The Osage Nation’s inaugural disability assistance program helped 50 constituents before the program funding was depleted earlier this summer.
The ON Financial Assistance Department administered the disability assistance program, which is the result of a $50,000 appropriation bill (ONCA 15-107 sponsored by Congresswoman Alice Buffalohead) that was passed by the Fourth ON Congress during its Hun-Kah Session in April. After the bill’s passage, the Executive Branch was charged with establishing criteria and procedures for accepting and reviewing applications and awarding approved applicants, which were announced in June.
By July 13, Jodie Revard, Financial Assistance Department director, said the program funds were depleted, so no more applications would be accepted for remainder of the fiscal year. According to the department, a total of 50 Osages received the disability assistance within 17 business days.
A news release reported the following results of the disability assistance program:
- Four Osages ages 1-21 received the assistance
- Twenty Osages ages 22-54
- Twenty-six elders ages 55 and greater
Of those 50:
- Thirteen reside outside of the Osage Nation/county boundaries
- Thirty-seven reside within the Nation
- Nine are military veterans
The disability assistance program is 100 percent funded by tribal funds and further funding approval is subject to consideration and action by the Fifth ON Congress, which meets for its fall Tzi-Zho Session starting Sept. 6. At that time, the Congress will consider the 2017 fiscal year budgets and funding requests for FY 2017 starting Oct. 1.
Like Disability Assistance, ON Crisis Assistance will begin a new year of supportive service on Oct. 1.
“We have assisted 231 constituents, 59 were within Osage County boundaries and 172 were outside of Osage County,” Cherokee Cheshewalla, a financial assistance case manager, said in the release.
For more information about the Osage Nation Financial Assistance Department, contact Cheshewalla at (918) 287-5326, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the department online at www.osagenation-nsn.gov to learn more and download an application.