Indianz.Com > COVID-19 > American Rescue Plan Act: Tribal Allocation Methdology
Posted: May 10, 2021

The Department of the Treasury in Washington, D.C. Photo: dog97209

On May 10, 2021, the Department of the Treasury released the tribal allocation methodology for the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA).

The methodology explains how federally recognized tribes are receiving shares of $20 billion in COVID-19 relief from ARPA. The first $1 billion is being distributed to 574 Indian nations in the form of an equal allocation.

“Treasury will equally divide the $1 billion among all eligible Tribal governments,” the explanation document reads. The payment comes to approximately $1.74 million for each Indian nation.


Tribes have until May 24 to submit a request to Treasury for the base payment.

The remaining $19 billion is being distributed based on two factors: enrollment and employment data for each tribe.

“Treasury has determined that 65% of the $19 billion in funds ($12.35 billion be allocated based on enrollment (‘Enrollment Allocation‘) and that 35% of the $19 billion in funds ($6.65 billion) will be allocated based on employment (‘Employment Allocation‘),” the document reads.

To calculate the Enrollment Allocation, Treasury will use “self-certified” enrollment data that tribes submitted to the Bureau of Indian Affairs in April 2021. For those tribes that did not submit data, Treasury will use data that was collected last year as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act, also known as the CARES Act.

“The Enrollment Allocation will result from Treasury calculating the pro-rata payment for each Tribal government, based on self-certified enrollment numbers,” the methodology reads. This means that $12.35 billion will be divided among 574 tribes, based on enrollment, so tribes with higher enrollment numbers will receive larger shares. 

As for the Employment Allocation, Treasury will base it on employment figures from 2019. The explanation document outlines three steps for calculating the payment:

Step 1. By Tribe, sum reported Tribal employment and Tribal entity employment for each quarter of 2019.

Step 2. Calculate the non-zero annual average of the summed quarters one through four obtained in Step 1.

Step 3. Calculate the pro-rata5 payment for each Tribal government, based on the annual employment averages obtained in Step 2.

The Employment Allocation will be distributed out of the $6.65 billion on a pro-rata basis.

Tribes have until June 7 to submit or confirm employment data with Treasury.

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