Saipan-- Households that are enrolled in the CNMI Nutrition Assistance Program are no longer required to report stimulus checks and lump sum payments.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) has granted the CNMI’s request for a waiver to exclude the treatment of stimulus payments as resources for NAP participants, Community and Cultural Affairs Secretary Robert Hunter said.
Previously, the NAP sought for clarity on stimulus payments because certain provisions in NAP differ from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Stimulus payments was regarded as a form of non-recurring lump sum payment.
As a result, the NAP Office issued a press release on May 27 reminding households to report changes in their resources, as stated in provisions governing the CNMI NAP program under the NMI Administrative Code.
Money received in the form of a non-recurring lump sum payment shall be counted as resources in the month received unless specifically excluded from consideration as resources by other federal law.
This is a NAP provision of the NMI Administrative Code requires the adult head of household or its authorized representative is required to report changes in circumstances such as changes in income, household size, residence, and resources to its assigned eligibility worker within 10 days after effect of the change.
As a reconsideration, the CNMI NAP Office sought a waiver from the USDA-FNS Western Region Office to exclude stimulus payments from the resources reporting requirement.
The Western Region Office immediately responded to the NAP request and approved the waiver. As a result, the stimulus payments that NAP households received will not be regarded as resources and are not required to be reported to the NAP office.
“This is welcoming news, and we are glad that we are able to get clarity on this as we continue to assist families during this pandemic. We are grateful to Gov. Ralph DLG. Torres, Lt. Governor Arnold I. Palacios, Director Walter Macaranas, and the hardworking staff at the NAP office for their commitment to making sure we help every eligible family during these unprecedented times,” Hunter said.
In conformance with the extended Public Health Emergency declaration and for ensuring the protocols for social distancing are in place, the CNMI government said NAP will be distributing benefits through drive-thru service again at their office location in As Lito from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. from June 1 to 15.
This means eligible households will be issued their benefits to them while in their vehicle. The purpose of this drive thru service is to ensure safety and protection of the public and Nutrition Assistance Program personnel from Covid-19. There will be no walk-in service during the drive-thru period.
Walk-in service for benefit pick-up only will be available beginning June 16 to 30. Additionally, only those whose names appear on the valid NAP Identification Card may receive their household’s benefits. In addition to the NAP Identification Card, the individual must have a valid photo identification card such as a valid driver’s license or passport.
NAP issued the following schedules.
Drive-Thru Benefit Issuance Schedule for Saipan
June 1, 2020 Monday Case Records Ending with “1”
June 2, 2020 Tuesday Case Records Ending with “2”
June 3, 2020 Wednesday Case Records Ending with “3”
June 4, 2020 Thursday Case Records Ending with “4”
June 5, 2020 Friday Case Records Ending with “5”
June 8, 2020 Monday Case Records Ending with “6”
June 9, 2020 Tuesday Case Records Ending with “7”
June 10, 2020 Wednesday Case Records Ending with “8”
June 11, 2020 Thursday Case Records Ending with “9”
June 12, 2020 Friday Case Records Ending with “0”
June 15, 2020 Monday Open Day