Financial Aid Guidelines

Financial Aid Guidelines

Please review the Financial Aid Policy of the MCK Social Services Committee to understand how financial aid is distributed by the MCK Social Services Committee. You can also fill out the Application for Financial Aid. Guidelines on how to apply / forms are also available in the MCK lobby.

We understand that people in financial need cannot wait long during times of need, the committee works to process applications as soon as it possibly can. However, applicants should allow 3-7 days from the date a complete application along with required support documentation has been received for the committee to review and make a final decision and disburse the funds.

Zakat and Sadaqah Services

Our Financial Aid Services Program provides financial assistance to those in need through an application process. A copy of our application policies and procedures are posted here for review. We offer zakat funds to members of the Muslim Community of Knoxville and sadaqa funds to the general Knoxville community. We also provide zakat ul fitr to community members during Eid ul Fitr. 

The MCK Social Services Committee is committed to helping those in need of financial assistance. The financial aid services program is funded through the zakat money. The zakat money is given to the Muslim Community of Knoxville by our community members to distribute to those in need. Zakat is one of the important pillars of Islam, it literally means purifying your wealth. Our financial aid services program offers financial assistance to those who have lost jobs, families in need, recent immigrants, and others based on their financial needs.  

The MCK Social Services Committee (SSC) tries to reach and help as many needy individuals and families as possible in the area. Generally, financial aid is provided to individuals and families once a year, but specific need situations are also evaluated.  

Financial Aid Policy of the MCK Social Services Committee

  1. Financial Aid is provided from Zakat funds and therefore can be given only to individuals/applicants who qualify to receive Zakat. It is the responsibility of the SSC to assess an applicant’s Zakat eligibility and will deny any applications that they determine to be non-Zakat eligible.
  2. To determine if an individual is Zakat-eligible, the SSC requires documentation (such as bank statements, tax returns, paystubs, etc). Depending on circumstances additional documentation can be requested. If the required documentation does not exist the applicant needs to provide a valid and verifiable reason (proof) for the application to be considered.
  3. The SSC may conduct an interview with the applicants to understand their situation to help in final decision making. Only the applicant, and his/her spouse or immediate family members would said attend the interviews with the Social & Welfare Committee interviewers.
  4. The SSC requires 3-7 days for processing the application after all information on the form and required documentation is complete.
  5. The Social Services Committee (SSC) can verify the applicant’s information by contacting references. By filling the form and signing it, the applicant authorizes the SSC to investigate the applicant’s situation and income including performing a reference check.
  6. Only individuals residing within the greater Knoxville metropolitan area are eligible to apply for Financial Aid with MCK Social Services Committee. Applications from outside Knoxville (like Chattanooga, Johnson City) can be considered on a case-by-case basis.
  7. The SSC provides funds directly to an applicant who requests monetary assistance. Checks are written directly to the applicant. The MCK does not provide any cash payments to financial aid applicants. An applicant must provide a lease contract, bills, or other statements and documentation for bills which financial aid is being requested so that the amount and eligibility of the expense can be verified by Social Services Committee (SSC) staff.
  8. A picture of a government-issued ID shall be provided when an application is submitted.
  9. The SSC has the right to deny any applications which request financial aid for items that are considered to be non-essential (example cable-TV service), or for those items that have alternative solutions, or are considered to be of entertainment value/purpose.
  10. The general rule to receive financial assistance through SSC is once for every 12-month period. The maximum dollar amount limit per individual/applicant/family is $1,200 or other amount considered as reasonable to cover eligible expenses/bills. Both the frequency and the limit can be reviewed for special circumstances. However, this is by exception and requires the SSC Chairperson’s approval.
  11. The decision of approval or denial rests with the SSC. If the applicant disagrees with the decision the applicant can file an appeal in writing stating their reasons to the Chairperson of the SSC. Any misconduct, anger bursts, misbehavior or lack of cooperation by an applicant or his/her spouse/relatives can disqualify the applicant from receiving financial aid.

Financial Aid for Victims of Natural Disasters

In special cases, financial assistance is also provided to communities and regions hit by natural disaster and calamities either domestic or overseas. For this, the SSC does separate special fund raising in the community for the cause at hand.

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