More than $293 million paid by Hardship Assistance
More than $293 million has been distributed to 293,000 applicants through the Navajo CARES Act Hardship Assistance Program as of March 9, the controller’s office reported Tuesday.
More than 265,000 checks were mailed and more than 235,000 checks were recorded as cashed.
In addition, approximately 3,000 checks have been returned to the controller’s office by the U.S. Postal Service, primarily due to recipients listed on applications not being listed on their post office boxes.
The controller’s office also reports more than 4,200 applicants are on a waiting list because they missed the application deadline. Funds for these applicants are contingent on any unused funds reverting to the Hardship Assistance Program.
Navajo Tribal Utility Authority did not spend all of the CARES Act funds granted to it and these funds could revert into Hardship Assistance. But NTUA officials are trying to keep the funds for projects.
The Support Center continues to see a high volume of telephone calls with more than 7,000 calls in the queue at all times. Currently, the call center is operating on a 100% callback basis. Callers need to leave their phone number and must answer the callback from 1-833-282-7248.
Support Center staff is also working through more than 15,000 exceptions or application errors, which is holding up funding for those applicants. Most exceptions are due to errors with an applicant’s name, Certificate of Indian Blood or date of birth.
This week, an additional 18,000 checks were issued and mailed, which are included in the 265,000 total.