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The Kawerak Tribal Welfare Assistance Department (TWA) consists of three (3) programs: General (Monthly) Assistance BIA, Burial Assistance BIA and Emergency Assistance BIA (natural disasters).

The TWA Dept. also includes Kawerak Employment Work Services (KNEWS) a state funded program to work with ATAP clients in Community Work Experience, who are referred by the Nome Job Center Work Services team.

The three (3) BIA programs provide temporary assistance to individuals and families in meeting their basic essential needs.

Applicants must meet all three (3) program eligibility requirements are as follows:

1. Must be a member of a federally recognized tribe, Alaska Native or American-Indian
2. Must reside in the compact service areas in the Bering Straits Region (excluding NEC & UNK members)
3. Income eligible per the BIA Standards and not have enough resources to meet the essential needs.

Tribal members who reside outside of the compact service areas should contact the local tribal office where they reside for General, Burial and Emergency assistance.

· Anchorage residents contact: Cook Inlet Tribal Council office at 907.793.3300 or 907.265.5911
· Fairbanks residents contact: Fairbanks Native Association office at 907.452.1648
· Wasilla residents contact: Nima Corporation Mekoryuk IRA office at 907.827.8827
· Other community information Juneau contact: BIA Social Services 1.800.645.8397
· Nome Eskimo Tribal members contact: NEC office 907.443.9120
· Unalakleet Tribal members contact the UNK IRA office

Nome applicants must come to the TWA office to meet with the Welfare Specialist and will explain the Nome application process.

General Assistance (Income Based):
Kawerak General Assistance Program is an income based, last resort assistance program for tribal members in a federally recognized tribe who reside in the Kawerak Tribal Welfare Assistance compact service areas listed below. The General Assistance Program is meant to help tribal residents with “unmet needs” costs when no other resources are available (such as Public Assistance). Applicants must show there is a need for assistance for essential current unmet needs such as FOOD, CLOTHING, SHELTER, and UTILITIES. Our priority is to assist eligible households to increase self-sufficiency. If there are no jobs available, you may be required to seek, attend and complete training. If you have children in your household under 18 yrs old, you will be required to apply for State of Alaska Temporary Assistance Program (ATAP). Must have exhausted all other prior resources before they will be eligible.
Applied for other resources including, but is not limited to: ATAP; State General Relief; Food stamps; Social Security benefits, Veterans benefits and Unemployment Benefits. You may not be eligible if you are receiving ATAP or Social Security Disability Benefits. Applicants must actively seek employment and accept employment unless they are exempted from work requirements. If applicants are non compliant with an agency, we can assist in becoming compliant.

Burial Assistance (Income Based)
Planning a funeral can be a very stressful and emotional time. The Kawerak Welfare Assistance has attempted to gather as much information that is available online, that is needed to plan a funeral and have provided the packet for more information. We hope this will help eliminate some of the stress during such an emotional time. Kawerak Burial Assistance (BU) Program is an income based, last resort assistance program for residents of the Bering Straits region. BU offers basic BIA funeral and burial assistance. These services include (up to a maximum of $2,500 limit): preparation & embalming; provision for a cloth-covered casket with at least 4 handles & a padded & lined interior; one chapel service at vendor’s place of business; use of a hearse, use of other facilities & equipment for burial or cremation; if the casket and cross are going to be made, supplies may be purchased in your local community with staff approval. The family will be notified the determination, and if approved, a vendor payment to the mortuary/funeral home will be made appropriately. The family is responsible for taking care of all arrangements with the mortuary/funeral home and with the State Medical Examiner’s office where appropriate. If the deceased was receiving Adult Public Assistance (APA), Alaska Temporary Assistance (ATAP) or SSI, they must first apply first for General Relief Burial Assistance (GRA) through the State of Alaska, Public Assistance office at 1.800.478.2236 or 443.2237. Anchorage residents call (907) 793-3300 CITC to apply.

Emergency Assistance
This assistance can be made to individuals or families who suffer from a burnout, flood or other destruction of their home and loss or damage to personal possessions. Payments will be made for essential needs and other non-medical necessities. Prior to applying for Kawerak, Inc.’s Emergency Assistance, you must contact the Red Cross of Alaska at 1.800.451.8267 and request assistance. Kawerak Emergency Assistance is an income based, last resort assistance program for residents of the Bering Straits region If approved for Emergency Assistance, payment will not exceed $1,000 per household for certain items lost, as established by the BIA CFR §20.329-23.30. Prior to providing emergency assistance, other resources should be exhausted before emergency assistance is provided.

Disaster Assistance
This is immediate and/or short-term relief from a disaster and can be provided to a tribal community. This request will be submitted to the Regional Director through the General Assistance Director. This requires a tribal resolution, a copy of state of presidential declaration of disaster; and projected extent of need in the service area not covered by other federal funding sources. The G.A. Director will submit the request to the Regional Director who will make a recommendation and forward it to the Assistant Secretary for the final decision.