March 20, 2014

UFCW Member Faces Life after Surgery— with Disability Assistance from Union Plus

unionplussliderFrom Union Plus

For 17 years, Michael Roque of Somers Point, N.J.–a member of UFCW Local 152–did a job he was good at, caring for the elderly and bringing joy to their lives. But, after having to undergo brain surgery, the long recovery has brought big changes to his life, along with the financial strain of being unable to work full time. Now regaining his strength, Roque is thankful for the Union Plus Disability Grant1 that provided financial assistance at a critical time.

For much of his career as an activities aid in a nursing home, the symptoms from Roque’s epilepsy were kept in check. But a 2004 car accident left him experiencing three to four seizures a month. Eventually, there was no alternative but to have surgery, even though it would mean a recovery period of a year or more, while getting by on his wife Donalyd’s salary.

Assistance from Union Plus has been a huge help during such a difficult time. “I learned about the Disability Grant by chance,” Roque says. “After I got a Union Plus Credit Card, I started getting emails from Union Plus, and one of them described the Disability Grant program. With everything we were going through, it sounded like it would be great for us.”

Union Plus provides a range of unique assistance programs1 to help eligible UFCW Credit Cardholders who are facing hardship. Disability Grants of $1600 to $2700 are available to Union Plus Credit Card holders who have had the card for three months or more and who meet the eligibility requirements.

“The people at Union Plus were extremely helpful all throughout the application process,” Roque says. “They answered all my questions, stayed in touch, and we received help in less than a month.”

The last year has been a tough time in many ways, but Roque is progressing in his recovery and feeling better than he has in a long time. “I haven’t had a seizure since the surgery,” he says. “I’m getting my strength back each day.”

Roque looks forward to returning to work in the coming months. He may be unable to perform his old job, due to the stress and physical requirements, but with his years of experience and his degree in public health, he is confident of finding a good opportunity where he can put his skills to work.

“My life has changed a lot in the last year,” he says. “But I’m moving ahead now. I really appreciate the help that Union Plus provided when we needed it most.”

Do you carry a Union Plus Credit Card? They feature Disability, Job Loss, Strike, and Hospital Grants for eligible cardholders, plus, a competitive rate and all customer service calls are answered in the U.S. You can learn more by visiting

Also available to eligible UFCW members is the Union Plus Mortgage program, which provides a range of assistance programs, including interest-free loans and grants to help you make mortgage payments when you’re disabled, or become unemployed. Over the life of the Union Plus mortgage assistance program, more than $10.1 million in assistance has been provided to union members. 

At you can learn more about these programs, as well as the Union Plus benefits and services that are available to union members and retirees. These include legal services, credit counseling, health savings programs, and the Save My Home Hotline.


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1Certain restrictions, limitations, and qualifications apply to these grants. Additional information and eligibility criteria can be obtained at

Credit approval required. Terms & Conditions apply. Union Plus Credit Cards issued by Capital One, N.A.