Next phase of Navajo Nation hardship checks focus on those under 60

FARMINGTON — Now that the Navajo Nation Comptroller’s Office has issued ARPA hardship assistance checks to older tribal members, attention is turning to releasing the checks to tribal members under 60 and who have already received hardship assistance in 2020 or 2021.

“The next phase will be the printing of checks for former hardship assistance recipients under the age of 60, with the exception of new applicants and people who have outstanding issues such as mailing address changes. “, says an update published by the tribal office of the president.

Acting Comptroller Elizabeth Begay said employees were working weekends and holidays to speed up the process in addition to their normal duties.

“We understand that many families are in need of financial assistance and we are working as quickly as possible,” Begay said, then thanked the employees.

Elisabeth Begay

The update also indicates that the Comptroller’s Office has received questions about checks sent to deceased persons.

Checks issued to a deceased person for ARPA hardship assistance or for $342 from reallocated CARES Act funding should be returned to the comptroller’s office.

“If they can provide a copy of the death certificate, that would be great. If not, they can indicate that the recipient of CARES or ARPA hardship assistance is deceased,” Begay wrote in response to the Daily’s follow-up question. Times on returning checks. .

Checks can be returned by mail to the Navajo Nation Comptroller’s Office, PO Box 3150, Window Rock, AZ 86515.

Navajo Chiefs approved using part of the allocated funds to the tribe in the US bailout to help enrolled tribal members who are struggling to cover living expenses due to the pandemic.

The Comptroller’s Office began sending checks this month with priority given to tribe members aged 60 and over.

“With the seniors’ assistance checks being given to our elders, it is very unfortunate and discouraging to receive reports of elders being abused by their own family members,” Tribal Chairman Jonathan Nez said in a statement. the press release.

He continued: “Hardship relief funds are meant to help everyone during this pandemic, especially our aging parents and grandparents. Our teachings tell us to honor, love and respect our elders. Please respect your elders and help them as they’ve helped us in so many ways.”

The Comptroller’s Office continues to accept applications from Enrolled Tribal Members who did not apply for assistance in 2020 or 2021.

Support and application information is available on the Comptroller’s Office website, www.nnooc.org. December 30 is the deadline to apply.

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

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