Controller's office: Navajo Nation CARES Act hardship assistance checks in the mail

Noel Lyn Smith
Farmington Daily Times

FARMINGTON — The Navajo Nation Office of the Controller reported they have finished processing and mailing checks to approximately 48,000 older tribal members from the tribe's CARES Act hardship assistance program.

The office made the announcement in a Jan. 31 news release on from the Office of the President and Vice President.

According to the release, employees worked through the weekend to complete the work.

"Many elders have already received the $342 check in the mail while other recipients can expect to receive theirs in the coming days," the release states.

More: San Juan County, Navajo Nation COVID-19 case updates for February 2022

Staff are still reaching out to recipients facing problems such as incomplete or incorrect mailing addresses.

Employees from the Navajo Nation Office of the Controller have finished processing and mailing checks to older tribal members who received help in either 2020 or in 2021 from the tribe's CARES Fund Hardship Assistance Program.

The release also states that the controller's office will prioritize sending hardship assistance checks from the American Rescue Plan Act to the 48,000 older tribal members.

If no complications occur, those payments will be send by the end of next week, according to the news release.

Because of federal guidelines and financial reporting requirements, the controller's office was not able to combine the two amounts into one check for older tribal members, the release states.

More: Navajo Nation Council tables bills to revise tribe's tax law

The controller's office continues to process requests from recipients to change mailing addresses.

"Once the changes of addresses are completed, the office will focus on processing the 2,000 checks for the remaining adults, and $600 checks for minors," the release states

Controller's and vital records offices to visit urban areas

Personnel from the controller's office and the tribe's Office of Vital Records and Identification will visit five urban areas to help Navajos who have not enrolled in the tribe.

More: Navajo Nation releasing checks to eligible older tribal members

The Navajo Nation Office of the Controller worked through the weekend to print and distribute checks to enrolled tribal members aged 60 and over from the tribe's CARES Fund Hardship Assistance Program.

They are calling the outreach the "ARPA Hardship Technical Assistance Drive." It is designed to help those who want to apply for hardship assistance from ARPA funds the tribe received last year.

Interested applicants need a Certificate of Indian Blood to apply for help. The deadline for new applicants to apply is Dec. 30 and applications are available at www.nnooc.org and at www.navajonationarpa.org.

The following schedule was released by the tribal president's office:

  • Albuquerque Indian Center, 105 Texas St. SE in Albuquerque, 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Feb. 3 and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Feb. 4
  • Phoenix Indian Center, 4520 N. Central Ave. Suite 250 in Phoenix, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Feb. 17 and Feb. 18
  • Tucson Indian Center, 160 N. Stone Ave. in Tucson, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on March 3 and March 4
  • Urban Indian Center of Salt Lake, 120 W. 1300 South in Salt Lake City, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on April 14 and April 15
  • Denver Indian Center Inc., 4407 Morrison Road in Denver, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on April 28 and April 29

Noel Lyn Smith covers the Navajo Nation for The Daily Times. Support local journalism with a digital subscription to The Daily Times.