Receiving assistance

The Assistance Program expresses our care for one another by helping active and retired members of the Benefits Plan of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and their families in need with financial assistance. In 2021, the Assistance Program gave out nearly 1,300 grants, and a total of more than $7 million in funds.

Eligibility

Eligibility requirements vary by type of assistance; see the individual pages below for details. Generally, assistance is available to employees, spouses, and surviving spouses participating in the Benefits Plan of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). Some assistance programs are designed specifically for ministers.

Assistance opportunities

All active members

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.  

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.

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.

Retirees

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.

 

    *Retirees also have access to Emergency Assistance grants.

Ministers in active service

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.

2021 assistance by the numbers

The Assistance Program is supported through generous donations, including one-half of the Christmas Joy Offering. Fully 100 percent of each gift received supports the program.

For more information

If you represent a mid council or employer and know of a PC(USA) minister, employee, or survivor with a financial need, or if you are a plan member and unsure if you are eligible for assistance, call the Board of Pensions at 800-773-7752 (800-PRESPLAN) to discuss how we might help.

Giving to the Assistance Program

If you don't need financial assistance and are able to help others who do, we welcome your gift.