities, such as food, medicine, utilities, and gasoline. The electronic distribution of funds means that money can be given to those who need it most, without violating social distancing requirements.
Initially, recipients will receive $200 to pay for basic needs. Additional funds may be available as donations allow.
The Fund was launched with $100,000 from the Aetna Foundation. Since the launch, the Connecticut Health Foundation has committed $150,000 to the fund; The Travelers Companies, Inc. has committed $150,000; and Webster Bank has committed $30,000. With funds coming in from additional foundations and private donors, Connecticut United Ways anticipate that they will be able to initially serve 1,500 individuals across the state.
“We recognize the significant needs this situation has created and we are pleased to support the United Way in getting immediate assistance to state residents facing hardships,” said Patricia Baker, president and CEO of the Connecticut Health Foundation. “It is critical that we work together to ensure that the response to the pandemic and economic disruption will reduce inequities, rather than widen them. Addressing immediate needs is an important first step as we consider the longer-term recovery.”
The Fund will be used to help individuals and families that United Way calls ALICE® (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed). These are our hard-working neighbors who live paycheck to paycheck and have no savings to fall back on in an emergency like this. Many of them provide crucial services in our community—such as caring for our children and elderly parents. With no financial cushion, they are particularly vulnerable to the rapidly changing scenario our country now faces. United Way expects that the number of individuals and families in the state that fall into the ALICE income threshold will grow as the crisis continues.
To donate to the Connecticut United Ways COVID-19 Response Fund go to www.CTUWCovid19ResponseFund.org. Donors will have the option to pay a 3.09% credit card processing fee so that 100% of their donation can go directly to those in need. Connecticut United Ways will not charge any administrative fees on donations to the Fund.
Learn more about Connecticut United Ways COVID-19 Fund Distribution Process
The process for distributing dollars from the Connecticut United Ways COVID-19 Response Fund enables those in need to obtain funds through a mobile wallet in their smartphones. This helps to adhere to social distancing requirements while getting funds to those most in need during this crisis. Click HERE for more details.