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Learner Emergency Assistance Fund

LEAF is an employer-sponsored charitable emergency fund launched by Chancellor Collins in 2019 to serve as a source of financial relief for UMass Chan Medical School learners who have encountered hardship from sudden, unexpected, time-limited expenses that could jeopardize the ability of the learner to persist in their training and education on our campus. The term learners, and the intended recipients of this funding, includes students from the three schools who are enrolled full-time in degree granting programs and residents/fellows in UMass Chan GME training programs. 

Chronic, ongoing financial challenges are not addressed by these emergency funds. Emergency is defined as an unforeseen combination of circumstances that calls for immediate action that could endanger that learner from continuing their studies after exhausting other means. Consultation with the Office of Financial Aid is recommended for students with chronic, ongoing financial challenges. Additionally, each student receiving emergency funds should seek consultation with the Office of Financial Aid to ensure that there are no other institutional sources of aid that are available to the student.

Tax Implications of LEAF Funding

It is the learner’s responsibility to consult with their tax advisor regarding the personal tax implications of receiving LEAF funding. Residents, fellows and post-doctoral scholars will receive funds through payroll, and these funds will be taxed at the time of disbursement. Students will receive funds through a check and will not be taxed at the time of disbursement; they must work with their tax advisor to determine whether the funds are taxable. A standard letter of information will be provided to learners at the time of disbursement.

An independent selection committee will be rapidly convened to evaluate the request and provide a response. The committee will process each request within 72 hours of receipt.  The Committee is chaired by the Assistant Vice Provost for Wellness and Health Promotion, along with at least one representative each from the Medical School, the Morningside Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, the Tan Chingfen Graduate School of Nursing and the Assistant Vice Provost for Student Life.

Maximum Funding Request:
Except in highly unusual circumstances, which would require approval by the Provost, funding is limited to a maximum of $8,000/request. 

Apply for the Learner Emergency Assistance Fund:
To apply for LEAF assistance, complete the online request form.  Once completed, you will be contacted by the Chair of the committee for a personal interview.  Upon completion of the interview, your request will be reviewed by the committee. The LEAF program is a charitable emergency relief program, created by the University of Massachusetts Chan Medical School in support of its learners. Funds provided through this emergency program are:
(1) made for charitable purposes, and
(2) not to result in taxable compensation to the learners, some of whom are employees (specifically, residents in GME training programs)


Please note- as of 7/1/24 LEAF support will be handled in a quarterly model. This will ensure that there will be reimbursements throughout the Academic year. 

The guidelines the LEAF committee uses when determining whether to approve a LEAF application are as follows: 

  1. The application meets the definition of an emergency. Emergency is defined as an unforeseen combination of circumstances that calls for immediate action that could endanger that learner from continuing their studies after exhausting other means.   
  2. Learner must be in good academic standing (if applicable).
  3. After receiving the application, the LEAF committee chair will do an intake interview.
  4. After confirming the learner’s academic standing, the LEAF committee chair will prepare a summary for the LEAF committee to consider.
  5. The LEAF committee may ask the learner to speak to an OFA specialist if the request is not LEAF applicable, if there is evidence of chaotic financial management, or if other support might be available. 
  6. The LEAF committee does its best to provide support to learners. The LEAF committee has helped to support spousal illness or childcare issues.
  7. A student can ask for up to $8,000 per year or a $30,000 max for the entirety of their academic experience.
  8. If a student request is for money for stolen items, they need to file a report with the police and they need to provide a copy of the report to the committee.
  9. Expected license or board exam fees or preparatory courses will not be reimbursed.
  10. Veterinary care will not be reimbursed.
  11. A learner may be asked to speak with Student Counseling Services if they are maximally stressed and provide the LEAF committee with a 6 month follow up if funds are dispensed.
  12. Emergent bereavement costs may be supported, but health care for parents, grandparents, or siblings will not be supported.
  13. Support through IT for problems with laptops will be given via a $800 stipend after their laptop is examined by IT.
  14. Automotive issues will be supported on a case-by-case basis for a maximum of $4,000.
  15. A learner on a medical leave of absence can receive support, but a learner on an academic leave of absence cannot receive support.
  16. A learner will not receive LEAF support if they are within 60 days of departing UMass Chan.