Policy Alert: Treasury Announces Formula to Distribute $20 Billion in COVID-19 Relief to Tribal Governments


Policy Alert: Treasury Announces Formula to Distribute $20 Billion in COVID-19 Relief to Tribal Governments

May 10, 2021

On Monday, May 10, the U.S. Department of the Treasury (Treasury) announced the much awaited distribution of $20 Billion to Tribal Governments for Coronavirus Relief. This announcement described the methodology Treasury used to allocate the funds as well as the timeline for distribution, upcoming information sessions, and the regulation determining allowable uses and requirements for the funds.

This historic investment in Tribal governments will be disbursed in two payments using three criteria. The first $1 billion is to be divided equally between all eligible Tribal governments and distributed in the first payment. The next $12.35 billion will also be distributed in the first payment and is paid to Tribes, on a pro-rata basis, based on self-certified enrollment data (Enrollment Allocation). The final $6.65 billion will be paid out later and will be determined, on a pro-rata basis, by Tribal governments’ employment numbers from 2019 once they are confirmed or amended by each tribe (Employment Allocation).
Treasury developed this methodology with the consultation and feedback from five Tribal consultations hosted in March and April. With this consultation in mind, Treasury has determined that the use of enrollment and employment data is fair and equitable because these metrics correlate, broadly, with a Tribe’s need for funding. These metrics were also chosen because the data to determine them are generally available, whereas other possible metrics (such as COVID-19 incidence rates) lack consistent data.

Treasury will use self-certified enrollment numbers submitted to the Bureau of Indian Affairs in April 2021 for the Enrollment Allocation. Treasury will use the 2019 employment data submitted to Treasury in May 2020 in connection with the CARES Act Coronavirus Relief Fund for the Employment Allocation and will require that Tribal governments confirm these numbers.

First Payment
To receive the first payment, Tribal governments must submit their information online through the Treasury Submission PortalThe deadline to complete the first submission is May 24, 2021 at 11:59 pm PST. Once a Tribal government has submitted their information it will take approximately 4-5 business days to review and process during which the Tribal point of contact will receive status updates. Once the documentation and information submitted is found to be accurate and sufficient, then the tribal contact will receive information regarding the amount and timing of the first payment.

Second Payment
The second payment will be made to Tribal governments once they have confirmed their 2019 employment numbers. Tribal governments will receive a notification requesting that they confirm (or amend) their 2019 employment numbers via the Treasury Submission Portal, in Mid-May. The deadline for confirmation or amendment of Tribal Government employment numbers is June 7, 2021 at 11:59 PM PST. NOTE: If a tribal government does not confirm or amend their employment numbers by that deadline, the Tribal government will not be eligible for a share of the employment allocation. 
For more information:

Tribal Leader Briefing Session
Today, May 10, 2021 3:30-4:00 EDT
Attend through this Zoom link or dial in at 669-254-5252, meeting ID: 1614690386#

Coronovarius State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds Information Session
May 13, 2021, 3:30pm - 5:00 pm EDT

For Question and Concerns: 

  • general questions about the Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds please email SLFRP@treasury.gov or call 844-529-9527.

NAFOA will continue to monitor developments related to the distribution of the $20 billion to tribal governments and will work to keep our community informed as new information becomes available. For any other questions or concerns, please contact Will Stringer at will@nafoa.org or (202) 945-7750.