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COVID-19 surge delays CARES Act checks for elders on Navajo Nation

Pandemic Hardship Assistance payments to elders on the Navajo Nation have been delayed due to COVID-19 infections at the Tribe’s controller office.

Both the Navajo Times and the Farmington Times report that Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez released a statement last week saying checks have been delayed because of staff shortages that resulted in a 2-day closure at the controller’s office.

Funds received through the CARES Act were being sent to tribal members 60 and older who had received hardship assistance checks in 2020 and 2021.

Acting Controller Elizabeth Begay told the tribe’s Budget and Finance committee last week that along with a COVID outbreak in her office, employees were dealing with approximately 16,000 requests for mailing address changes from hardship assistance recipients.

President Nez says the checks should arrive this week.