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

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


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.

Burial Assistance: One time cash assistance that helps impoverished individuals and families meet expenses incurred by the death of family members.

Adult Care Assistance: Funding to provide medical care to eligible adult Indians who: A) have advanced health needs that require personal care and supervision due to advanced age, infirmity, physical condition, or mental impairments; or B) cannot be cared for in their own home by family members.

Child Assistance: Funding to provide services for eligible children for A) Room and Board at a residential care facility; B) Adoption or Guardianship Subsidies; C) Short-term homemaker services; D) Temporary foster care.

Services to Children, Elderly, and Families: Case management services can A) Assist individuals and families in solving problems related to family functioning and interpersonal relationships; B) Provide referral to the appropriate resource for problems related to illness, physical or mental handicaps, drug abuse, alcoholism, and violation of the law; C) Assist with obtaining protective services; D) Provide economic opportunity and money management skills.

Emergency Assistance: Cash payments to individuals or families who suffer from a burnout, flood, other destruction of their home and loss or damage to personal possessions.


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





Loan Terms:

Not Applicable


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 in this document.


Program Contact Information:

For more information, write to us at:
Office of Tribal Services, Human Services
Bureau of Indian Affairs
MS 4660 MIB
1849 C Street NW
Washington, D.C. 20240

Call us at: 202-513-7622

Or visit our website at:


Managing Agency:

U.S. Department of the Interior

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