Navajo CARES Act Hardship Assistance Program checks being printed, mailed
WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. — The Navajo Nation Office of the Controller has begun processing the initial round of checks for the Navajo CARES Act Hardship Assistance Program. They approved 200,885 individual checks in the total amount of $226,010,578.50 and continue to work through approximately 45,000 exceptions or applications with issues.
Checks will be mailed in batches of 20,000 to 25,000 starting Jan. 18. Mailing in batches is due to capacity constraints and recommendations made by health experts for health and safety precautions.
Navajo check recipients are asked to continue to be patient and allow adequate time for U.S. Postal Service mail processing and delivery. For mailing addresses located on the Navajo Nation, this time could be longer opposed to mailing to a major metropolitan area such as Phoenix or Albuquerque. It is advised to wait three to four weeks before calling the Support Center to check on the status of your payment.
As a reminder, individual checks will be sent to all approved applicants listed on an application. Payment will not be made to an applicant until the completed application is approved. For example, if there is an issue with one individual on an application that contains four applicants, payment will not be made until all four applicants are approved. Since checks will be sent to each individual applicant, allow one week from receipt of a check before calling to check on the status of other checks included on the application.
Approximately 15,000 individuals selected the pick-up or will-call option as opposed to having their checks mailed to their address. Due to COVID-19 safety concerns, the pick-up option is still being evaluated in collaboration with the Navajo Department of Health experts. A date for pick-up has not been determined yet and it is expected that it will be several weeks before a safe alternative is developed. If you selected the pick-up option and would like to have your check mailed instead, contact the Support Center. Having your check mailed opposed to the pick-up option provides a quicker alternative to receiving your payment.
Based on the final amount allocated to the Hardship Program, the maximum payment is $1,350 for adults and $450 for minors. This amount represents a 90% funding of the program. As such, each applicant will receive 90% of their requested amount based on their demonstrated need on their submitted application.
Call volumes at the Support Center have been at record highs over the last two weeks causing longer than expected wait times. To help manage the call volume, the Controller’s Office added additional Support Center resources and urges Navajo Nation members to refrain from calling unless they suspect there is an issue with their application. The Support Center will be contacting members directly if there is an issue with processing their applications.
Call the Support Center with any questions about submitted applications at (833) 282-7248 or email NNCaresHelp@nnooc.org.