Human Services

17675 S. Muskogee Ave. Tahlequah, OK 74464

General Assistance Program

The General Assistance program is funded through the Bureau of Indian Affairs and administered through Human Services in the Family Assistance Department. This program is a financial assistance service for eligible Indian families to address essential living needs. Assistance is based on welfare payment standards and is considered a secondary resource to the Department of Human Services TANF program and Social Security SSI program. Families who are eligible for TANF and SSI are required by federal regulations to apply and comply with their guidelines and requirements. When families are not eligible for the General Assistance program or any other program within Family Assistance, then they are referred to other agencies. The Family Advocates are social workers who work closely with other agencies on a daily basis to keep updated with their programs, eligibility guidelines and availability of funds. Referrals may be made to other agencies by sending a referral form to the other agency on behalf of the family.


To be eligible for this program, families must meet eligibility standards developed by the Bureau of Indian Affairs (CFR 25, Part 20). The basic eligibility is as follows:

  1. Must be a member of a federally-recognized tribe.
  2. Live within the Cherokee Nation jurisdiction for the past six months.
  3. Not have sufficient resources to meet the essential living needs.
  4. Additional eligibility criteria could be required based upon the family situation.
  5. Cannot receive General Assistance from another tribe concurrently while receiving General Assistance from the Cherokee Nation.  Documentation is required for all eligibility elements before assistance can be rendered.