Oneida Nation General Manager Mark Powless has announced the Nation’s plan for membership distribution of received federal relief funds and tribal contributions. Appearing on the tribe’s June 18 Facebook Live update, Powless informed viewers that all members 18 and older will receive $500 from tribal contributions, another $3,000 from the federal relief funds, and elders ages 62 and older will also receive an additional $2,000. Elders 65 and older will also receive an additional $703.54 from an already established endowment fund for that age group.
“The $500 tribal contribution was budgeted for FY 2021,” Powless said. “Of the federal relief funds we’ve received, the Oneida Business Committee (OBC) provided the guidance to use 45 percent of those funds for direct membership assistance. They originally discussed three payments across three years, but due to community input and feedback they are revising that payment schedule to one payment of $3,000 for this fiscal year. That’s the request they’ve made and it’s expected to pass at the June 23 OBC meeting.
“So, ages 18 and older will receive the $500 tribal contribution payment along with the $3,000 federal relief funds payment for a total of $3,500, as long as the individual is 18-years-old by December 31, 2021,” Powless said. “The second payment for 62 and older includes the $500, the proposed $3,000, and a tribal budgeted amount of $2,000 for a total of $5,500. Elders 65 and older will receive the $500, the proposed $3,000 payment, the budgeted $2,000 payment, plus the per capita payment of $703.54 for a total of $6,203.54.”
The tribe’s Economic Support Department, Management Information Systems (MIS), and the Law Office comprise a team of areas working diligently to get the payments out to the membership. Members are required to apply for the relief funds as they will not be automatically distributed. “The expected date for applications to be made available to the community for the payments is July 1,” Powless said. “Their will be both paper and electronic applications made available. The encouragement is for our membership to use the online application process which will be housed in the Members Only section of the tribe’s website at Oneida-nsn.gov. Again, the applications will be made available July 1.”
The target disbursement date for the relief funds is set for the end of September 2021, Powless said. “We would also like to acknowledge the Economic Support area which is led by Delia Smith,” Powless said. “For the pandemic relief assistance they processed more than 1,000 payments, recently provided rent assistance payments for over 100 families, and they’re now anticipating more than 14,000 applications for the upcoming payments. All of that work is in addition to the other services and assistance that they provide for our community.”
The only taxable payment from these distributions is the Elder 65 and older payment of $703.54. “That is a taxable income because it comes from an endowment fund that was established more than 20 years ago,” Oneida Nation Public Relations Director Bobbi Webster said.
More information will be shared as it is received.