Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) Financial Assistance and Social Services

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July 20th 2017 –

Program Description

The BIA Financial Assistance and Social Services program provides assistance to Federally recognized American Indians and Alaska Native tribe members in the following ways:

General Assistance: Cash assistance to meet essential needs of food, clothing, shelter, and utilities. Additionally, each General Assistance recipient must work with a social services worker to develop and sign an Individual Self Sufficiency Plan (ISP) to meet the goal of employment. The plan must outline specific steps the individual will take to increase independence. Eligibility will be reviewed every three months, six months, or whenever there is a change in status that can affect eligibility. Recipients must immediately inform the social services office of any such changes. If a client refuses employment or quits a job they will be sanctioned and cannot receive services for a period of at least 60 days but not more than 90 days.


General Program Requirements

Individuals must meet all of the following eligibility criteria:

  1. Be an enrolled member of a Federally recognized American Indian/Alaska Native tribe
  2. Prove the inability to meet the essential needs of food, clothing, shelter, and utilities
  3. Reside in an approved service area or near designated service area; applicants can determine if they live in a service area by contacting the nearest BIA regional office or social service office
  4. Apply concurrently for all other Federal, state, tribal, county, local programs for which he/she may be eligible
  5. Not be receiving any comparable assistance

Your Next Steps

The following information will lead you to the next steps to apply for this benefit.

Application Process

Applicants can apply for assistance at the nearest BIA operated or tribal social service provider. To obtain information on how to find a provider in your area, please contact the nearest BIA regional office, which can be found at the following location:

Program Contact Information

For more information, write to us at:
Bureau of Indian Affairs
Division of Human Services
1849 C Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20240
Call us at:

Or visit our website at: