Nine grants that support wholeness

May 04, 2022

Financial instability causes stress, making it more challenging to care for ourselves and for others. As the agency of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) that administers benefits, and provides assistance and education, the Board of Pensions is keenly aware of unmet financial needs among our members. The Assistance Program of the Board of Pensions plays an important role in the Board’s support of wholeness.

Supported by the donations of generous individuals, the Assistance Program provides grants to those in need, including ministers, retirees, and members who serve the Church as well as members who work for organizations affiliated with the PC(USA), such as senior housing and care facilities, colleges and universities, and camps and conference centers.

The Assistance Program embodies our connectional Church at its best and is one way we express care for one another and for those who serve the Church. It can help you — and all eligible members of the Benefits Plan of the PC(USA) — with financial assistance.

Grants for members

The following grants are available to all eligible members enrolled in the Medical Plan or Defined Benefit Pension Plan.

  • Adoption Assistance of $6,500 per child is provided at the completion of an adoption to eligible members to help with a portion of their adoption-related expenses, such as agency and attorney fees.
  • Transition-to-College Assistance helps eligible families of post-high school students. They can receive up to $3,000 for ancillary expenses, such as a computer purchase.
  • Emergency Assistance is a one-time grant that addresses an emergency or unexpected need facing a member. Groups of members affected by natural disasters may also qualify. The assistance is initiated by a mid council, employer, or multiple bodies of the Church, which typically share in its cost with the Assistance Program.

Grants for ministers in active service

The following grants are available to PC(USA) ministers enrolled in Pastor’s Participation or Minister’s Choice benefits packages. Eligibility varies by grant.

  • Minister Debt Relief helps ministers pay down debt through financial planning and a grant of up to $10,000 — alleviating financial burden and helping ministers achieve greater well-being.
  • Minister Educational Debt Assistance helps eligible ministers repay educational debt through student loan debt coaching and grants of up to $25,000 over five years. This makes it easier for them to accept a wide range of positions and wholly commit their best gifts to ministry.
  • Sabbath Sabbatical Support provides eligible ministers with a portion of the support they need — up to $4,000 — to engage in planned activities for personal and professional renewal.

Grants for retirees

The following grants are available to retirees who receive a retirement or survivor’s pension from the Defined Benefit Pension Plan. Eligibility varies by grant.

  • Housing Supplements help eligible retirees and surviving spouses with the cost of remaining in their homes or moving to retirement facilities. Supplements are ongoing unless financial circumstances change.
  • Income Supplements help eligible retirees and surviving spouses in need by raising to certain levels the monthly income for those who had earned modest wages. Supplements are ongoing unless financial circumstances change.
  • Retiree Medical Grants, in amounts up to $2,500, reimburse retirees, spouses, and surviving spouses who are age 65 or older for dental services and/or hearing aids once every three years.

For ministers and other staff serving PC(USA)-related organizations

Presbyterian Mission Agency’s Financial Aid for Service is offering EdAssist through PeopleJoy to ministers and any other staff serving any PC(USA)-related organization. Register for a webinar presented by PeopleJoy on Thursday, May 12, at 3 p.m. ET to begin the coaching process. If eligible, you will be contacted by PeopleJoy with instructions for scheduling your appointment. Learn more about this student loan debt support.

Giving and receiving

If you think you may be eligible to receive a grant through the Assistance Program, we welcome your call at 800-773-7752 (800-PRESPLAN).

The funds that support the Assistance Program are freely given by generous individuals, and 100 percent of each gift received supports the program. If you don’t need financial assistance and are in a position to help others who do, we welcome your gift today.