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Hardship Assistance frequently asked questions

WINDOW ROCK

Elders 60 and over who previously received Navajo CARES Act Hardship Assistance payments can expect an additional check for $342 in the next couple of weeks.

This is because of a Navajo Nation Council resolution (CD-61-21), sponsored by Delegate Eugene Tso, which reallocated the remaining, unspent $16.5 million in CARES Act Hardship Assistance funds to elders by Dec. 31, 2021.

In a president’s office town hall on Thursday, Acting Controller Elizabeth Begay said $342 checks for eligible elders will be sent out in batches starting Monday, Jan. 10.

Those who turned 60 after they submitted their approved CARES Act Hardship application will receive the $342 payment if they turned 60 by Dec. 31, 2021.

ARPA hardship payments

Separately, a resolution (CD-62-21) approved $557 million in American Rescue Plan Act funds for Hardship payments to Navajo citizens with $2,000 for adults and $600 for children. They must be enrolled members in the Navajo Tribe.

Those who turned 18 on or before Jan. 4, when the resolution was signed into law, are eligible to receive $2,000.

Everyone who received CARES Act Hardship payments does not have to re-apply for the ARPA Hardship payments. They are automatically eligible.

All Diné age 60 or older who received CARES Act Hardship payments will receive a check for $342 through the CARES Act and $2,000 through the American Rescue Plan Act, for a total of $2,342.

However, those 60 or older without an approved CARES Act Hardship application or who did not receive a payment must apply for the $2,000 payment. The ARPA application period begins Jan. 10.

Anyone who did not apply for the previous CARES Act Hardship needs to apply for the ARPA Hardship to receive the payment.

The controller’s office will post ARPA Hardship applications on its website (www.nnooc.org and www.Navajonationarpa.org) on Monday, Jan. 10, and the application period is opens through December 2022.

All new applicants are required to submit a Certificate of Indian Blood to comply with federal guidelines.

If you do not have a CIB, you can apply for one through the Navajo Nation Vital Records Office (www.novri.navajo-nsn.gov).

Vital Records staff will be going out to chapters to help with CIBs. A schedule of those dates will be forthcoming.

Those who live off-reservation and are enrolled members with a CIB are eligible for ARPA Hardship Assistance.

Eligible tribal members in prison can also apply.

In its FAQ sheet (www.opvp.navajo-nsn.gov), the president’s office said the controller’s office will issue the ARPA Hardship payments “as soon as possible.” Exact timelines will be announced in forthcoming public information announcements.

Reporting changes

If you have questions about your prior application for CARES Act Hardship program, contact the controller’s office to inquire about the status of your eligibility or submit a new application beginning on Jan. 10.

According to the president’s office, technical assistance will be offered throughout the Nation and in urban areas (Phoenix, Albuquerque, Denver, Salt Lake City, Tucson, etc.). The schedule is being developed and will be shared with the public soon.

If you received a CARES Act Hardship payment and your mailing address has changed, a “change of address form” is available at www.nnooc.org and www.navajonationarpa.org. The completed form can be submitted to ARPAHardship@nnooc.org or mailed to: Office of the Controller, P.O. Box 3150, Window Rock, AZ 86515.

Or, you can drop off the form at Administration Building No. 1 in Window Rock. Personal documents may be submitted in-person to the controller’s office. All COVID-19 safety protocols will be enforced.

Family of those who previously received CARES Act Hardship payments and have since passed on can report that information to the controller’s office and Vital Records office. It is possible that uncashed funds can be applied toward funeral expenses but checks for deceased individuals cannot be reissued to another person.

Information: ARPAHardship@nnooc.org or 928-871-6106, 928-871-6315, 928-223-3525, 928-224-8148, 928-224-8187, 928-224-8212, 928-371-9226, 928-223-3709 or 928-223-3712.

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