Financial aid applications available for Cherokees with disabilities

BY STAFF REPORTS
10/29/2020 03:00 PM
Main Cherokee Phoenix
The Cherokee Nation announces a $9 million Disability Assistance Program to help disabled Cherokees with food, supplies or other expenses in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. COURTESY
TAHLEQUAH – The Cherokee Nation recently announced a $9 million Disability Assistance Program to help disabled Cherokees with food, supplies or other expenses in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The deadline to apply is Nov. 6. 

The online application is at cherokee.org under the green Respond, Recover and Rebuild Disability Assistance Program tab. 

Funding for the disability assistance is part of the tribe’s COVID-19 Respond, Recover and Rebuild spending plan announced by Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. in May. 

“For the past seven months at the Cherokee Nation, we’ve continued to roll up our sleeves and get to work helping our Cherokee citizens through the COVID-19 pandemic,” Hoskin said. “We’ve assisted our most vulnerable citizens with direct financial assistance. From assisting our elders with utilities to helping Cherokee students with stipends for distance learning, these programs have been extremely successful, deploying more than $35 million and helping more than 108,000 of our tribal citizens. Now, I am pleased to announce direct assistance to citizens on our reservation with disabilities, so they too can get the help they need through this difficult health crisis.” 

As part of the disability assistance program, the tribe is providing a $300 stipend to disabled CN citizens living within the tribe’s reservation boundaries, regardless of age and regardless of income. 

Applicants must provide documentation through either Supplemental Security Income, Social Security Disability Insurance, Veterans Affairs, or through CN’s vocational rehabilitation or disability employment initiative as verification of disability. 

“Earlier this month, Chief Hoskin and I declared October as Disability Awareness Month in the Cherokee Nation, so it is very appropriate that we offer this direct assistance to our citizens with disabilities,” said Deputy Chief Bryan Warner. “Also, as November and Veterans Day approach us, it is important that we make sure our Cherokee veterans with disabilities know about this program so they can apply for this funding as well. We revere and honor our veterans and want to see they are safe, secure and taken care of, as well as all Cherokees living with disabilities. If you qualify for this assistance, please sign up as soon as possible, as funding is limited on a first-come, first-served basis.” 

Applications for the disability assistance program must be received before 11:59 p.m. on Nov. 6. 
Payment processing will be completed after all information is verified in the application. Payments may be disbursed electronically or by paper check. 

Those who need assistance with the online application process or who need additional information can email disabilityservices@cherokee.org or call 918-453-5555.

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