Postal Employees’ Relief Fund (PERF)
Taking care of our postal family
Sometimes letter carriers are a beacon of hope to people brought to their knees by a natural disaster, bringing vital supplies or documents—and a reminder that life will be normal again—to customers hit by a storm, flood or fire.
But postal workers can also be victims.
To look out for our postal family, the NALC supports the Postal Employees’ Relief Fund (PERF).
Since 1990, PERF has been there to help carriers, clerks and other active and retired postal workers rebuild after hurricanes, typhoons, earthquakes, floods, tornadoes and wildfires.
Initially created to assist postal employees affected by Hurricane Hugo and the San Francisco Bay-area earthquake, the fund has gone on to provide thousands grants totaling millions of dollars since it began.
PERF will continue to be there for postal workers with simple structure for determining eligibility and grant amounts.
In 2013, the PERF executive committee adopted this structure to speed and simplify the aid process and assure that every postal worker in need of PERF assistance would have access to its help as big disasters put increasing demands on its resources.
Applicants do not need to wait until after they receive insurance settlements or other emergency relief to apply for help from PERF, though they still must provide documentation of the loss.
The application must come to PERF no later than 120 days after the disaster, except under extenuating circumstances.
To qualify for assistance, the applicant’s home must have been destroyed or damaged to the point of being uninhabitable for a long period (an estimated 90 days or more).
Homeowners whose residences are destroyed are eligible for a grant of $3,000; homeowners or renters displaced by severe damage, but who will eventually return to their old homes, can receive $2,000.
Non-career and retired employees in either situation are eligible for half these amounts.
In addition to floods or storms, loss of a home in a fire is included, but only when caused by a natural disaster—for instance, a home lost to lightning or wildfire could qualify; a fire caused by an electrical short or stray cigarette would not.
These changes apply to natural disasters occurring on or after Oct. 29, 2012, which includes Hurricane Sandy.
“The PERF Executive Committee went through a tough process to make these changes,” said NALC President Fredric Rolando, who is one of the grantors for PERF. “The process now reflects a new reality—more and more postal employees are affected by natural disasters, and it’s becoming harder to keep up with their needs. That makes your donation at this critical time even more important.”
You can mail a check to PERF at P.O. Box 7630, Woodbridge, VA 22195, or donate by credit card online at its website.
You also can give to PERF through the Combined Federal Campaign (CFC); the CFC number for PERF is 10268. Contributions to PERF are tax-deductible for federal income tax purposes.
If you need help from PERF, visit its website, postalrelief.com, for eligibility and application information, call 202-408-1869 or send an e-mail to email@example.com.