Social Security Administration

by Mescalero Apache Tribe | September 10, 2021 9:44 am

Securing today and tomorrow

Dear Tribal Community Partners,

We are writing to share good news with you regarding a critical change in policy related to how we count disaster payments in terms of income and resources for our Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Program.  Financial assistance provided from Tribal Governments to assist Tribe members due to COVID-19, funded by the Coronavirus Relief Fund or Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds and the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA), do not count against Supplemental Security Income (SSI) eligibility and payment amounts. 

The Social Security Administration (SSA) is committed to serving the American Indian, Alaska Native (AIAN) communities as we navigate through these unprecedented times.  We ask that you help us spread the word and alert Tribal communities about COVID-19 related assistance issued by Tribal Governments and our guidance on how we treat those payments for SSI purposes.  For more information on the effect of COVID-19-Related Financial Assistance on SSI Income and Resources, check the publication: Spotlight on American Indians and Alaska Native Provsions [1] posted on the AIAN webpage ([2]).

If you are aware of Tribal payment(s) that may have been incorrectly counted as income or resources among Tribal communities, please advise them to call their local Social Security office with any questions. Tribal members can speak with a representative between 9:00 am – 4:00 pm, Monday through Friday.  We provide local office phone numbers conveniently online with our Social Security Office Locator[3]. 

While so many continue to be affected by COVID-19, we want to let you know that SSA remains committed to providing vital services.  Despite the challenges government and businesses face at this time, we want Indian Country to know that you can conduct most Social Security matters online or over the phone. 

Nancy A. Berryhill

Tribal Consultation Official

Acting Deputy Commissioner for

Analytics, Review and Oversight

Reneé Ferguson

AIAN Executive Lead

Assistant Regional Commissioner[4]

  1. Spotlight on American Indians and Alaska Native Provsions :
  3. Social Security Office Locator:

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