Our Shareholders

BSNC CARES Act Direct Assistance Program

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CARES ACTBSNC CARES Act Direct Assistance Program

The application period for the CARES Act Direct Assistance Program has closed.  

In August 2021, Bering Straits Native Corporation (BSNC) Board of Directors approved a CARES Act Direct Assistance Program (DAP) for eligible shareholders. BSNC received $15 million in federal CARES Act funding and developed the DAP to provide needs-based assistance directly to shareholders.

BSNC shareholders who shouldered extra expenses and/or the loss of income as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic were eligible to apply for assistance under the DAP. Applications went live on Sept. 24, 2021 in the MyBSNC shareholder portal. Shareholders were encouraged to sign up for a MyBSNC account at https://shareholder.bsnc.net/home; those registered through MyBSNC received their funds faster via direct deposit. Paper applications were also mailed to shareholders. The deadline for all applications to be submitted was extended to Dec. 10, 2021.

If you have any questions, please email bsnccares@bsnc.net.

See announcement: BSNC to Provide COVID-19 Assistance to Shareholders Impacted by the Pandemic (beringstraits.com)

CARES Act FAQS

Why were the Round 2 payments $500?

More shareholders than expected participated in BSNC’s CARES Round 2 application, which lowered the available amount of funding for each shareholder who applied. BSNC has fully extinguished its available CARES funding through direct financial support to shareholders.

Will BSNC receive any more CARES Act federal funds?

The BSNC CARES program has been full expended. There will be no further CARES funds available. BSNC does not anticipate receiving further federal assistance funds at this time. Check the beringstraits.com for updates on the corporation and follow the latest news releases on Facebook and Instagram.

What is the status of my Round #1 payment?

BSNC staff is working as quickly as possible to process applications, including incomplete applications. If BSNC calls you, please answer to ensure timely processing of your application.

What is the status of my Round #2 payment?

CARES Act Round #2 payment is scheduled to be paid in late January, 2022.

What is the CARES Act?

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act or (CARES Act), was passed by Congress on March 27, 2020. This bill allotted $2.2 trillion to provide fast and direct economic aid to the American people negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The CARES Act reserved $8 billion from the Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF) for payments to Tribal governments.

Why did it take so long for Alaska Native Corporations (ANCs) to receive the funds?

In April 2020, the U.S. Department of Treasury determined that ANCs were eligible to receive relief under Title V of the CARES Act, and the Department set aside a portion of the $8 billion for payment to ANCs. A number of federally recognized tribes subsequently challenged this determination, arguing that ANCs were not eligible for Title V payments because (1) ANCs do not meet the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act’s definition of “Indian tribe,” and (2) ANCs are not or do not have a “recognized governing body” of an Indian tribe.

What decision ruling did the Supreme Court make in Yellen v. Confederated Tribes of the Chehalis Reservation, et.al.?

On June 25, 2021, in Yellen v. Confederated Tribes of the Chehalis Reservation, the Court ruled that ANCs are “Indian tribes” under the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act of 1975 and are therefore eligible to receive certain COVID-19 relief funds made available under Title V of the CARES Act. The U.S. Treasury said it would allocate nearly $443.9 million to ANCs, which include 12 regional corporations and more than 200 village corporations. The amount allocated to ANCs is less than 6 percent of the total allocated for Tribal relief.

This ruling also safeguards ANCs’ economic self-determination by protecting our ability to participate in the Native 8(a) Program, which operates in tandem with the U.S. SBA 8(a) Business Development Program. Through its subsidiaries, BSNC is proud to serve government customers and our nation’s military by providing optimal, reliable services to achieve mission success.

See the Supreme Court’s decision: https://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/20pdf/20-543_3e04.

How much did BSNC receive from the CARES Act?

BSNC received its allocation of CARES Act funding in the amount of just under $15 million.

What is the BSNC CARES Act Direct Assistance Program (DAP)?

BSNC’s CARES Act Direct Assistance Program (DAP) is a program that allows BSNC to provide cash assistance directly to eligible BSNC shareholders who experienced extra expenses and/or loss of income related to the COVID-19 pandemic that have not been paid by or reimbursed by any other Alaska Native corporation, CARES Act Program or federal, state, tribal or local government. This program is funded through the corporation’s allocation of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funding from the federal government.

Is there a period during which the financial hardships had to have occurred?

Yes. All financial hardships must have occurred between March 1, 2020, and December 31, 2021.

How much money am I eligible to receive?

Eligible shareholders qualify to apply for a one-time payment of up to $2,000.

Who qualifies as an eligible shareholder?

Eligible shareholders are defined as individuals that are 18 years or older and have held voting shares of BSNC stock as of, or before, Sept. 17, 2021. Minors (under age 18) that have held voting shares of BSNC stock as of, or before Sept. 17, 2021 also qualify, but their applications must be filled out and signed by a legal parent or guardian that is at least 18 years or older.

Can a BSNC shareholder apply for a minor child?

Yes, if the minor child is a BSNC shareholder.

When is the application window?

Applications will be accepted beginning Sept. 24 through Dec.10.

How do I apply?

To apply, visit the MyBSNC shareholder portal at https://shareholder.bsnc.net/home. If you have questions or need a paper application, email bsnccares@bsnc.net. Paper applications may be submitted by mail to Bering Straits Native Corporation, Attn: BSNC CARES Act Direct Assistance Program, 3301 C Street, Suite 400, Anchorage, Alaska 99503 or by email to bsnccares@bsnc.net. Each eligible shareholder should only submit one DAP application form and multiple adults cannot be listed on one application.

How will I know if my application was received?

Shareholders who submit an application online received an email from BSNC confirming receipt of their application. Shareholders are able to verify the receipt of their application by logging into the MyBSNC portal and can track the status of their application. BSNC sent letters to people whose applications were incomplete and an email was sent to those who were ineligible.

Are the funds paid on a first-come, first serve basis?

No, all complete applications received by the Oct. 29, 2021 deadline are eligible to receive payment. Complete applications will be processed in the order they are received. To receive funds, approved applicants must be alive on the date of distribution of the DAP payment. Failure to submit the required information will delay processing and may cause the application to be denied.

Is there an age requirement for applicants?

Yes. Shareholders are eligible to apply if they are at least 18 years of age. Minor shareholders may apply by having a parent or legal guardian that is 18 years or older submit their application on their behalf.

Can I apply if I live outside Alaska?

Yes. DAP funds are available to all shareholders who meet certain criteria, regardless of where they live, as long as the applicant is a U.S. citizen. Please note that direct deposit may not be available to individuals residing outside of the United States.

Am I eligible to receive more money if I’m an original BSNC enrollee and/or age 65 or older?

No. Regardless of your age, eligible applicants are all qualified to receive the same amount of cash assistance: A one-time payment of up to $2,000.  The exact amount of the distribution will depend upon the number of shareholders who apply but will not exceed $2,000.

I am a descendant. Do I still qualify?

No. At this time, the DAP is only available to eligible shareholders.

Will the DAP affect BSNC shareholder distributions made to beneficiaries of BSNC Settlement Trust?

No.

Is cash assistance from DAP considered a BSNC “special dividend”?

No. The DAP is funded through BSNC’s allocation of CARES Act funding. It is not a BSNC or BSNC Settlement Trust distribution or “special dividend.”

Is DAP cash assistance a loan or grant that I will need to repay?

No. As long as you can demonstrate unreimbursed negative financial hardship expenses from COVID-19 for the time period March 1, 2020 to Dec. 31, 2021, the money is yours to keep.

What does it mean to have experienced “negative financial hardships” from COVID-19?

The DAP application lists a number of categories of potential financial hardships. Applicants are required to check the boxes corresponding to COVID-related financial impacts they have experienced that have not been paid or otherwise reimbursed by another Alaska Native Corporation, CARES Act program, or federal, state, tribal, or local government. For example, if an applicant lost his or her job, and already received payment or reimbursement from another source for that job loss, he or she may not claim the same loss a second time with BSNC.

All applicants must certify that the expense or financial hardships for which assistance is sought have not been otherwise accounted for or reimbursed.

Receipts are not required to be submitted; however, applicants must agree to maintain reasonable documentation of the expenses for which DAP funds are received for at least five years and, upon reasonable request, to assist BSNC during that five-year period by providing copies of documentation and any other information necessary to verify the expenses.

When can I expect to receive my DAP money?

BSNC is processing applications as quickly as possible. Applications completed through the MyBSNC portal are able to be processed faster. Once processed, direct deposit payments should reach bank accounts within 3 business days and checks can be expected within 14 business days. Apply online for faster processing! Go to www.beringstraits.com and click on MyBSNC Portal or go to https://shareholder.bsnc.net/home.

How will my DAP money be paid?

Approved payments will be mailed in check form to the address on file with the Shareholder Department or direct deposited. If your mailing address has changed, please check the box on the application that says it is a new address and the Shareholder Department will update your record. Please register for direct deposit through the MyBSNC shareholder portal at https://shareholder.bsnc.net/home.  

Are there limits on how I may spend my DAP money?

No, DAP is reimbursement for expenses you previously incurred.

Are the BSNC CARES Act Direct Assistance Payments considered taxable income? Will I need to report this income on my tax returns?

As stated in the BSNC CARES Act Direct Assistance Program application, BSNC cannot offer advice about taxes. Please read IRS guidelines or seek advice from a trusted tax adviser.

Will BSNC be mailing recipients 1099s for these payments?

No, 1099s will not be mailed.

Will DAP cash assistance impact eligibility to receive public/welfare assistance benefits?

Possibly, depending on your individual circumstances. Please consult with your program case worker or the appropriate agency. BSNC cannot offer advice about this.

I will turn 18 before the Dec. 10, 2021 Application Deadline. Can I apply after my birthday?

Yes.

In addition to being an eligible BSNC shareholder, I am also a shareholder or descendant of another Alaska Native corporation that is offering CARES Act cash assistance to individuals. Do I qualify for both programs?

It depends. The important thing to remember is that you cannot “double-dip.” In other words, you cannot apply for financial assistance from multiple sources and claim the same expenses. As an example, if you incurred $2,000 in increased utility costs due to the COVID-19 pandemic (such as higher internet, phone, electric or other costs associated with working from home), and those expenses were not otherwise paid or reimbursed, you could apply to receive $2,000 in DAP funds. However, you could not apply to have those same expenses reimbursed by another Alaska Native corporation.

Do I have to be enrolled in a federally recognized tribe in order to qualify?

No.

Can I apply for Round 2 even if I have not received payment for Round 1?

Yes.

How do I sign up for direct deposit?
Shareholders must first create a MyBSNC portal account to sign up for direct deposit.
Are CARES Act Direct Assistance Applications and payments applied for by household per shareholder?
Each eligible shareholder is asked to apply separately.
How do apply for Round #2?
Via the MyBSNC portal. If you do not have a portal account, please sign up today at MyBSNC.

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OFFICESWhere to find us?
Bering Straits Native Corporation is headquartered in Nome, has a business office in Anchorage and site locations and offices across the U.S.
OUR LOCATIONS
ANCHORAGE
3301 C Street, Suite 100, Anchorage, AK 99503
NOME
PO Box 1008. 110 Front Street, Suite 300, Nome, Alaska 99762
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OFFICESBering Straits Native Corporation
OFFICESWhere to find us?
BSNC is headquartered in Nome, has a business office in Anchorage and site locations and offices across the U.S.
OUR LOCATIONSWhere to find us?
ANCHORAGE
3301 C Street, Suite 100, Anchorage, AK 99503
NOME
PO Box 1008. 110 Front Street, Suite 300, Nome, Alaska 99762
GET IN TOUCHStay Connected
Follow BSNC for news, updates, stories, and opportunities to share in this journey.
Sign up for our newsletter

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