Navajo-Hopi Nations,Flagstaff & Winslow News
Sat, Sept. 18

More than 200,000 checks for Hardship Assistance Program mailed

Staff at Diné College distribute CARES Act checks to students at the Tsaile campus May 13. (Photo courtesy of Diné College)

Staff at Diné College distribute CARES Act checks to students at the Tsaile campus May 13. (Photo courtesy of Diné College)

WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. — The Navajo Nation Office of the Controller reports there are 293,000 individual applicants for the Navajo CARES Act Hardship Assistance Program and more than 112,000 checks have already been cashed.

There were approximately 200,000 checks printed and mailed in the first batch of approvals Jan. 18 with nearly 30,000 more checks scheduled to be mailed this week.

Also, more than 1,000 checks have been returned as they were unable to be delivered through the U.S. Postal Service and attempts will be made to correct the mailing address and reissue the check(s). As for the 370 duplicate checks, they were identified, voided, reissued, redelivered and most have been already presented for payment.

Pearline Kirk, controller of the Navajo Nation, said checks are being mailed and she asks applicants to continue to be patient.

“We will be issuing in excess of 30,000 more checks this week with corresponding text messages to let members know their checks are coming,” Kirk said. “Please refrain from calling until after these checks have gone out and text messages have been sent, which will take place this week.”

The Support Center continues to manage unprecedented call volumes that have translated into clearing more than 1,000 application errors each day that have resulted in application approvals. The Support Center continues to receive an overwhelming amount of phone calls from applicants checking on the status of their checks and as a result, the number of calls is delaying phone communications with applicants that need to fix errors on their applications. If applicants have already received a text message update or notified that your check has been mailed, they are urged not to call the Support Center.

There are more than 100 staff handling nearly 4,000 calls per day with many more calls in the queue at the end of the day which requires call backs the next business day.

Applicants should only call the Support Center for application updates, they should not be calling other Navajo Nation offices or departments for matters related to the CARES Act Hardship Assistance Program or the status of their application. The Support Center is the only entity that is able to answer any questions regarding the Hardship Assistance Program, any calls to other offices and departments will only reroute you back to the Support Center.

As for checks being returned due to mailing issues such as a wrong mailing address indicated on an application, the Controller’s Office cannot control the delivery by the U.S. Postal Service, nor do they control actions by the banks.

“Members should work with these offices and entities if they are experiencing issues,” Kirk added. “If your check was returned, we will retrieve it and you will be contacted via text message or phone call informing you that your check was returned and you will be instructed to call the Support Center to update your mailing address and get a check reissued.”

If members have issues with a check, such as misspelling of their name or the check is damaged, they are urged to email or call the Support Center at 1-833-282-7248 for further instructions.

Informatrion provided by the Navajo Nation Office of the Controller

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