Choctaw Nation announces new assistance programs

Two new COVID-19 relief programs announced by the Choctaw Nation are available to eligible tribal members with deadlines for other programs ending at the end of October.

Programs for childcare support and food security will soon be available for eligible tribal members to apply for in the coming weeks.

The programs are funded from 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.

Money received by the tribe was split three ways with $112.8 million going to tribal member relief, $66.7 million going toward government operations stabilization, and $21.3 million toward future COVID-19 response.

According to the tribe, the COVID-19 tribal member child care support program will provide eligible Choctaw Nation tribal member parents with a one-time $200 allowance, per eligible Choctaw dependent, that may be utilized for higher child care costs associated with COVID-19 pandemic disruptions. Applications for the childcare support program will open Oct. 21 and close Nov. 17.

Applications for the COVID-19 Food Security Program will open Nov. 2 and provide eligible Choctaw Nation tribal members between the ages of 18 and 54 with the opportunity to receive a one-time $200 grocery allowance to assist them in coping with higher prices and transportation costs associated with COVID-19 pandemic disruptions in the food supply and distribution chains on which they rely. The deadline to apply is Nov. 30.

Applicants for both programs will be required to attest that they have been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency to receive assistance.

Eligible Choctaw Nation parents have until Oct. 31 to apply for the COVID-19 Student Assistance Fund, which will provide eligible Choctaw Nation tribal member parents with a one-time $300 allowance, per eligible Choctaw dependent, that may be utilized for school clothes, masks and other necessary school supplies needed to respond to the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency.

Three other programs aimed toward elderly and disabled tribal members also have an Oct. 31 deadline.

The COVID-19 Elder Food Security and Disability Food Security Programs will provide eligible Choctaw Nation tribal members with the opportunity to receive a $200 monthly grocery allowance. Applicants may submit a single, one-time application in order to receive the elder or the disability $200 monthly grocery allowance for the month in which they apply and for every subsequent month thereafter through December 2020.

Elders who live within the boundaries of the Choctaw Nation but not in tribal housing will also have until Oct. 31 to apply for a $500 rental assistance. Allowances will be issued for the month following the application plus two additional months.

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 an application from Choctaw Nation Community Centers across the 10.5-county area.

Anyone having issues with the application can call 1-800-522-6170 or email help@choctawnation.com.

Contact Derrick James at djames@mcalesternews.com

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