Applications for COVID-19 relief for eligible Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma tribal members became available Monday.
The tribe received a total of $200.8 million from the federal government through The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act that was passed by Congress in March.
“Our focus is to do the most good for our tribal members who have been impacted by the global pandemic,” said Choctaw Nation Chief Gary Batton in June. “The majority of the CARES funds we received have been allocated to tribal members all across the United States.”
Eligible tribal members who have experienced loss of income or other financial hardship resulting from unemployment, furlough or layoff will be eligible for a one-time payment of $1,000 and will be required to provide proof and attest they have been negatively impacted by COVID-19.
Employed tribal members earning no more than double the National Poverty Guideline standards and who have experienced a reduction in income, either through a loss of hours worked or decrease in rate of pay, will be eligible to receive a one-time $250 allowance.
Families with children are eligible for a $400 one-time technology payment per eligible dependent to help with distance learning and a $300 per-eligible dependent, one-time student assistance program for clothing, masks, and other necessary school supplies.
Tribal elders are eligible to receive $200 monthly through December 2020 through the COVID-19 Elder Food Security Program and $500 a month for three months from the COVID-19 Elder Rental Assistance Relief Program.
Other COVID-19 relief programs include assistance for post-secondary students, tribal members on disability, small business relief, housing rental assistance for residents of tribal homes, and members currently enrolled in the Next Step Program.
To apply, tribal members can visit www.choctawnation.com/covidrelief for an application. Members will then be asked to log in or create a Chahta Achvffa account to continue with the application process.
Members who do not have access to a computer can obtain “a very simple” one-page paper application from Choctaw Nation Community Centers across the 10.5-county area, according to Batton.
Anyone having issues with the application can call 1-800-522-6170 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.