SOCIAL SERVICES AND EMERGENCY FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE | Entertainment Community Fund

SOCIAL SERVICES AND EMERGENCY FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE

Our free and confidential social service programs address a wide array of challenges faced by people in performing arts and entertainment. Our professional social workers offer support, counseling and practical help. If you would like to speak with a social worker, please complete our application or contact an office nearest to you.

New York – Eastern Region
eastern@entertainmentcommunity.org
917.281.5919
Chicago – Central Region
central@entertainmentcommunity.org
312.372.0989
Los Angeles - Western Region
western@entertainmentcommunity.org
323-933-9244 ext. 455

HOW TO APPLY FOR EMERGENCY FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE

Our emergency financial assistance program provides temporary financial assistance to those with documented financial need due to unforeseen circumstances.

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.

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 be in touch within 2 to 3 business days to assess eligibility, discuss your particular situation and financial need, help develop a plan of action, and if helpful, connect you to community resources.

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). If you can cover your expenses for the next few months, we ask you wait to apply.

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 Entertainment Community Fund. 

3. PREPARE YOUR DOCUMENTATION

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

Entertainment Community 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:

  • Documentation of Industry Earnings: Accepted forms of earnings documentation include Union Pension and Health statements, W-2, 1099 forms, signed contracts or pay stubs.
  • Current checking, savings and investment statements, including name, address, transaction and balance totals.
  • Most recent federal income tax return—first two pages only (1040 form).
  • Bills for which you are seeking assistance including applicant name and address.
  • If applicable, documentation of your illness, injury or disability.
American Guild of Musical Artists Relief Fund

Eligibility and documentation:

  • Current members in good standing or on honorary withdrawal. Confirmation of current membership including start and end date. Email membership@musicalartists.org and put ‘Proof of Membership in subject line for confirmation letter.
  • Most recent checking and savings bank statement, including name, address, transactions and balance totals.
  • Bills for which you are seeking assistance including applicant name and address.
  • If applicable, documentation of your illness, injury or disability.
  • To determine your eligibility for an additional grant through the Entertainment Community Fund, please see criteria listed under the Entertainment Community Fund.
IATSE Local 600 Hardship Fund

Eligibility and documentation:

  • A member must experience a verifiable financial hardship and experience either:
    • an extreme catastrophic injury or illness which prevents that member from performing covered work for at least 6 months.
    • A severe workplace injury while engaging in Local 600 covered work which prevents that member from performing covered work.
    • A manmade or natural disaster which prevents that member from performing covered work.
  • Have at least $25,000 of covered earnings over the previous five (5) years.
  • A member in good standing for at least two continuous years at the onset of the qualifying illness. Verification of membership status must be included in application. Request letter by emailing Accounting@ICG600.org. Please include your name, email, address, and phone number.
  • Most recent checking and savings bank statement, including name, address, transactions and balance totals.
  • Bills for which assistance is requested including applicant name and address.
  • Most recent federal income tax return - first two pages only (1040)
  • Documents that confirm injury or illness such as physicians note or workers compensation application, if applicable.
  • Documents that confirm FEMA certifications for disaster related applications.
  • To determine eligibility for an additional grant through the Entertainment Community Fund, please see criteria listed under the Entertainment Community Fund.
IATSE Local 798

Eligibility and documentation:

  • Member in good standing for a minimum of 2 years. 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 complete checking and savings bank statement, including name, address and balance totals.
  • Bills for which assistance is requested including applicant name and address.
  • To determine eligibility for an additional grant through the Entertainment Community Fund, please see criteria listed under the Entertainment Community Fund.
Jujamcyn Theatre Assistance Fund

Eligibility and documentation:

  • A regular team member in good standing for 6 months (this can be non-consecutive) within the last 12 months. OR
  • A substitute team member is eligible if you have worked part-time or full-time in good standing within each of the last 12 months.
  • Current complete checking, savings and investment statements, including name, address and balance totals.
  • Bills for which you are seeking assistance including applicant name and address.
  • If applicable, documentation of your illness, injury or disability.
  • To determine eligibility for an additional grant through the Entertainment Community Fund, please see criteria listed under the Entertainment Community Fund.
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 Entertainment Community 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 Entertainment Community 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 Entertainment Community 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.
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.

Questions? Contact an office nearest to you:

New York – Eastern Region
IntakeNY@actorsfund.org
917.281.5919

Chicago – Central Region
IntakeChicago@actorsfund.org
312.372.0989

Los Angeles - Western Region
IntakeLA@actorsfund.org
323.330.2455