Pilots for Pilots: Relief Fund Guidelines

The ALPA Emergency Relief Fund (“Fund”) is a nonprofit corporation established to provide ALPA members and their dependents with grants and other financial assistance to help alleviate immediate hardships resulting from an unpredictable and unfortunate event.

The Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) has granted the Fund an exemption from U.S. federal income taxes under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code (“IRC”). Contributions to the Fund are tax deductible under Section 170 of the IRC. The Fund cannot accept contributions specifically earmarked for individuals or families. While the Fund will consider donor recommendations with regard to particular disasters, it will not accept contributions earmarked for particular disasters.

Help now available for financial hardship related to COVID-19

Charitable Class

The Fund is classified as a public charity by the IRS. To qualify as a charity under the U.S. federal income tax laws, the Fund must benefit a “large or indefinite class.” With the potential of serving the over 50,000 ALPA members and their dependents, the Fund serves a large class. ALPA members and their dependents are eligible to apply for assistance from the Fund. Member classifications that are eligible are: Active, Apprentice, Executive, Inactive, Retired, Honorary, Reactivated, and Deceased members.

The Fund also serves an indefinite class by stepping in to provide financial assistance only when an unpredictable and unfortunate event disrupts the lives of one or more of its class members. There is no way of knowing in advance who will actually benefit from the Fund.

Selection Criteria

Eligible disaster

The Fund’s bylaws state:
The general intent of the corporation is to make grants and/or loans to members of the Air Line Pilots Association and their dependents who suffer financial hardship as a result of natural or man-made disaster, such as a flood, earthquake, hurricane, tornado, landslide, fire, drought or civil disturbance.
The types of disasters the Fund may help relieve are not limited to those listed in the bylaws. The Fund may provide financial assistance to eligible victims of the following events:

  • a disaster which results from a terroristic or military action (defined in IRC Section 692(c)(2))
  • a presidentially declared disaster (defined in IRC Section 1033(h)(3))
  • a disaster which results from an accident involving a common carrier
  • a disaster from any other event determined by the treasury secretary to be of a catastrophic nature
  • a disaster that is determined by an applicable federal, state or local authority (as determined by the secretary) to warrant assistance from federal, state or local government or agency or instrumentality thereof.

Eligible victim

  • those temporarily in need of food or shelter when stranded or injured because of a declared disaster
  • those temporarily unable to be self-sufficient as a result of a sudden and severe personal or family crisis such as the loss or injury of a family member in a crash of a commercial aircraft
  • those in need of counseling because of trauma experienced as a result of a terrorist attack

Assistance Available

The amount of assistance provided depends upon the Fund’s resources and the number of victims selected for assistance. Up to $2,500 per ALPA member (for the member and his or her dependents as appropriate) may be granted, although the directors of the Fund may increase that amount, in their discretion, should they deem that circumstances warrant an increase.

The amount of assistance provided will be based on the objective financial and other immediate and objective needs of the disaster victims and will be in the nature of emergency assistance to pay for items or services that are not reimbursable through insurance. The assistance provided from the Fund is not intended to indemnify individuals against all loss or losses.

The Fund may assist victims by paying for reasonable expenses they have incurred or anticipate to incur as a result of a disaster, including, but not limited to:
  • food, shelter, clothing, safety items, and other immediate necessities
  • medical expenses not covered by insurance
  • temporary housing not covered by insurance
  • debris removal from primary residence not covered by insurance
  • repairs to primary residence not covered by insurance
  • relocation expenses
  • transportation or evacuation expenses
  • replacement of medical equipment, vehicles, or other personal property not covered by insurance
  • temporary child or elder care
  • travel expenses including airfare, meals, and lodging
  • counseling


No one will receive assistance from the Fund without applying for such assistance; however, the directors or their delegates may assist victims with an application by soliciting the necessary information from the victim and completing the application on the victim’s behalf.

Applications for relief should be submitted within 30 days from the date of the disaster, although the directors may consider applications filed after the 30-day period.

Upon receipt of the completed application, after declaration by the directors that an event has occurred that warrants relief pursuant to these guidelines, and after verification of the victim’s need, the ALPA Emergency Relief Fund will disburse the grant in the most direct and expeditious manner, taking into account the instructions of the victim involved.