The General Board’s thoughts and prayers are with the individuals and families in the eastern United States who are affected by the recent Atlantic storm, Sandy. They are committed to providing immediate and compassionate assistance to participants. Hardship loans and hardship withdrawals from participants’ UMPIP accounts are available to eligible participants to assist with recovery efforts or disaster-related expenses.
Affected participants can contact the General Board at 1-800-851-2201 to arrange for either hardship loans or hardship withdrawals from their UMPIP accounts. Hardship loans also can be modeled and requested online at www.benefitsaccess.org. (Remember: Hardship withdrawalsare taxable, while hardship loans are non-taxable as long as they are repaid.) If you are a conference office representative with questions about assisting a participant with specific needs, contact Chris Fletcher at ext. 4211 or Debbie Reid at ext. 4576.
Optum, a behavioral health services company, is offering a free emotional-support help line 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 1-866-342-6892. Trained mental health specialists are available to help with stress and anxiety, provide referrals for community resources (e.g., financial and legal matters) and offer specific regional disaster relief information. These and other resources are available online at www.liveandworkwell.com. Although Optum is a HealthFlex partner, neither the annual conference nor participants have to be in HealthFlex to utilize the free services.