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Due to ‘data loss,’ applicants who get “Invalid Login” should contact helpdesk

WINDOW ROCK

The controller’s office recommends that anyone who is having problems logging on to the Hardship Assistance application portal to contact its helpdesk by calling the hotline at 1-833-282-7248 or emailing NNCaresHelp@nnooc.org

In a Thursday announcement, the controller’s office explained that there is a problem with some applicants Certificate of Indian Blood and date of birth combinations not matching up or being verified by the (Office of Vital Records) database, which is under the Division of Human Resources.

The portal searches the database for the CIB and DOB combination to validate applicant identity before logging applicants into the portal. If the CIB information is not in the database, the user will receive a message stating, “Invalid login.”

Controller Pearline Kirk said some CIB data might actually be missing from the Vital Records database, although evidently there are back-up hardcopy files.

Kirk said, “The issue with a lack of available Vital Statistics data stems from a recent data loss at the Navajo Nation Office of Vital Records and a lack of consistent updating over the course of several years.”

The Navajo Times sent questions to the president’s office, Division of Human Resources director and the Vital Records director. Although the president’s office responded with a statement, it raised more questions and the Times is awaiting a response to those questions.

The president’s office said, “According to (Navajo Office of Vital Statistics), there was data loss in 2014 when the enrollment database server was shut off by the Navajo Nation Fire Department due to battery backup unit malfunction, which caused smoke. The Office of the Controller, Baker Tilly and NOVRI is collecting the information from all NOVRI offices to upload into the enrollment database to mitigate and reduce the number of Invalid Login errors.”

Kirk said, “Given the significant time crunch and effort required to validate the CIB and update the database, the Office of the Controller has offered additional resources to the Office of Vital Records.”

Kirk added that Vital Records has reported they are bombarded with new enrollment requests and they have a limited amount of staff available on-site due to COVID-19 social distancing requirements.

Vital Records is presently not answering the phone and the voice mailbox is full.

The controller’s office said that despite the challenges with Vital Records, the Hardship Application portal has processed more than 52,000 applications for nearly 79,000 applicants and the call center is staffed with more than 50 full-time workers managing a large influx of calls.

Kirk reminds applicants that the Hardship Assistance Program is not first come, first served and every application will be provided equal consideration for the (up to) $1,500 payments for adults and $500 for minors.

The application period is open through Nov. 30 and distribution of the Hardship Assistance payments will begin in December.

Paper applications are also still available at Navajo Nation chapters and divisions for those 65 or older, with special needs or disabilities, and for members unable to file an online application.

The online portal can be accessed on the OOC website, www.nnooc.org, and on the Navajo Nation’s website, www.navajo-nsn.gov.


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