Navajo Nation releasing checks to eligible older tribal members
FARMINGTON — The Navajo Nation Office of the Controller is starting this week to issue checks to help enrolled tribal members aged 60 and over.
Checks are being mailed to older Navajos who received help in either 2020 or in 2021 from Navajo Nation CARES Fund Hardship Assistance Program, according to a Jan. 10 news release from the tribal president's office.
The release states that more than 48,000 individuals were eligible for the financial help.
"Due to the high volume of recipients, it will take several days to process and distribute the payments. Each recipient should anticipate receiving a check in the mail by next week in the amount of approximately $342," the release states.
Navajo leaders approved using the remaining amount that the tribe received from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act, a federal economic relief package to help the country's response to COVID-19, to issue checks to eligible older Navajos.
Payments from ARPA Hardship Assistance anticipated next month
The president's office also updated tribal members about the hardship assistance funded through the American Rescue Plan Act during an online town hall on Jan. 10.
Acting Controller Elizabeth Begay said her office anticipates releasing checks in February to enrolled tribal members who received help in 2020 or in 2021 from the Navajo Nation CARES Fund Hardship Assistance Program.
"We anticipate issuing the ARPA hardship check beginning next month," she said. "Of course, we will do our best to make sure you get your ARPA hardship check."
She added that the ARPA Hardship Assistance program is now accepting applications from new applicants. The deadline to apply is Dec. 30.
"Only enrolled Navajos can get assistance. Therefore, you need to submit with your application your Certificate of Indian Blood or CIB," Begay said.
Officials said to contact the Navajo Nation Office of Vital Records and Identification for information about the Certificate of Indian Blood or with questions about the enrollment process.
Noel Lyn Smith covers the Navajo Nation for The Daily Times. Support local journalism with a digital subscription to The Daily Times.