In order to be eligible for a grant, the associate must meet the following initial criteria:
- Current Active full-time and part-time US Retail associates (Contingent, Temporary and Contract associates are not eligible)
- Experienced a Qualifying Event within the last 6 months
- Employed by Staples when the Qualifying Event occurred
- Experienced Financial Hardship as a result of the Qualifying Event
- Associate must be employed by Staples US Retail at the time the grant payment is made
The USR Share Fund defines a qualifying event as an unforeseen event that has happened within the last six months and has caused a severe financial hardship. Qualifying events include the following
- Natural disaster (wildfires, hurricanes, floods, tornadoes, wind/ice storms, etc.)
- Illness or injury
- Housing Instability due to the following:
- Unforeseen sale or foreclosure of a home/apartment rented from a private landlord.
- Condemned or uninhabitable home/apartment rented from a private landlord
- Involuntary unemployment for spouse or associate’s second job (layoff, position elimination, company closure, etc.)
- Domestic abuse or violence that causes the associate to feel unsafe in their home
- Military deployment
- COVID-19 Job Impact
The USR Share Fund defines a qualifying expense as past due rent/mortgage/property taxes, past due basic utilities (electric, gas, water/sewer, garbage ONLY), and food. The Share Fund may also help pay security deposits for new housing, and specific expenses related to the death of an immediate family member (funeral expenses and emergency travel expenses).
In the case of a natural disaster, such as a hurricane, tornado, etc., the Share Fund may also help pay for emergency housing, and uninsured/underinsured repairs to a primary residence. NOTE: The Share Fund does not cover car repair, replacement or car insurance or loan, phone, Internet, cable, legal fees, credit card bills, daycare, student loans, tuition, deductibles, medical expenses, insurance bills or down payment to any type of loan.
If you have a severe financial need due to an emergency, you may qualify for the USR Share Fund. To apply, first go to staplessharefund.org, download our Direct Grant Application Prep Pack and review the Application Check List included in the Prep Pack.
Once you have gathered all the required documentation, go to the USR Share Fund website, staplessharefund.org, and click the "Apply" link in the main navigation at the top of the page. After applying, email required supporting documents to StaplesShareFund@Staples.com.
US Retail Share Fund provides assistance in situations where the associate has no other means of paying the necessary expense. If the expense has already been paid, then there is no longer a financial need. Generally, the USR Share Fund will not consider reimbursement of paid expenses.
All applications for a Share Fund grant must provide proof of the qualifying event (varies based on the event) and proof of the qualifying expense (copies of past due bills). Please see our Direct Grant Application Prep Pack for a full list of required documentation for each qualifying event.
US Retail Share Fund may require additional information not included in the Prep Pack list and will inform the applicant via email or phone to request this information.
US Retail Share Fund strives to turn around a response within 5-7 business days from the time a complete application, including supporting documentation, is received. Lack of proper documentation will result in an immediate denial of an application. We will reconsider an application once the associate provides the required documentation. As a result, processing time may be extended in cases where we are missing documentation, signatures or if other information is needed.
Please see our Direct Grant Application Prep Pack for a full list of required documentation for each qualifying event or contact the US Retail Share Fund for more information.
The Share Fund considers the associate, their spouse or domestic partner, minor children, and other dependents for whom the associate is 100 percent financially responsible, as eligible. Typically, immediate family members are those who can be covered by the associate's insurance.
Parents, grandparents, siblings or other relatives are not considered dependents unless the associate can show they are 100 percent financially responsible for that relative (i.e., a copy of the most recent tax return showing dependents).
The only exception is for the death of an associate’s parent(s). The Share Fund may provide assistance for funeral expenses for the associate’s parent, if the associate is financially responsible for the expense.
No. The US Retail Share Fund will review grant applications by reviewing a household’s total need for the same qualifying event.
Generally, an associate may only receive one grant award of up to $2,500 for the same qualifying event. Associates may apply four times in a 12 month rolling period regardless of whether those applications are approved or denied. Likewise, an associate may only receive a maximum of $4,000 in a 12 month rolling period if they have more than one qualifying event.
Please note the above dollar amounts are maximum payout amounts. The associate is required to provide supporting documents for both the qualifying event and qualifying expenses. The total grant payout amount may not be equal to the maximum amount as it will be the sum of the total of the approved expenses. If the total of approved expenses are greater than the maximum payout amount, the maximum grant amount may be paid, not the total of the approved expenses.
No. Federal law prohibits USR Share Fund from making any grants designed to replace or supplement US Retail Staples compensation or benefits to its associates. Due to this law, the USR Share Fund cannot provide grants to help pay for medical expenses.
Associates must be employed at the time of the disbursement of the grant. The only exception is if you are part of a reduction in force. If you have already submitted your application and then are laid off prior to the disbursement of the grant, assuming your application meets the criteria of USR Share Fund, you will be eligible for a grant.
Share Fund grants are not meant to replace other available resources such as medical/life insurance, short/long-term disability coverage, personal savings, 401(k) hardship loans, assistance from family members, etc. Associates should also consider contacting the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) managed by Optum. Optum can be reached at 1-866-374-6061 or at Liveandworkwell.com and use code StaplesConnect.
When faced with the death of an immediate family member, US Retail Staples offers funeral planning and concierge services through The Hartford's group life insurance program to help mitigate the expense. For more information, call The Hartford's Funeral and Concierge Services at 1-866-854-5429 or go to www.everestfuneral.com/hartford and use code HFEVLC.
- Falsification or alteration of supporting documentation
- Use of grant funds for anything outside the stated purpose for which funds were provided
- Intentionally misrepresenting the financial hardship or qualifying event
- Intentionally withholding relevant information that would ultimately result in a denied application
- Intentionally attempting to deceive the US Retail Share Fund support team
The USR Share Fund takes fraud very seriously. The above are violations of the US Retail Staples Code of Ethics. Any confirmed fraud, whether it is successful or not, may result in disciplinary action, up to and including termination from US Retail Staples.
There are many ways to support Share Fund, including: automatic payroll deduction, one-time credit card donation, or running a fundraiser within your US Retail Staples location.
The most effective way to support the Share Fund is to set up an automatic payroll deduction on Associate Connection. For one-time or recurring credit card donations, please visit the US Retail Share Fund Site
The Federal Tax ID number is: 46-3476388
US Retail Share Fund is a 501 (c) (3) organization. Donations are tax deductible. Our Federal Tax ID is 46-3476388.
Donations to the USR Share Fund cannot be targeted to a specific individual(s). Grants will be allocated according to the rules and procedures of the USR Share Fund.
As long as you want, you can opt out anytime. For example, if you want to cancel or change the amount of your contributions, just log into Associate Connection and change your weekly payroll deduction preferences. You can also set an end date when initially signing up.
You can donate to support the work of the USR Share Fund. If you want to volunteer in other ways, please email us at StaplesShareFund@staples.com and we will get back to you. If you have ideas, please send them along.
US Retail Share Fund
500 Staples Drive MS: E5A
Framingham, MA 01702
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