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News Release

Navajo Nation - Office of the President and Vice President

On Monday, the Navajo Nation Office of the Controller began the process of distributing CARES Act Hardship Assistance checks for over 48,000 enrolled members of the Navajo Nation, who are 60 years and older and previously received the Hardship Assistance, to help mitigate the impacts of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. 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 CARES Act Hardship Assistance funds were approved by Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez and Vice President Myron Lizer on Dec. 30, 2021, through Resolution CD-61-21. Navajo Nation leaders and health officials strongly urge recipients to use the funds for essential items such as food, utilities, fire wood, PPEs, and more. They also urge everyone to be mindful of COVID-19 risks and to use extreme caution in public.

“We have to remember that we are in the midst of a large surge in COVID-19 infections here on the Navajo Nation due to the Omicron variant. Please do not overcrowd post offices, banks, and other financial institutions and please do not crown border towns, where the Omicron variant is much more prevalent. If you have elders in your family, please take it upon yourself to caution your parents and grandparents and urge them to take precautions and use the funds for essential services and items to help push back on COVID-19. Please be very cautious and do your best to stay home as much as possible,” said President Nez.

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Elders are not required to re-apply for the funds, if they previously received Hardship Assistance through the CARES Act in 2020 or last year.

“We love and cherish our elders very much. This pandemic has created many challenges for everyone, especially our elder parents and grandparents. Throughout this pandemic, we’ve been to all 110 chapters and we’ve listened to the stories and experiences shared by our people and we understand that there are many needs within homes and among families. We strongly encourage our people to use the funds to provide financial relief and help your loved ones overcome this modern-day monster known as COVID-19,” President Nez added.

“We are helping our grandmas and grandpas who often rely on a fixed monthly income and many who continue to struggle financially due to the pandemic. As the CARES Act Hardship Assistance funds are distributed and received, we must do everything we can to protect ourselves and others from COVID-19. Please take precautions, use the funds locally and help support the ‘Buy Navajo, Buy Local’ initiative. We are in this together and we will emerge from this pandemic,” said Vice President Lizer.

On January 4, President Nez and Vice President Lizer also signed a separate resolution approving Hardship Assistance through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) to provide financial relief for the Navajo people, to help mitigate the devastating effects of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The funding will provide $2,000 in hardship assistance for adults, who are age 18 years and older on or before January 4, 2022, and $600 for minors, who are enrolled members of the Navajo Nation.

The Office of the President and Vice President and the Office of the Controller will also host an online town hall on Monday, Jan. 10, 2022 at 5:00 p.m. (MST) to provide more information about the ARPA Hardship Assistance.

If you have further questions, please contact the Office of the Controller by e-mail at ARPAHardship@nnooc.org or call (928) 871-6106, (928) 871-6315, (928) 223-3525, (928) 224-8148, (928) 224-8187, (928) 224-8212, (928) 371-9226, (928) 223-3709, or (928) 223-3712. We ask for your patience as the Office of the Controller prepares for the distribution of the funds.

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