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The Shepherds Fund Brochure (Pg. 1)


The Shepherds Fund Brochure (Pg. 2)

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: I’m not sure I am eligible for this?

A: The Shepherd’s Fund is for any retired clergy, spouse, surviving spouse, in a conference, denomination or organization with which we have established a partnership (If you have eligibility questions, please contact The Shepherd’s Fund office). Our goal is simply to be a blessing to a minister who has faithfully served and sacrificed for Christ.


Q: What are examples of situations that constitute a need?

A: Health issues such as hearing, vision, cardiac issues, stroke, COPD, dementia, orthopedic, dental, diabetes are just a few examples.


Q: Is this for emergencies only or “major” health crisis?

A: No.  While we certainly want to assist in emergency situations and most persons will not have “major” health crises – basic health issues and accumulative medical bills will weigh them down. The Shepherd’s Fund wants to help you bear these burdens (Galatians 6:2).


Q: What kind of expenses can be covered?

A: Depending on your situation; medical bills such as, doctors, hospitals, rehab, nursing homes, pharmacy, medical equipment. Co-Pays and Out of Pocket Expenses. Mortgage payments, rent, utilities, and transportation costs for travel for treatment may also be covered.


Q: Will The Shepherd’s Fund pay for past medical expenses?

A: Typically, no, but we may pay for expenses incurred within 90 days (per IRS regulations) prior to the date we receive an application.


Q: Will The Shepherd’s Fund pay for Health Insurance premiums?

            Medicare Supplements, Drug, Dental & Vision Insurance, etc.

A: While we understand this is a significant cost to retirees, we do not help pay for health insurances premiums. Our goal is to help relieve the burden when there is a medical need.


Q: The application asks for my “Benefits Leader”.  Who is that?

A: The conference benefits leader, denominational leader, or alumni personnel that The Shepherd’s Fund has an established a partnership for verification.


Q: On the application - What do you mean by “Total Expected Medical Expense” and “Expenses Requested for the next 12 months”?

A: Considering all your medical expenses; how much do you “expect” they may total over the next 12 months. Of your “expected” medical expenses, how much are you requesting from The Shepherd’s Fund. You may request any amount up to $10,000.


Q: Can my spouse and I apply together?

A: You can apply at the same time but you’ll each have a separate application and a separate effective “calendar” date for the individual application’s year. 

Q:  I’m a surviving spouse of a retired clergyperson, and I have remarried. Am I still eligible?

A: This would be decided on a case-by-case basis. Please contact your Conference benefits office, denominational leader, or alumni director.


Q: I am a clergyperson with a disability.  Am I eligible?

A: Yes, clergypersons on disability and within one year of retirement may apply for a gift.


Q: Can my adult disabled child apply?

A: No.  If you are your child’s guardian, you may apply for help in caring for them, but they are not eligible for a grant in their name.


Q: Are there tax implications if I receive a gift?

A:  No.  The Shepherd’s Fund has no employer relationship with the individuals being blessed.  Up to $10,000 can be given tax-free. Exceptions Apply.


Q: Do I have to be low income to apply?

A: No. The Shepherd’s Fund is not based on income level; only on your need for help at a time in your life when medical needs have created a hardship.


Q: What documentation should I include with my application?

A: Please do not include any sensitive personal information with the application. The organization, Helping Hands, that administers the fund will request appropriate information when they contact you after the application has been submitted.


Q: How often can I apply? Once per calendar year? Every 12 months?

A: Future priority will be given to first time applicants. We request that applications for recurring healthcare expenses be submitted once every 12 months.  If you apply on January 01, 2024, you can reapply on January 01, 2025.


Q: This is a wonderful idea! Can I contribute to The Shepherd’s Fund?

A: While we appreciate the desire to contribute to the fund and we do want to encourage generosity; we do not currently accept donations. We may make this available in the future.


Q: I have a friend who needs this help.  How do I get him/her signed up?

A: Please refer them to their conference benefits office, denominational leader, or alumni director. The Shepherd’s Fund must have an established a partnership with conference, denomination, or organization of the retiree.


Q: Who verifies that the retiree or spouse is in good standing?

A: The Shepherd’s Fund office will contact the conference benefits office, denominational leader, or alumni director.


Q: Who can I contact if I have a question? Or if a paper application is desired?

A: Please contact The Shepherds Fund office (706) 221-7262.


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