Q: I’m not sure I am eligible for this?
A: The Shepherd’s Fund is for any retired clergy, spouse, surviving spouse or legally dependent child or grandchild of a retiree, in a conference, denomination or organization with which we have established a partnership. Our goal is simply to be a blessing to a minister who has faithfully served and sacrificed for Christ.
Q: Is this for emergencies only?
A. No. While we certainly want to assist in emergency situations, we also want to relieve financial burdens that may be on-going.
Q: Do I have to have a “Major” health crisis?
A. No. Most persons will not have “major” health crises – they may have basic health issues and accumulate medical bills, and the expense will weight them down. The Shepherd’s Fund wants to help you bear these burdens (Galatians 6:2).
Q: On the application - What do you mean by “Total Expected Medical Expense”?
A: Considering all your medical expenses; how much do you “expect” they may total over
the next 12 months.
Q: What do you mean by “Expenses Requested for the next 12 months”?
A: 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: 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.
Q: Will The Shepherd’s Fund pay for Health Insurance premiums such as Medicare Supplements, Drug Insurance, Dental Insurance, 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: What are examples of situations that constitute a need?
A: Health issues such as, cardiac issues, stroke, COPD, dementia, orthopedic, dental, diabetes are just a few examples.
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. Mortgage payments, rent, utilities may also be covered. 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 the 3 - 4 months prior to the date we receive an application.
Q: I’m a surviving spouse of a retired clergy-person, 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 clergy-person on disability. Am I eligible?
A: Yes, clergy-persons on disability may apply for a gift from The Shepherd’s Fund.
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 have the ability to accept donations. We may make this available in the future.
Q: What documentation should I include with my application?
A: Please do not include any information with the application. The organization that administers the fund will request appropriate information when they contact you after the application has been submitted.
Q: I expect to have surgery next year. Can I apply for assistance prior to my surgery?
A: An application may be made prior to a surgery but payments will not be made until after the surgery takes place.
Q: How often can I apply? Once per calendar year? Every 12 months?
A: We request that applications for recurring healthcare expenses be submitted once every 12 months.
Q: This is personal information. Who is going to know about it?
A: Only the organization that administers The Shepherd’s Fund. We understand the importance of protecting your privacy. We do not ask for your date of birth, Social Security Number or private health information on the application. The organization that administers the fund will gather appropriate information, as needed when they contact you after an application is submitted.
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.
Q: Who can I contact, if I have a question?
A: Please contact your conference benefits office, denominational leader or alumni director.