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Navajo Nation financial relief program to start online application period

Noel Lyn Smith
Farmington Daily Times

FARMINGTON — Two websites will carry the portal to file applications for the Navajo Nation's program to provide financial relief to enrolled tribal members affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

According to the Office of the Controller, the tribal government's official website, www.navajo-nsn.gov, and the controller's office website, www.nnooc.org, will have the Navajo Nation CARES Act Hardship Assistance Program application available on Nov. 2.

Officials developed the hardship assistance program by using a portion of the money the tribe received from the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act to help enrolled members who have been hurt financially due to the pandemic.

The program launched this week with the controller's office releasing paper applications to the 110 chapters for enrolled members who are 65 and older or who have disabilities and cannot file the document online.

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An Oct. 28 press release from the controller's office states that paper applications can still be used by the elderly, people with special needs and those who do not have access to the internet.

"It is recommended everyone who is able to apply online do so opposed to filling out a paper application. The program is not first come, first serve and every application will be provided equal consideration," the release states.

The deadline to submit paper or online applications is Nov. 30.

According to the release, the controller's office provided 48,000 paper applications on Oct. 28 to the Division of Community Development's administrative service centers to distribute to chapter houses. Another 152,000 applications were scheduled for delivery to chapters and various offices on Oct. 29 and Oct. 30.

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To help the process, Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez and Vice President Myron Lizer directed division directors to help and provide technical assistance during the two days.

"With any initiative of this magnitude, there will be issues that arise, but we have to continue working together and moving forward to help our people. We ask everyone to be respectful of the Office of the Controller as they work hard to help our Navajo people," Nez said in the press release from his office.

The president's office reminds the public to follow coronavirus safety guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention when visiting locations in person.

Noel Lyn Smith covers the Navajo Nation for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4636 or by email at nsmith@daily-times.com.

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