Financial Assistance

OVERCOME FINANCIAL HARDSHIP

Hope begins with help. If you are struggling financially we may be able to help. We provide need-based grants to help eligible Abbott families who are struggling to afford their basic needs.

If you are in financial hardship and can’t meet your financial obligations, please consider contacting us.

Our caring professionals will review your financial situation and may recommend a short-term financial grant. While not everyone who applies will qualify for a grant, everyone who participates in the assessment process will receive actionable recommendations to address their financial concerns.

Please review the following before applying for financial assistance.

Our goal is to provide hope and help to eligible Abbott employees and retirees facing financial hardship. If you are struggling to afford your basic living needs, we encourage you to apply for assistance. Before you apply, consider the following:

  1. Are you eligible for Foundation services?

    In order to be eligible to receive a financial grant, one of the following criteria must be met:
    • You must be a current Abbott employee with at least two years of continuous Abbott service (or two years from date of Abbott acquisition).
      • Eligible family members include immediate family members of an eligible employee or eligible former employee (see below):
        • Spouse
        • Dependent children living inside or outside the eligible client’s household
          • Age 19 or younger
          • Age 24 or younger, if a full-time student
          • Regardless of student status, up to any age when the dependent child has a life-threatening or severely disabling illness

    Or

    • You must be a former Abbott employee who, at the time of separation from Abbott, met one of the following criteria. These employees have lifetime eligibility for Foundation services.
      • Between 50-60 years of age, with a minimum of 10 years of continuous Abbott service
      • 61 years of age with nine years of continuous Abbott service
      • 62 years of age with eight years of continuous Abbott service
      • 63 years of age with seven years of continuous Abbott service
      • 64 years of age with six years of continuous Abbott service
      • 65+ years of age with five years of continuous Abbott service

    Or

    • A spouse of deceased employee or eligible former employee
    • A dependent child of deceased employee through age 24 for full-time students, age 19 otherwise; children with special needs will not lose eligibility based on age
    • An employee who is under a disability program (sponsored by Abbott)

    Note: Contractors are not eligible for Foundation services

    The Clara Abbott Foundation is an independent not-for-profit organization. Eligibility for assistance from The Clara Abbott Foundation is determined pursuant to The Clara Abbott Foundation’s policies and is independent from eligibility for employee benefits provided by Abbott Laboratories. Standards for eligibility and available assistance are subject to change at The Clara Abbott Foundation’s sole discretion and without advance notice.

  2. Are you in financial hardship?

    Financial hardship is any situation that threatens your ability to afford basic living needs such as food, clothing or shelter. Hardship can occur when:

    • Your eligible expenses exceed your household income
    • You have excessive debt and/or increasing debt and are only able to afford minimum payments
    • You are behind in monthly payments such as rent, mortgage, utilities, etc.,
    • You have limited or no access to other resources
    • You are borrowing from family and friends to make ends meet
  3. Are you willing to fully participate in the Foundation’s assessment process at this time?

    • You will be asked to participate in a full financial assessment that includes a financial consultation and a review of various documentation. Throughout the process, we rely on an honest and transparent exchange of information, so we have an accurate and realistic picture of your situation.
    • Your financial consultant will request specific documentation, depending on your situation, that substantiates:
      • Your request (documents may include rent, medical bills, etc.)
      • Financial hardship (documents may include family income, major expenses, savings, other assets, etc.)
    • You will be asked to certify, with the consequences outlined in Abbott Business Code of Conduct, that all the information you provide is truthful. If you have any questions about the process, or requested documentation, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
    • The process takes about 4-6 weeks.
  4. Are you requesting support for an expense we can help with?

    We may be able to help with expenses such as:
    • Medical and dental
    • Mortgage and rent
    • Essential home repairs
    • Essential utilities (such as water, electricity)
    • Transportation expenses (including vehicle repairs)
    • Expenses related to special needs
    • Property taxes
    • Other short-term expenses
    The Foundation does NOT help with expenses such as:
    • Expenses related to extended family members such as parents or siblings
    • Reimbursement of any payment or purchase unless hardship is determined
    • Vacations
    • Non-essential repairs or improvements
    • Non-essential utilities (internet, cable, etc.)
    • Optional/elective medical or dental treatments
    • Long-term financial solutions
    • New home construction

What to expect when you apply

What to Expect When Applying for Financial Assistance

To complete an application, click on the link below to access our secure portal. Once there you will create an account and password to get started. If you already have an account, simply enter your username and password to begin. If you forgot your password, please click on the “forgot password” link and an email will be sent to you with instructions for resetting your password

Some tips to consider:

  • Be sure to provide an email address and phone number that you access frequently as our consultants will use this information to communicate with you throughout the process
  • While not required, we recommend you use your Abbott email address on your application. For your security, you will be asked to verify your identity through your Abbott email address or Workday phone number
  • You will be required to upload income documents for yourself and household members. If easier, you can take a picture of these documents with your cell phone and then upload into the system. If you have any questions, please email askclara@abbott.com
  • Before submitting your application you will need to certify, with the consequences outlined in Abbott Business Code of Conduct, that all the information you provide is truthful.

This process relies on an honest and transparent exchange of information so we have an accurate and realistic picture of your situation. If at anytime you can’t provide the required document(s) or have any questions about the application, please don’t hesitate to contact us as askclara@abbott.com.

Once you submit your application a Foundation consultant will contact you within three days to share more information about the financial assessment process.

What to Expect After Applying for Financial Assistance

Preparing for your Consultation

After you submit your application, your consultant will contact you to schedule time to discuss your situation. He/she will be your point of contact throughout the process and will work on your behalf to help you through your difficult financial situation. Together, you and your consultant will review your application and information, and develop an action plan to address your situation.

During the process, we will require documentation to substantiate your request and determine if you are in financial hardship. This process relies on an honest and transparent exchange of information so we have an accurate and realistic picture of your situation. If at anytime you can’t provide the required document(s) or can’t substantiate your information, please inform your consultant.

The process takes between 4-6 weeks.

Example of documents that may be needed to verify your request

Type of Assistance Requested*

Documentation**

Rent / Mortgage

  • Rent/mortgage agreement
  • Rent/mortgage statement (property address, balance, monthly payment, and any arrears)
  • Documentation showing completed monthly payments

Housing Repairs

  • Legal Proof of ownership
  • Estimates of home repairs (two minimum)
  • Insurance, property taxes and additional fees

Transportation

  • Proof of ownership
  • Billing statement including vehicle payment
  • Statement/document showing monthly payments
  • Receipts for travel costs

Vehicle Repairs

  • Proof of ownership
  • Accident report
  • Estimate of essential vehicle repairs
  • Bank statement showing monthly payments
  • Insurance
  • Documentation showing year, make, and mileage

Utilities

  • Gas/Water/Electric/Cable/Internet/Phone bills, including any arrears

Funeral (assistance available only for costs relating to death of Abbott employee, eligible retiree or eligible dependent)

  • Death certificate
  • Funeral estimate/invoice/receipts

Medical

  • Medical invoice/receipts
  • Insurance coverage
  • Medical report

Legal Fees, including child support, child custody, bankruptcy.

  • Estimates from attorney

*Available only for Abbott employee or eligible dependents (spouse/child). Extended family (such as parents/siblings) are NOT eligible for support

**Must be legible, current, and contain your information including name, address and phone number, if applicable.

Frequently Asked Questions

Please select your language from the drop down menu in the  upper right corner of the page.

What does The Foundation do?
  • The Foundation helps Abbott employees and retirees around the world facing difficult financial situations.
  • We provide need-based financial assistance grants and university-level scholarships to Abbott families.
  • Need-based financial assistance grants may be  provided to Abbott families struggling to meet their monthly financial obligations and/or pay their bills.
  • Need-based scholarships may be  provided to to dependents of Abbott employees, ages 17-24, to help ease the burden of college expenses.  Scholarship Program FAQs
  • Stories of lives we’ve impacted and ways we’ve helped Abbott families around the world
What is the most important thing you want us to know about The Foundation?
  • You don’t have to face a difficult financial situation alone. We are here to help. We encourage anyone struggling financially to reach out to us.
  • To be considered for a grant, employees must participate in a financial assessment process and substantiate their financial situation.
  • The Foundation is very unique in that it exists solely for Abbott families. While we share a close connection to Abbott, and exist solely for Abbott families, we are not funded or managed by Abbott. The Foundation is not a benefit, nor an entitlement.
Is every employee eligible for The Foundation?
  • Not every employee is eligible for our services. To be eligible you need to be a current, regular/permanent employee (full-or part-time) with at least two years of continuous Abbott service – or two years from an acquisition date. Contractors, temporary workers, etc. are not eligible for our services.
  • Retirees/former employees who had at least 10 years of continuous Abbott service, and were at least 50 years old on their last day of employment may retain lifetime eligibility for Foundation services.
  • For complete eligibility information, visit the Financial Assistance or Scholarship Eligibility sections on our website.
How bad does my financial situation have to be before I could get financial assistance?
  • We look at every situation on an individual basis.
  • We encourage anyone facing financial hardship to contact us so we can review their situation and determine how we may be able to assist.
  • As part of the review process, we look at your entire financial picture. Factors such as income, savings and assets will help determine whether or not you receive a grant.
  • During the process, our consultants will also help evaluate your situation and recommend changes to help you meet your financial goals.
How do I apply for financial assistance?
  • You an apply online by clicking here.
How do you define “need,” or financial hardship?
  • The Foundation’s definition of financial hardship is any situation that threatens the family’s ability to provide basic living needs such as food, clothing or shelter.
  • Also, our assistance is meant to address a short-term need. Most of the assistance we provide is driven by an extraordinary circumstance that created a difficult financial situation for the family.
  • Example: One family was unable to pay their medical bills remaining after insurance. We provided short-term assistance to help bridge them to a better financial state.
  • Example: an employee’s husband unexpectedly lost his job and they could no longer meet their monthly financial obligations. We helped pay their rent and utilities for two months until they could reassess their new financial situation and make changes to meet their monthly obligations.
What documents will I need to prove my financial situation?
  • The Foundation must substantiate your financial situation to determine if you qualify for a grant. During the assessment process, your financial consultant will request documentation that substantiates:
    • your request (rent, medical bills, etc)
    • financial hardship (family income, savings, other assets, etc)
  • The process relies on an honest and transparent exchange of information so we have an accurate and realistic picture of your situation. If at anytime you can’t provide a required document, or can’t substantiate your information, please inform your consultant.
Is there a certain income range that precludes me from receiving financial assistance?
  • Not necessarily. Sometimes special situations such as a death of a family member, natural disaster, personal disaster such as a fire or flood, or a special needs child can severely impact a person’s financial situation.
  • Income is an important factor in the evaluation, but doesn’t necessarily preclude you from receiving assistance. We look at the whole financial picture.
How many times can I come to the Foundation for help?
  • The Foundation recognizes that life can change in an instant. A natural disaster or an illness may completely devastate your financial situation.
  • Therefore, we don’t put a limit on the number of times you can come to The Foundation for assistance. However, those who reapply soon after participating in a full financial evaluation will typically not be considered for a grant unless their financial situation has significantly changed or the event is catastrophic.
  • Our assistance is not meant to be long-term, and we will not provide grants to sustain an unaffordable situation.
How long does it take to get an answer after you apply for financial assistance?
  • It usually takes four to six weeks to get an answer if an employee submits all requested information to The Foundation. If an employee delays providing the requested information, it may take longer. In an emergency such as a natural disaster, utility disconnection or eviction, help may be provided more urgently.
Can The Foundation help me pay my mortgage?
  • Possibly, however Foundation assistance is short-term only. We may help with your mortgage if you’re facing a specific situation where it makes it difficult to afford your mortgage for a few months; however, we will not pay a mortgage every month on a home that you can’t afford over the long term.
Will The Foundation look at my financial situation and help me figure out where I can make changes?
  • Even if you don’t qualify for a financial grant, our consultants will look at your financial situation and give you recommendations to reduce your spending, or help you develop a strategy for a more solid financial future.
Who was Clara Abbott?
  • Clara Abbott was the wife of Abbott’s founder who deeply cared about the employees of her husband’s company.
  • Before she died she put a provision in her will to establish a “charity” to help Abbott employees. Today this charity is known as The Clara Abbott Foundation.
  • Her gift has helped thousands of Abbott employees since 1940; and continues to help thousands each year.
Who should I contact for Foundation information in other languages?
  • Our consultants speak a variety of languages, including Spanish and Russian, and many local consultants are available throughout the world to help with translation.
  • Our website is also available in several languages, and/or you can email The Foundation and we will facilitate translation.
Where does The Foundation get its money?
  • The Foundation is funded from the portfolio established with Clara Abbott’s original gift of 12,000 shares of Abbott stock.
What is the significance of the bridge?
  • Clara’s gift connects us all. That connection has been represented with a bridge for more than two decades.
  • The bridge also symbolizes how our services can connect people to a better, more financially stable future.
  • And a bridge, in general, symbolizes hope and promise for something different…something better on the other side.

Ready to begin?

We’re here to help, and we also understand that asking for help can be difficult.
Please don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions.

Apply Now

We’re ready to help

For Abbott employees, retirees, and their families, The Clara Abbott Foundation is here to provide compassionate, confidential support in times of need.

In order to provide financial assistance or scholarships, we need to fully understand your situation. Therefore, personal information and various documentation will be requested and required throughout the process. In some cases, we will verify information with HR or Abbott.

Financial Assistance College Scholarships

Have you been impacted by a disaster?

Please contact us at +1-847-937-1090 or 1-800-972-3859 or email us at AskClara@abbott.com.

Before applying, we ask that you consider three things:
  1. Review the eligibility requirements:
  2. Be prepared to be open, honest, and forthcoming about your specific needs and situation throughout the process.
  3. Any misrepresentation of a situation, including fraud, deceit, or concealment with regard to information on an application or obtained during the consultation process will have consequences as defined by the Abbott Business Code of Conduct.