Tribal Governments: Notice of Intent to Use Pandemic Emergency Assistance Fund Money Due by June 9
Tribal governments and entities operating the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program have until June 9, 2021, to provide notice of their intent to use funds allocated through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' (HHS) Pandemic Emergency Assistance Fund.
Section 9201 of the American Rescue Plan Act (Pub. L. 117-7) set aside 7.5 percent of $1 billion ($75 million) for territories and tribal governments to provide short-term benefits to needy families through the Pandemic Emergency Assistance Fund. According to guidance published on April 9, tribal TANF programs can use the funds to provide:
- a one-time payment to provide extra cash to all current TANF recipient families to assist them in dealing with added costs caused by the pandemic
- a benefit to provide extra cash to replace lost wages to all families with children eligible to receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) or other means-tested benefits who are affected by the pandemic
- assistance for families who are behind in rent or experiencing other housing insecurity due to the pandemic
- a benefit to cover burial expenses for needy families who have had a family member die from COVID-19
- a payment for hotel rooms and meal delivery for people who need to quarantine away from their families
- a benefit to secure personal protective equipment (PPE)
- a voucher to cover the cost of utility bills in arrears due to financial issues arising from the pandemic
Funds received by tribal governments must be spent by Sept. 30, 2022. Set-aside funds that are unused will be reallocated among tribal governments. As of April 20, $24 million of the $75 million has been allocated to territories and tribal governments.
For more information, please contact a member of Holland & Knight's Native American Law Group.
DISCLAIMER: Please note that the situation surrounding COVID-19 is evolving and that the subject matter discussed in these publications may change on a daily basis. Please contact your responsible Holland & Knight lawyer or the authors of this blog for timely advice.