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Hardship for Elders: Processing of elders’ Hardship checks underway

WINDOW ROCK

The president’s office announced on Tuesday that the Navajo Nation controller began printing the first batch of American Rescue Plan Act Hardship Assistance checks in the amount of $2,000 for elders, ages 60 years and above, who previously received CARES Act Hardship Assistance.

The president’s office said that the goal is to have the ARPA Hardship Assistance checks in the mail by the end of February for previous CARES Act Hardship recipients, with the exception of new applicants and individuals that have outstanding issues such as changes to their mailing address.

“The office will continue processing checks as quickly as possible and will work weekends, once again, to expedite the relief checks,” the president’s office said.

The controller’s office has hired temporary staff to help with the processing of the ARPA Hardship Assistance payments.

“We are meeting with the office of the controller nearly every day, to work through many challenges and to expedite the processing of the ARPA Hardship Assistance checks,” said President Jonathan Nez. “Please remain patient and please be respectful to the staff members who are working hard to help our people.”

In January, Nez signed the Navajo Nation Council resolution into law, which approved $557 million for the ARPA Hardship Assistance to provide payments to Navajo citizens to help mitigate the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The funding provides $2,000 for adults 18 years and older on or before Jan. 4, 2022, and $600 for children who are enrolled in the Navajo Tribe.

If an individual previously received CARES Act Hardship Assistance, they do not have to re-apply.

The controller’s office is continuing to accept new applications for the ARPA Hardship Assistance Program for enrolled members of the Navajo Nation, who did not previously receive Hardship Assistance.

New applicants must complete/sign the ARPA Hardship Program application and submit no later than Dec. 30, 2022. Applications are available at www.nnooc.org.

The controller’s office and Office of Vital Records & Identification will host ARPA Hardship and CIB technical assistance meetings in nearby cities to help with completing and submitting applications for ARPA Hardship Assistance and to apply for a Certificate of Indian Blood.

Personnel will provide guidance for ARPA Hardship or CIB inquiries, including change of address forms, printing and copying services, and individual concerns related to the applications and tribal enrollment.

The technical assistance meetings are scheduled at the following locations, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.:

  • Feb. 17 and 18, at the Steele Indian School Park-Memorial Hall (300 E. Indian School Rd., Phoenix, Arizona 85012).
  • March 3 and 4, at the Tucson Indian Center (160 N Stone Ave., Tucson, Arizona 85701).
  • April 7 and 8, at the Southwest Indian Polytechnic Institute (9169 Coors Blvd. NW, Albuquerque, New Mexico 87120).
  • April 14 and 15, at the Urban Indian Center of Salt Lake (120 W 1300 S St., Salt Lake City, Utah 84115).
  • April 28 and 29, at the Denver Indian Center Inc. (4407 Morrison Rd., Denver, Colorado 80219).

Information: 928-871-6386 or https://www.novri.navajo-nsn.gov

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About The Author

Rima Krisst

Reporter and photojournalist Rima Krisst reported for the Navajo Times from July 2018 to October 2022. She covered Arts and Culture and Government Affairs beats.Before joining the editorial team at the Times, Krisst worked in various capacities in the areas of communications, public relations, marketing and Indian Affairs policy on behalf of the Tribes, Nations and Pueblos of New Mexico. Among her posts, she served as Director of PR and Communications for the New Mexico Indian Affairs Department under Governor Bill Richardson, Healthcare Outreach and Education Manager for the Eight Northern Pueblos, Tribal Tourism Liaison for the City of Santa Fe, and Marketing Projects Coordinator for Santa Fe Indian Market. As a writer and photographer, she has also worked independently as a contractor on many special projects, and her work has been published in magazines. Krisst earned her B.S. in Business Administration/Finance from the University of Connecticut.

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