Application period to start for Navajo Nation's hardship assistance fund
GALLUP — The application process for the final distribution from the tribe's hardship assistance program opens on Aug. 1 and closes on Sept. 30, the Navajo Nation's Acting Controller Elizabeth Begay said during a virtual town hall meeting on July 12.
Tribal leaders recently approved dispensing $41.97 million that was left from the total amount the tribe received from the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act.
This phase of the program is designed to help enrolled tribal members who did not apply for the relief fund last year. Those who already received payment from the program are not eligible to apply.
The application is available on the Navajo Nation Office of the Controller website, www.nnooc.org, along with instructions and how to submit completed forms.
The office has set up a new telephone number for the program at 1-888-291-9748, where callers can leave their full name and phone number.
During the online town hall on July 12, tribal President Jonathan Nez explained that the program is being managed by the controller's office rather than using an outside company like last year's rollout.
The livestream of the town hall is available on the Nez-Lizer Facebook page. It will also re-air on local radio stations this week, according to the president's office.
Begay said her office is working on hiring temporary employees to help with the application process, including visits to chapters to help applicants file forms.
The controller's office is still addressing the 1,865 applications that were received last November but have encountered problems ranging from lacking copies of Certificates of Indian Blood to returned mail.
Begay said her office is reaching out to those applicants to resolve issues as soon as possible.
Noel Lyn Smith covers the Navajo Nation for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4636 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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