Disaster Relief Grants
The deadline for submitting claims from Hurricane Sandy was Friday May 31, 2013.
As part of the Union Plus assistance programs designed to assist union members, the Disaster Relief Grant is able to help those who are facing financial hardship due to a natural disaster. The money does not have to be repaid.
To be considered for a Union Plus Disaster Relief Grant, the union member must:
- Have a Union Plus Credit Card, Union Plus Mortgage, Union Plus Life or Accidental Death Insurance or Union Plus Auto Insurance policy for at least 12 months with the account or policy in good standing (be up-to-date on payments).
- Have experienced a significant income or property loss within the past 6 months, as a result of a FEMA declared natural disaster or emergency in counties designated by FEMA as qualifying for individual assistance.
- Verify the property or income loss by supplying acceptable documentation * relative to his/her individual circumstances.
*In some cases documentation requirements may be waived.
To apply for Union Plus Disaster Relief Grants:
- Union Plus Credit Cardholders should call 1-800-622-2580 to speak directly with a specially trained representative. Representatives in the United States handle all customer service calls to the Union Plus Credit Card Program.
- Union Plus Mortgage and Union Plus Life, Accident and Auto Insurance holders should call 1-800-472-2005 to speak to a Union Plus staff member.
How grants have helped members
In an effort unmatched by any other credit card in the nation, the Union Plus Credit Card Disaster Relief Fund provided $375,000 to 750 members impacted by Hurricane Sandy in 2012 and $400,000 to some 800 union cardholders impacted by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005.
Thomas Owens of Breezy Point, a neighborhood in the New York City borough of Queens, and IAFF Local 90, called his $500 check from the Union Plus Disaster Relief fund - a great benefit of being a union member.
"Hurricane Sandy took a tremendous toll on my community, family and me," explains Owens, who served as a New York City firefighter for 23 years before retiring in 2003. "I will never forget the storm or its aftermath. To see a neighborhood turn inside out in a matter of hours is something that stays with you for a lifetime. But, you also learn that people help each other in times of need."
Owens, the father of seven children, the youngest of whom recently graduated high school, used his check from Union Plus to "deal with the realities of the situation." Despite all that's been lost, Owens focuses on the positive: his family is intact, his home will be repaired, and his community is poised to recover. Owens is also grateful for unexpected benefits that come with a union membership, such as the Union Plus Disaster Relief Grant.
Other assistance for union cardholders included payment waivers, lower rates, emergency credit line increases, fee waivers and free credit counseling.
Additional assistance programs available
Disaster victims who participate in the Union Plus Auto Insurance and Mortgage programs may be eligible to receive payment extensions or other special help from the program providers. Assistance plans vary by program provider. To find out more, disaster victims who participate in any of the following Union Plus programs should call these toll-free numbers:
- Union Plus Credit Card - 1 -800-622-2580
- Union Plus Mortgage - 1-800-848-6466
- Union Plus Auto Insurance - 1-877-244-0304
- Union Plus Insurance - 1-800-393-0864
- Union Plus Credit Counseling - 1-877-833-1745
- Union Plus Legal Service - 1-888-993-8886 (9 am -7 pm ET, M-F)