Navajo Nation President Nez and VP Lizer Approve CARES Act Hardship Assistance for Navajo Elders

WINDOW ROCK, AZ – Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez and Vice President Myron Lizer recently signed Resolution CD-61-21, approving the reallocation of remaining CARES Act funds for Hardship Assistance for enrolled members of the Navajo Nation who are 60 years old and over, and who previously demonstrated need for assistance to mitigate the devastating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Resolution CD-61-21 was approved by the Navajo Nation Council during a special session held on Wednesday.

Nearly $16 million in CARES Act funds will provide approximately $300 dollars per eligible person 60 years and older. Elders will not need to reapply for the hardship funds. The Office of the Controller is beginning the payment process and elders can anticipate receiving the check payment in the next week or two. 

“We love and cherish our elders very much,” said President Nez. “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 for essential items, supplies, bills, and other expenses that provide financial relief and help your loved ones overcome this modern-day monster known as COVID-19.”

The Council also approved a separate resolution for Hardship Assistance using American Rescue Plan Act funds, which would provide $2,000 per adult and $600 per minor for enrolled members. The Office of the President and Vice President is awaiting the delivery of the resolution from the Legislative Branch. 

“With the approval of this resolution, 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,” said Vice President Lizer. “We continue to pray and work with our health experts to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 and to hopefully lessen the burden on our frontline workers. Our elders are the heart and soul of our families and our communities. As leaders, we have to support them in every way we can.”

In accordance with federal requirements, CARES Act funds are required to be used no later than Dec. 31, 2021. The Office of the Controller is working diligently to process the hardship assistance checks, which will be distributed by mail in approximately one or two weeks.