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CARES Act FAQ

What is the CARES Act?
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act or (CARES Act), was passed by Congress on March 27, 2020. This bill allotted $2.2 trillion to provide economic aid to the American people negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The CARES Act reserved $8 billion from the Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF) for payments to tribal governments.

Why did it take so long for Alaska Native corporations (ANCs) to receive the funds?
In April 2020, the U.S. Department of the Treasury determined that ANCs were eligible to receive relief under Title V of the CARES Act, and the department set aside a portion of the $8 billion for payment to ANCs. A number of federally recognized tribes subsequently challenged this determination, arguing that ANCs were not eligible for Title V payments because (1) ANCs do not meet the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act’s definition of “Indian tribe,” and (2) ANCs are not or do not have a “recognized governing body” of an Indian tribe.

On June 25, 2021, in Yellen v. Confederated Tribes of the Chehalis Reservation, the court ruled that ANCs are “Indian tribes” under the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act of 1975 and are therefore eligible to receive certain COVID-19 relief funds made available under Title V of the CARES Act. The U.S. Treasury said it would allocate $443.9 million to ANCs, which include 12 regional corporations and more than 200 village corporations. The amount allocated to ANCs is less than 6% of the total allocated for tribal relief.

What does it mean for NANA? 
NANA’s Board of Directors and leadership recognize that the COVID-19 global pandemic has impacted us all. We are currently analyzing how to distribute the funds in a way that provides for our shareholders impacted by the pandemic, while abiding by the Department of the Treasury’s strict spending requirements. One of these requirements restricts NANA from paying a dividend with the funds.

How much did NANA receive from the CARES Act?
NANA received its allocation of CARES Act funding in the amount of $32.8 million.

NANA wishes to thank our congressional delegation, the State of Alaska, and the Alaska Federation of Natives for their support of our Alaska Native people throughout the Supreme Court litigation.

What will the money be used for? 

  • Expenses incurred between March 1, 2020 and Dec. 31, 2021
  • Expenses related to COVID-19 or the economic impacts of the pandemic
  • Expenses limited to the current pandemic, not preparing for future pandemics

Details regarding the use of the funds can be found on the Department of the Treasury’s website.

When will shareholders receive the funds?
NANA is analyzing how to distribute the funds in a way that provides for shareholders impacted by the pandemic while complying with the Department of the Treasury’s strict guidelines. Current CARES Act legislation requires that funds be used by Dec. 31, 2021.

Will the NANA Board of Directors declare a dividend?
No. Federal guidelines restrict NANA from paying a distribution to shareholders with this funding.

What does this mean for NANA shareholders?
NANA received $32.8M in CARES Act funding for COVID-19 relief.

NANA’s Board of Directors and leadership recognize that the COVID-19 global pandemic has impacted us all.The U.S. Department of the Treasury has strict spending requirements for CARES Act funding. The guidelines restrict NANA from paying a dividend with the funds.

Who is eligible?
Shareholders who are 18 years or older are eligible for a maximum of $2,500 (born on or before Nov. 15, 2003). Those shareholders who are under the age of 18 are eligible to receive a maximum of $1,000.

How much will I receive?
NANA wants to help as many shareholders who have been impacted by the pandemic as possible. Shareholders who are 18 years or older are eligible for a maximum of $2,500 (born on or before Nov. 15, 2003). Those shareholders who are under the age of 18 are eligible to receive a maximum of $1,000.

When will we receive the funds?
The application period will open on Sept. 27, 2021 with applications due by Nov. 15, 2021. After applications are received and reviewed, payment for direct relief will be issued within a few weeks after approval.

The CARES Act requires that funds be used by NANA by Dec 31, 2021. Congress is considering whether to extend this deadline. If the deadline changes, NANA will notify shareholders.

How will I get the funds?
If NANA has your banking information on file, you will receive the funds via direct deposit. If no banking info is on file, you will receive a paper check via U.S. mail.

How do I apply for funding and when are applications due?
Online and paper applications will be available on September 27, 2021 and will be due on Nov. 15, 2021 at 11:59 p.m.

We will distribute the online application link and mail paper applications to all shareholders when they become available. We will also have computers at the shareholder relations coordinator offices and at our Kotzebue and Anchorage offices to help you apply. We encourage you to apply online as it will help speed up your application processing.

NANA must distribute all its CARES Act funding by Dec. 31, 2021. Once the application forms are available, shareholders are encouraged to apply as soon as possible.

Can I apply for the NANA Individual Disaster Relief Program if I own shares in another Alaska Native Corporation?
Yes. Shareholders who are 18+ are eligible to seek financial aid from more than one entity; however, in their applications, shareholders must self-certify that they have not yet already received CARES Act funding from other entities such as their Tribes and other ANCs for the same expenses.

For example, if you have received financial assistance from another entity for utility bills for a specific month, NANA would be unable to help with that same expense within that same month. Other months or expenses may still qualify, provided they have not been covered by another entity.

Can I apply for the NANA Individual Disaster Relief Program if I received COVID-19 Relief assistance from my Tribe?
Yes. Shareholders who are 18+ are eligible to seek financial aid from more than one entity; however, in their applications, shareholders must self-certify that they have not yet already received CARES Act funding from other entities such as their Tribes and other ANCs for the same expenses.

For example, if you have received financial assistance from another entity for utility bills for a specific month, NANA would be unable to help with that same expense within that same month. Other months or expenses may still qualify, provided they have not been covered by another entity.

APPLICATION-RELATED QUESTIONS:

What information is needed to apply?
Provide all personal information and shareholder ID

  • Complete application in full, including checking all boxes on the list of hardships experienced during the pandemic
  • Self-certify that all information you provided is true and accurate
  • Sign and date application

What does self-certification mean? Will I need to submit receipts?
Self-certification is promising (or attesting) the information provided is true and accurate. NANA will not ask for receipts.

Per the federal government, any use of the CARES funds by NANA must be directly connected to the pandemic. It is possible that the government will audit recipients of CARES funds and request proof of your expenses.

When an applicant (you, the shareholder) self-certifies, that means you are confirming you were financially impacted by the current coronavirus pandemic since March 2020.

What if I’m denied funding? You would be denied funding for one or more of the following reasons:
Inaccurate or incomplete information entered on form – someone will be reaching out to you as soon as possible to request the updated information.

Application put on ‘hold’ because you have a 17-year-old listed as a child with $1,000 in expenses that turns 18 before the end of the application period. We will process it as soon as possible.

Newly turned 18-year-old whose name was already submitted under a guardian’s application.

Are the CARES assistance funds taxable?
According to the federal government, these funds are not taxable.