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Treasurer Matt Pagels

The Seneca Nation is taking a direct response to address our fiscal needs during the Coronavirus pandemic.

COVID 19 or the Corona Virus has morphed, from solely a Health Crisis to a Financial Crisis as well. Unemployment numbers are though the roof, as we find out NYS sites are crashing and wait times are “timing out” but be patient and keep trying. Much is being done with their infrastructure increasing servers and live call in staff.

That said, COVID-19 outbreak and response are causing every household to take an extra serious hard look at their finances.

Any impacted workers in our community should be aware of both the Unemployment Insurance and Pandemic Unemployment Assistance programs. The federal government recently increased these benefit programs to offer some additional assurance to workers.

As some know or may have heard, New York has waived the usual seven-day waiting period, and the benefit period has been extended. If you have been approved, remember to claim your benefits each week!

The Pandemic Unemployment Assistance is a new basket that helps all forced workers to NOT work. From Employee’s, independent contractors, service providers this new “pool” of money is there to help… This program is designed for those whose jobs have been impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak. Information on both programs is available at Labor dot NY dot gov.

Meanwhile, many housing programs including the Nation’s, along with local utility companies, service providers, banks, car dealers, are allowing deferred payments and waiving various fees to help in anyway they can. Most of these “deferrals” will require individuals to reach out and request the temporary assistance.

Please everyone, contact your service providers and suppliers to inquire about available program services.

Knowing everything that is available to you and your family can help you plan and ease the short-term impact on your finances as we all pull through these challenging circumstances.

As I’m sure you know we’ve been working diligently on our direct benefits. Today, I’m here to let you know the Nation has been able to guarantee May’s full direct benefit. That again includes; Annuity, Elders, and Disability payments.

Unfortunately, there is another side to this story and that’s to prepare for possible reductions beyond May. So I ask each and all of you to conserve and prepare for the great unknown as we are here too. Much work is being done to evaluate all options and plans. I know we will continue to work every and all angles.

This new normal is coming and we ALL need to prepare for the great unknown…

Please, stay strong and stay safe.

Matthew Pagels, Treasurer