The U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service has approved the CNMI Department of Community and Cultural Affairs-Nutrition Assistance Program’s request to temporarily modify certain NAP procedures and services due to the ongoing effects of COVID-19 while undertaking precautionary measures that conforms to protecting the health and safety of our communities.
Gov. Ralph DLG Torres announced the USDA’s approval yesterday. DCCA-NAP informs new and ongoing recipients of the following changes:
Extension of certifications
Households who are currently approved will see their certifications extended without the need to renew. However, all households are still required to report within 10 business days regarding changes to their household circumstances such as changes in household size, income, resources, etc.
Households with no reported income
-Certifications expiring on March 2020 will be extended to June 2020
-Certifications expiring on April 2020 will be extended to July 2020
-Certifications expiring on May 2020 will be extended to August 2020
Households with reported income
-Certifications expiring on March 2020 will be extended to September 2020
-Certifications expiring on April 2020 will be extended to October 2020
-Certifications expiring on May 2020 will be extended to November 2020
SSI households expiring between March 2020 to November 2020 will be extended to December 2020
Distribution of benefits for April 2020
The Nutrition Assistance Program will be distributing April 2020 benefits through drive-thru service at their office in As Lito. This means eligible households will be issued their benefits to them while in their vehicle. The purpose of this drive-thru service is to ensure safety and protection of the public and Nutrition Assistance Program personnel from Covid-19. There will be no walk-in service; issuance of benefits will be performed through the drive-thru service only. Walk-in service will be available on April 16, 2020.
Additionally, only those whose names appear on the valid NAP Identification Card may receive their household’s benefits. In addition to the NAP Identification Card, the individual must have a valid photo identification card such as a valid driver’s license or passport.
Issuance Schedule for Saipan
April 1, Wednesday-Case Records ending with “1”
April 2, Thursday-Case Records Ending with “2”
April 3, Friday-Case Records Ending with “3”
April 6, Monday-Case Records Ending with “4”
April 7, Tuesday-Case Records Ending with “5”
April 8, Wednesday-Case Records Ending with “6”
April 9, Thursday-Case Records Ending with “7”
April 13, Monday-Case Records Ending with “8”
April 14, Tuesday-Case Records Ending with “9”
April 15, Wednesday-Case Records Ending with “0”
April 16, Thursday-Open Day
Open Day is intended for households who missed or were unable to pick up their benefits according to the issuance schedule. Walk-in service will be available on Open Day, April 16, 2020. The NAP will strictly enforce the issuance schedule; there will be no early issuances. Applicants who have questions regarding the status of their applications contact the NAP office at 237-2801 or 2802.
Class-setting orientations will temporarily be discontinued. In lieu of in-person orientations, applicants will be issued a paper version of the orientation and an application. An orientation is required before an applicant can be interviewed.
After the applicant has read and understood the paper orientation, the applicant can contact the NAP office and be scheduled for an interview. Any questions regarding any information provided in the paper orientation would be addressed during the interview.
Additionally, the interviewer will provide additional information to the applicant regarding reporting changes, penalties, etc. To request an application and orientation packet visit the Certification Unit at the NAP Office in As Lito.
The NAP Certification Unit is responsible for receiving applications and making appropriate determination on applications. In all instances, applicants will be contacted via telephone to be scheduled an appointment for a phone interview. There will be no in-person interviews. Contact the NAP Certification Unit at 237-2801 or 2802 to schedule an appointment for submitted applications.
Due to the lack of access to notary publics, NAP applicants may submit required affidavits without being notarized, however the affidavit must include the following statement:
I declare under penalty of perjury that the foregoing is true and correct and that this declaration was executed on _______________________________ at________________, Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas Islands.
Under the current rules, recipients who were not exempted from the work registration requirements are required to report to the Department of Labor, Division of Employment Services and register for work. Due to the government office closure, the work registration is suspended through May 30, 2020.
The DCCA – NAP will continue to provide updates of any new or extension of waivers.
For more information contact NAP at 237-2842 or 2843. (PR)