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Controller working on process for hardship funds

Dollar bills spread out

 

WINDOW ROCK

The Navajo Nation controller’s office is hard at work creating an application process for the $1,500 hardship distribution from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act for individual tribal members, according to a press release from the office.

But it’s not there yet, so you can stop calling your chapter and the controller’s office.

“The application period is still being contemplated but rest assured, program information, including the application process, is forthcoming in the coming weeks,” said Kirk in the release. “For applications to be received from enrolled members living within the reservation, we intend to rely heavily on our Navajo Nation chapters to assist with outreach, education and facilitation of the application process.”

The release advises anyone who received a “draft” form of the application to disregard it.

“The application period is not currently open and there will be a significant outreach and communications effort very soon to announce when the application period will open and details of how to apply,” the release said. “The final approved application will be the only application accepted as valid for purposes of the Hardship Assistance Program.”

Here’s what we know from the controller’s office so far:

  • The application will be through an online portal, but the office is working on an alternate hardcopy process for individuals who don’t have internet access or otherwise can’t access the online application;
  • To prepare for the application process, enrolled tribal members are encouraged to register to vote with their chapter or the Navajo Nation Elections Office. This will assist in confirming members’ information is accurate.
  • Members are also encouraged to confirm their enrollment with the Navajo Nation Office of Vital Statistics.
  • Enrolled members will be able to apply on behalf of themselves, a family member or another individual.
  • The application will be brief but will include self-certification of the hardship experienced as a result of COVID-19.
  • The accompanying Chapter Distribution Program will also be administered through an online portal.

“The current deadline to spend CARES Act funds is Dec. 30. The Office of the Controller is committed to ensuring funds are managed and deployed to achieve the greatest impact for members of the Navajo Nation,” said Kirk. “However, the next three months will be critical in ensuring that happens in a compliant manner so the Navajo Nation does not have to return funds back to the U.S. Treasury.”

Information: Email NNCaresHelp@nnooc.org or visit www.nnooc.org/CARESHelp.html


 

About The Author

Cindy Yurth

Cindy Yurth is the Tséyi' Bureau reporter, covering the Central Agency of the Navajo Nation. Her other beats include agriculture and Arizona state politics. She holds a bachelor’s degree in technical journalism from Colorado State University with a cognate in geology. She has been in the news business since 1980 and with the Navajo Times since 2005, and is the author of “Exploring the Navajo Nation Chapter by Chapter.” She can be reached at cyurth@navajotimes.com.

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