Emergency Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the HERO Fund?

HERO stands for Hamra Employees Reaching Out. The HERO Fund was established as an emergency assistance fund, funded by Hamra employees for Hamra employees. This fund is designed to support employees when they are faced with an emergency situation that is catastrophic and damaging to life, health or property and they are faced with severe financial hardship where all other sources of funding have been exhausted.

Who is eligible for assistance from The HERO Fund (Hamra Employees Reaching Out)?

All employees of Hamra Enterprises (part-time and full-time) are eligible for emergency assistance through The HERO Fund.  “Employees of Hamra Enterprises” includes employees from Boston Bread, Chicago Bread, Southern Bread, Wendy’s of Missouri, Wendy’s of New England, Wendy’s of Chicago, Hamra Noodles, SJH Inns, and Hamra Management. The event has to occur after the first day of employment with your concept within Hamra Enterprises.  An employee does not have to donate to the fund to apply for and receive funding.

What is considered an emergency situation?

Applicants to The HERO 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 employee’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 HERO 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 HERO 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.

How Do I Apply for a grant from The HERO Fund?

Applicants to The HERO Fund can apply online at www.hamraheroes.org.  No one can apply on behalf of an employee, except in situations where an employee has passed away or is physically unable to apply on their own behalf.  In this case, a family member can apply for a HERO Grant (Funeral Expense) or the employee’s GM or HR representative can apply on their behalf, with the employee’s verbal consent.  Applications will not be reviewed without proper documentation, which can be submitted online along with application or emailed to the Administration Team at heroadmin@hamraheroes.org.

Once an application is received, it is reviewed by The HERO Fund Administrator to ensure all necessary documentation is included and is then submitted to The HERO Fund Steering Committee for review and decision.  The HERO Fund administrator will contact the applicant if any necessary paperwork is missing.

In the event that an employee does not speak, read, or understand English, that employee bears responsibility to arrange for translation services. Specifically, please designate an English speaking person to communicate with the HERO Fund Administrator on your behalf regarding your application.

Matching Grant
This is the true spirit of Hamra Employees Reaching Out.  If an employee does not meet the criteria for assistance from The HERO Fund, an approved fundraiser can be held on their behalf which may qualify for a Matching Grant.  Fundraisers should be approved through the proper channels of each market and are not associated with The HERO Fund in any way.  It is preferred that the employee first apply for and be denied a HERO grant.  NOTE: An applicant cannot receive a HERO grant and matching funds for the same event.

What documentation is required?

All decisions made by The HERO Fund Steering Committee 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 types of information:

  • Physician’s statement (including dates unable to work)
  • Accident, police or fire report
  • Death certificate
  • Expense receipts

What happens if The HERO Fund Administrator or Steering Committee requests further information?

If further information is requested, the employee has two (2) weeks to provide the requested information. Following receipt of the requested information, the application will be presented to The HERO Fund Steering Committee again and The HERO Fund Administrator will notify the employee 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 (see The HERO Fund Eligibility Requirements form).  However, during any twelve month period, an employee may not receive more than either two grants or a total of $2,000.

What if my situation qualifies for two different guidelines?  (Ex. – Funeral Expense and Emergency Travel)

In this case, the employee would fill out one application for each applicable event and provide proper documentation for each application.  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 HERO Fund?

Each employee completes an application that is maintained by The HERO Fund Administration Team.  When the application is given to The HERO Fund Steering Committee, 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 HERO 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 HERO Fund application does provide the option for the applicant to give permission for the HERO Fund Administrator 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, applications are reviewed by the Steering Committee 2-3 business days after being received and funds are mailed within 24-48 hours from the time the committee approves the application. Please note, an application cannot be fully processed until all required documentation is received from the applicant.

What happens after I have applied for assistance?

The HERO Fund Steering Committee (made up of employees representing all entities of Hamra Enterprises) receives a copy of the application to review. This group has the very important task of making sure that the funds are used in the most responsible and supportive manner possible. Unfortunately, The HERO Fund is not able to provide financial assistance to all applicants. The committee makes decisions for assistance based on documented crises, the HERO Fund eligibility guidelines, and the bylaws that govern the committee.  After The HERO Fund Steering Committee has reviewed your application, The HERO Fund Administrator will contact you regarding the status of your application. The committee can approve or deny an application or request additional information. The HERO Fund Administrator 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 employee and mailed to their home address (as given on their application) unless they request otherwise. Checks are usually issued within 24-36 hours after the committee considers and approves the case.

In cases where an employee has been approved for a Medical Out of Work grant and their surgery has not yet occurred, grant money will not be sent to the employee until the HERO Fund administrator has received the appropriate documentation confirming that the surgery has occurred.  Also in the case of 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 employee is granted more than $600 in assistance the employee will receive a 1099 form at the end of the year stating receipt of the grant.

These FAQs provide general information regarding the operations of The HERO Fund. The HERO Fund Board of Directors reserves the right to change its operating policies and procedures at any time in accordance with provisions set forth in its bylaw

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