Program Description

The Financial Assistance and Social Services (FASS) program offers five types of financial assistance to American Indians or Alaska Natives. These funds are secondary in nature and may not cover all costs. You may qualify for assistance if you meet the conditions below:

  • You do not have access to Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF).
  • You do not qualify for TANF.
  • You have exceeded the lifetime limit for TANF services.

The assistance we offer includes the following:

General Assistance

You may get funds for essential needs like food, clothing, shelter, and utilities.

The goal is to help you increase self-sufficiency. You must work with social services to develop an Individual Self-sufficiency Plan (ISP). The plan must show the specific steps you’ll take to increase your independence.

We review your case every three or six months, or when there’s any change that can affect your eligibility. You must tell social services immediately if your status changes.

If you refuse a job or quit a job, you won’t be able to get services for 60 to 90 days.

Child Assistance

You may get funds for an Indian child who needs any of the services below:

  • Placement in a foster home, private, or tribal group daycare home.
  • Placement in a residential setting that offers special care.
  • Adoption or guardianship services.
Non-medical Institutional or Custodial Care of Adults

You may get monthly funds for non-medical care and supervision of adults who need the following:

  • Personal care because of age, illness, physical or mental impairment.
  • Homecare services in their own home.
  • Care in a residential facility.

This program helps disabled adults who don’t qualify for any other county, state, or federal programs.

Burial Assistance

You may get funds to help with burial expenses for a needy Indian whose estate is not able to cover them.

Emergency Assistance

You may get funds if a disaster caused personal property damage or destroyed your home. You can use these funds for needs like food, shelter, and utilities when you have no other resources.

Visit the Direct Assistance (Financial Assistance & Social Services) page to learn more about these services and how to apply.

General Program Requirements

You must meet all of the criteria below to qualify:

  1. Be an enrolled member of a federally recognized American Indian or Alaska Native tribe.
  2. Prove you are unable to pay for the essential needs of food, clothing, shelter, and utilities.
  3. Live in or near an approved service area.
  4. Apply for all other federal, state, tribal, county, and local programs you may qualify for.
  5. Confirm you don’t get any other similar assistance.

Contact a BIA regional or social services office to find out if you’re in an approved service area.

Application Process

You can apply at the nearest BIA-operated or tribal social service provider. Contact your local BIA regional office to find a provider in your area.

Last Updated: 07/22/2020