HOW TO APPLY FOR EMERGENCY FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE | Actors Fund

HOW TO APPLY FOR EMERGENCY FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE

The Actors Fund helps everyone working in performing arts and entertainment—whether it is on stage, on camera or behind the scenes—throughout theater, film, television, music and dance. Our emergency financial assistance program provides temporary financial assistance to those with documented financial need due to unforeseen circumstances.

This assistance can help towards the cost of immediate basic living expenses such as housing, food, utility bills or health care.

Once we receive your application, a social services team member will get in touch with you to assess eligibility, discuss your particular situation and financial need, help develop a plan of action, and if helpful, connect you to community resources.

Please know that we are experiencing an extremely high volume of requests and ask for your patience during this time. It is taking approximately two weeks to process an application.

For information on unemployment resources, visit our COVID-19 Unemployment Resources page.

THREE STEPS TO APPLY

1. CONFIRM YOUR FINANCIAL NEED

Emergency financial assistance is available for people who are unable to pay their immediate basic living expenses (housing, food, utility bills or health care).

2. REVIEW YOUR ELIGIBILITY

The Actors Fund manages the disbursement of several funds. Please read the requirements below for all unions, guilds and/or employers that apply to you. Union and non-union workers may apply directly to The Actors Fund. 

3. PREPARE YOUR DOCUMENTATION

Before you start to fill out the online application, please collect and digitize all of the required documentation.

The Actors Fund

Eligibility and documentation:

Eligibility for financial assistance varies by program. Overall eligibility for financial assistance is based on:

  • A minimum of 3 years of industry earnings of at least $6,500 for 3 out of the most recent 7 years
  • A minimum of 20 years of industry paid employment with at least 10 years of industry earnings of $5,000
  • Dancers, comedians and comedy professions must document at least $2000 for 3 out of the most recent 7 years

Required documentation:

  • Three years of earnings over the past seven years. Accepted forms of earnings documentation include: Union Pension and Health statements, W-2 or 1099 forms. Do not include income tax forms without W-2's.
  • Most recent checking and savings bank statement, including name, address and balance totals.
  • Current lease, rent or mortgage statement. If none of these are available, another household bill with your name and address.
American Guild of Musical Artists Relief Fund

Eligibility and documentation:

  • You must be a paid-up member to be eligible. Current membership card or confirmation by union including end date.
  • Most recent checking and savings bank statement, including name, address and balance totals.
  • Current lease, rent or mortgage statement. If none of these are available, another household bill with your name and address.
  • To determine your eligibility for additional funding through The Actors Fund, please include five years (2015-2019) entertainment industry earnings. Accepted forms of earnings documentation include: Union Pension and Health statements, W-2 or 1099 forms. To be eligible for The Actors Fund, you must have entertainment industry earnings over $6,500 for three out of the last five years. Income from teaching does not qualify.
Hollywood Support Staff Relief Fund (HSSRF)

Eligibility and documentation:

  • Letter or email from last industry supervisor in Southern California, including name of applicant, job title and end date of employment. (See pdf below for a list of HSSRF approved position titles).
  • Most recent checking and savings bank statement, including name, address and balance totals.
  • Current lease, rent or mortgage statement. If none of these are available, another household bill with your name and address.
  • To determine your eligibility for additional funding through The Actors Fund, please include five years (2015-2019) entertainment industry earnings. Accepted forms of earnings documentation include: Union Pension and Health statements, W-2 or 1099 forms. To be eligible for The Actors Fund, you must have entertainment industry earnings over $6,500 for three out of the last five years.

 (See list of HSSRF approved position titles).

IATSE, All Locals

Eligibility and documentation:

  • You must be a paid-up member to be eligible. Current membership card or confirmation by union including end date.
  • Documentation of a minimum of $6,500 in earnings for three out of the last five years. Accepted forms of earnings documentation include: Union Pension and Health statements, contracts, W-2 or 1099 forms.
  • Most recent checking and savings bank statement, including name, address and balance totals.
  • Current lease, rent or mortgage statement. If none of these are available, another household bill with your name and address.
IATSE Local-52 Fund

Eligibility and documentation:

IATSE Local-52 members who are paid up are eligible for a one-time grant up to $1,000 from the IATSE Local-52 Emergency Assistance Fund.

Documentation required:

  • Current membership card or confirmation by union including end date.
  • Demonstrated financial need as shown by a current checking and savings bank statement (including name, address and balance totals).
  • Current lease, rent or mortgage statement or other household bills (including name and address).

IATSE Local-52 membership applicants with over $78,000 in annual earnings in Local 52’s jurisdiction in 2018 and 2019 are eligible for a one-time grant of up to $1,000 from The Actors Fund.

Documentation Required:

  • Membership applicants eligibility will be verified by The Actor’s Fund directly with Local 52.
  • Accepted forms of earnings documentation include: Pension and Health statements, W-2 or 1099 forms. Please do not submit tax returns without W2 forms.
  • Demonstrated financial need as shown by a current checking and savings bank statement (including name, address and balance totals)
  • Current lease, rent or mortgage statement or other household bills (including name and address).

To determine eligibility for additional funds, please see The Actors Fund eligibility section.

IATSE Local 600 Hardship Fund

Eligibility and documentation:

  • You must be a paid-up member to be eligible. Current membership card or confirmation by union including end date.
  • Most recent checking and savings bank statement, including name, address and balance totals.
  • Current lease, rent or mortgage statement. If none of these are available, another household bill with your name and address.
  • To determine your eligibility for additional funding through The Actors Fund, please include five years (2015-2019) entertainment industry earnings. Accepted forms of earnings documentation include: Union Pension and Health statements, W-2 or 1099 forms. To be eligible for The Actors Fund, you must have entertainment industry earnings over $6,500 for three out of the last five years.
IATSE Local 798

Eligibility and documentation:

  • You must be a paid-up member to be eligible. Current membership card or confirmation by union including end date. To request verification, send an email to: iatse798@local798.net. Please include your name, email address and phone number.
  • Most recent checking and savings bank statement, including name, address and balance totals.
  • Current lease, rent or mortgage statement. If none of these are available, another household bill with your name and address.
  • To determine your eligibility for additional funding through The Actors Fund, please include five years (2015-2019) entertainment industry earnings. Accepted forms of earnings documentation include: Union Pension and Health statements, W-2 or 1099 forms. To be eligible for The Actors Fund, you must have entertainment industry earnings over $6,500 for three out of the last five years.
Jujamcyn Theatre Assistance Fund

Eligibility and documentation:

  • You must be a regular or substitute employee in good standing who has worked in at least six weeks in the first twelve weeks of 2020
  • Most recent checking and savings bank statement, including name, address and balance totals.
  • Current lease, rent or mortgage statement. If none of these are available, another household bill with your name and address.
  • To determine your eligibility for additional funding through The Actors Fund, please include five years (2015-2019) entertainment industry earnings. Accepted forms of earnings documentation include: Union Pension and Health statements, W-2 or 1099 forms. To be eligible for additional funding through The Actors Fund, you must have entertainment industry earnings over $6,500 for three out of the last five years.
Places Please Project

The Places Please Project offers financial assistance to NYC theater workers who left New York during the pandemic and now need to return so they can go back to work. Priority will be given to those who can provide theater employment contracts. 

Eligibility and documentation:

  • You must be a NYC theater worker who left New York during COVID and is now returning to NYC for theater-related employment.
  • You must be willing to review your housing plan with an assigned Actors Fund staff person.
  • Provide documentation of upcoming theater employment such as contracts or offer letters, if applicable.
  • Document theater-related earnings of over $6,500 for three out of the last five years. Accepted forms of earnings documentation include Union Pension and Health statements, W-2 or 1099 forms. Do not include income tax forms without W-2s.  Income from teaching does not qualify.
  • Most recent checking and savings bank statement, including name, address and balance totals.
  • Proof of current housing outside of New York, such as current bill that includes name and location, or a letter from landlord.
  • Documents of one year of NYC rent payments for 2019 or 2020 and/or copy of lease termination.
  • To determine your eligibility for additional funding through The Actors Fund, please include five years (2015-2019) of entertainment industry earnings. Accepted forms of earnings documentation include Union Pension and Health statements, W-2 or 1099 forms. To be eligible for Actors Fund financial assistance, you must have entertainment industry earnings over $6,500 for three out of the last five years. Income from teaching does not qualify.
Producers Guild of America Members Relief Fund

Eligibility and documentation:

  • PGA members must confirm eligibility by obtaining a membership verification letter from the Guild verifying membership ID number before completing the application. Please send your request to: info@producersguild.org.
  • Most recent checking and savings bank statement, including name, address and balance totals.
  • Current lease, rent or mortgage statement. If none of these are available, another household bill with your name and address.
  • To determine your eligibility for additional funding through The Actors Fund, please include five years (2015-2019) entertainment industry earnings. Accepted forms of earnings documentation include: Union Pension and Health statements, W-2 or 1099 forms. To be eligible for The Actors Fund, you must have entertainment industry earnings over $6,500 for three out of the last five years.
SAG-AFTRA Foundation COVID-19 Relief Fund

The SAG–AFTRA Foundation is now managing all applications for financial assistance for the SAG-AFTRA Foundation, Motion Picture Players Welfare Fund and the Betty Mitchell Fund. To apply for assistance go to: https://sagaftra.foundation/assistance/disasterrelief/

You may also be eligible for assistance through the Actors Fund. Please review our guidelines under the Actors Fund tab for application information.

Tips On Making Your Applications Process Easier

Pepare all documents prior to filling out the online application. Applicants will be required to upload all documents at the end of the online application.

If any documents are not already available electronically, here are some suggested steps to create a digital file.

  1. Search the app store for Evernote Scannable and download it to your phone. This is a free app. There are other similar apps that are available to create electronic files. Please use what works for you.
  2. Open the app and scan documents to create PDF files.
  3. You will need to create PDF files for each of these categories:
    1. 1 file including five years (2015-2019) entertainment industry earnings.
    2. 1 file for last month’s bank statement.
    3. 1 file for current lease, rent, mortgage or maintenance statement. If none of these are not available, provide a government issued identification.
    4. 1 file for union card(s) or proof of membership status, if applicable.

Please know that we are experiencing an extremely high volume of requests and ask for your patience during this time. It is taking approximately two weeks to process an application.

Please know that we are experiencing an extremely high volume of requests and ask for your patience during this time. It is taking approximately two weeks to process an application.