The U.S. Treasury and Interior Departments announced on May 5, 2020 that they will begin distributing the first $4.8 billion (approximately 60 percent) of funds earmarked for COVID-19 relief to Native American tribal governments. Relief funds specifically set aside for tribes was set at $8 billion under the CARES Act.
The funds have been delayed for weeks amid legal challenges filed by tribes concerning early awards allocated to Alaska Native regional and village corporations. Treasury is still working to determine distribution of the remaining 40% of funds that are to be used for tribal expenditures related to COVID-19. Compliance on the use of the funds is outlined in the Treasury release and FAQs.
â€œThe path of coronavirus in tribal populations has seen big spikes in recent weeks,â€ said Corrine Wilson, REDW Principal and National Tribal Practice Leader, â€œso the release of these funds will be critical in efforts to stop the spread and effectively care for tribal members who fall ill. The closure of tribal casinos has only added to the financial strain on tribal governments and healthcare facilities.â€
The first payments will be based on population data from the U.S. Census, with payments based on employment and expenditure data to be decided later.
Click here for additional information on the governmentâ€™s announcement.
For questions regarding single audits, documentation, or planning for tribal governments, please contact REDW Principal Corrine Wilson.
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