Osage Nation creates temporary membership process for infants

Staff Reports

The Osage Nation has created a temporary membership process for infants under 365 days old. The purpose of this process is to allow families with infants to receive direct assistance payments in the names of those children.

"The temporary application process is in response to the Osage ARP Cash Assistance, which is providing up to $2,000 cash assistance to enrolled members of the Osage Nation that have experienced a negative economic impact because of the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency," the Osage Nation said in a news release last week.

The Osage Nation Congress has appropriated $35 million of American Rescue Plan funds so that qualified tribal members may receive up to $2,000 each of direct financial assistance.

"Parents/guardians of infants must complete and submit a paper application with supporting documents to the Temporary Membership for Infants (TMFI) Task Force who will verify eligibility for temporary membership," the Osage Nation said.

“The Temporary Membership process will allow those under 365 days old to qualify for benefits and programs that Osage Nation offers before they are issued a CDIB or Membership Card,” said Lauren A. Malone, Osage Nation CDIB/Membership Director. “This process does not replace the Osage Nation Membership/CDIB application process. However, it will help Osage families with newborns apply for benefits such as the ARP cash assistance before an infant is formally enrolled.”

To enroll their infants in the new program, parents and guardians must submit a packet of information that includes an American Rescue Plan (ARP) application form and supporting documents. Forms are available for download at www.osagenation-nsn.gov/cash-assistance-information, or for pickup at the Osage Nation Welcome Center, 239 W. 12th Street, Pawhuska.

The Osage Nation said that parents and guardians should not submit the application to Osage ARP - RT Consulting LLC. Additionally, if a Social Security Number for the infant is not available, please put "NA" on the form.

According to the Osage Nation, supporting documentation for an infant must include the front and back of the original state-issued birth certificate; a copy of the marriage license, if married; if not married and the father is the Osage parent, a notarized paternity affidavit (see https://s3.amazonaws.com/osagenation- nsn.gov/files/departments/cdib-membership/2016-0223_Membership_affof-pat-2016.pdf).

If the infant is adopted, supporting documentation must include the front and back of the original state-issued birth certificate after adoption, and the final adoption decree that states the Osage parent as the biological parent.

If an infant has an Osage father, and that father is not on the birth certificate, DNA is required and has to be filed in court and a judge must establish paternity before being verified.

The Osage Nation said that the TMFI Task Force will verify eligibility for temporary membership, and will forward the application to Osage ARP – RT Consulting LLC for the application to be processed.

Submitting an ARP Cash Assistance application does not qualify individuals for a CDIB card or Membership Card.

Parents and guardians are still required to follow the Membership and CDIB application guidelines and process. Membership and CDIB applications are available at https://www.osagenation-nsn.gov/what-we-do/cdib-membership. Questions regarding the Osage ARP Temporary Membership for Infants can be emailed to tempinfantsarp2@osagenation-nsn.gov.