Strong families are the Absentee Shawnee Tribe’s foundation and out future. Keeping families strong and together are goals the Social Services Department strives to achieve. By reaching out, working together and by providing affective and efficient administration of programs that will strengthen family life and foster self-sufficiency we can improve the wellbeing of all Absentee Shawnee families.
Services are offered with the goal of self-sufficiency. All programs administered thru the Social Services target the economically disadvantaged, unemployed, or underemployed Native American Indian. An application process is required. Receipt of any assistance is dependent on an un-met need basis, meeting specific program requirements, and availability of funding. Not all services are of a financial nature.
The Social Services, service area extends to include Lincoln, Payne, Cleveland and Pottawatomie counties. Most of the programs are limited to the former reservation boundaries plus near reservation designation of the Absentee Shawnee Tribe or in Census Bureau terms “Oklahoma Tribal Service Area” (OTSA). This area is bound on the South of the North Canadian River, on the North of the South Canadian River, on the West of the Seminole County line and on the East of the Indian Meridian line. The Absentee Shawnee Tribe former reservation service area covers portions of the Pottawatomie, Cleveland, and Oklahoma counties.
An application for services in not considered complete until all required documents are received and an assessment has been administered. Based on the information contained in the application, a Case Worker will be assigned to provide individual assistance. Depending on the needs identified in the assessment, each participant’s file will be reviewed by the Social Services Director for further approval. Depending on services requested or needed the Case Worker may request additional documentation or a referral will be completed. In the event the applicant is related or closely associated with the Case Worker or Director an alternate Social Services staff will be assigned. Incomplete or pending applications are held for a minimum of 30 days. After 90 days of inactivity, files will be considered closed.
Within The Social Services
General Assistance, BIA Indigent Burial Assistance, Disaster Assistance, Emergency Assistance, Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), Tribal Energy Assistance and School Clothing Assistance. In this component, the eligibility for the service varies depending on residence. Program funding provided may range from home energy assistance to crisis assistance to assist Indian people who have obtained a new permanent full-time job but still need help with initial expenses, as well as other miscellaneous assistance.
Tribal Energy Assistance
(AST tribal members only)
TEA is designed to alleviate the immediate threat of utility service disconnection (i.e., electricity, gas, water/sewage, propane or heating oil/wood). Tribal members that meet the guidelines are eligible for this service. Any unpaid balances from a previous residence, any re-connect fees or deposits of any kind that are not “energy costs” will not be paid. This program runs from January through December to tribal members who reside in the United States or until funds are depleted. These funds are made possible from tribal profits assigned by the Executive Committee for Absentee Shawnee Tribal members in dire need. Limitations and restrictions do apply regarding fund available. Residence within the United States is required. Referrals to other public services agencies will be made as appropriate. The TEA program is on a first come first serve basis. This assistance is limited to a one time payment of $150.00 per year, per residence and is a “use it or lose it basis.”
Burial Assistance Program
(AST tribal members only)
Any deceased enrolled Tribal Members of the Absentee Shawnee Tribe of Indians of Oklahoma is entitled to receive, on his or her behalf, from the Absentee Shawnee Burial Assistance Program, financial assistance for the costs incurred in connection with the funeral and/or burial services of the named deceased. Adoption and other singular traditional ceremonies from other tribes will not be recognized for payment.
Financial assistance to the child of an enrolled member for funeral and/or burial if that child would have been eligible and was not enrolled in another Tribe. The age limit is from conception to three (3) months of age and availability of financial assistance is restricted to this time frame.
School Clothing Allowance Program
(AST tribal members only)
This clothing allowance program is designed to provide clothing assistance to eligible tribal members in the following amounts: $200.00 for Kindergarten through 12th grade. Each calendar year January 1st thru December 31st.
L.I.H.E.A.P (Cooling Assistance and Heating Assistance)
LIHEAP is designed to alleviate the immediate threat of utility service disconnection (i.e. electricity, gas, propane or heating oil/wood). Any federally recognized Native American families that meet the guidelines are eligible for this service. The program runs from May to September for Cooling Assistance and November to March for Heating Assistance. This program is eligible to any Native American whom resides within Pottawatomie and Cleveland counties.
To be eligible the following criteria must apply: (1) Applicant must be an enrolled member of a federally recognized tribe and 18 years of age or older. (2) Must provide CDIB’s, Social Security cards and other forms of identification specified by the case worker for everyone in household. (3) Applicant must reside in Pottawatomie or Cleveland counties. (4) Applicant must supply all income verification for the past year, summary of wages from Social Security administration or the past year income tax, if unemployed/self employed, for everyone in household. (5) Utility bill must be for the main heating/cooling sources only. (6) Utility bill MUST be in the applicant’s name. (7) The most current utility bill must be submitted. (8) Services can not be duplicated (applicant can not receive assistance from the Absentee Shawnee Tribe, if services have been received from another state/county/local or tribal agency and vice versa). (9) Other supporting documentations may be required at case workers request following assessment.
Heating assistance months are November thru March and the Cooling assistance months are June thru September until funds are depleted. The assistance is $150.00 dollars every six months.
This program is intended to assist with unmet financial needs. The Absentee Shawnee Tribe is a secondary resource for needy families. This Program runs from January through December for members of federally recognized tribe who live in the Absentee Shawnee Tribal Service area (or until funds are depleted) and determination of need will be accomplished on a case-by-case basis. General Assistance for Unemployed Due to Health Reasons and general assistance for temporarily unemployed.