Auka ("Hello" in Cocopah (Kwapa))


We are pleased to welcome you to our first quarter issue of the Arizona Department of Economic Security (DES) Office of Tribal Relations (OTR) Newsletter for the State Fiscal Year 2024! The main purpose of this newsletter is to provide a communication forum for tribal staff, programs, and tribal members to learn and stay up to date on current news and information from DES. At the end of each quarter, we will share all the events we participated in, future events/activities, division and program updates, and announcements. Your comments, suggestions, and feedback are always welcome at jbeard@azdes.gov.

DES has seven divisions including the Arizona Early Intervention Program (AzEIP) and administers more than 50 programs and services to comprehensively meet the needs of our communities, serve diverse populations, and ensure everyone has the opportunity to overcome barriers and strengthen individuals, families, and communities for a better quality of life. This newsletter will increase awareness and ensure tribes are informed of the DES resources available. We hope you will enjoy reading the OTR Quarterly Newsletters, and we look forward to hearing from you.

About the Office of Tribal Relations

OTR is located within the Office of Community Engagement. Under the direction of the Tribal Relations Manager, Jocelyn Beard, OTR is responsible for overseeing and implementing effective government-to-government consultation between DES and Arizona’s tribes on policies that affect Arizona tribal communities. The Tribal Relations Manager’s charge is to serve as a direct link between the tribes in Arizona and the DES Executive Deputy Director, facilitate communication and consultations between tribes and Department divisions with the assistance of the Division Tribal Liaisons, review program policy and regulations affecting tribes, and provide recommendations.

Angie Rodgers, Executive Deputy Director
Leah Landrum Taylor, OCE Assistant Director

DES Office of Tribal Relations Team

Jocelyn Beard (Diné/Navajo), Tribal Relations Manager
Patricia Sutton (Diné/Navajo, Cheyenne/Tsitsistas & Arapaho/Hinónoʼeitíít), Divisions of Aging and Adult Services & Community Assistance and Development Tribal Liaison
Jerrilene Antone-Morton (Diné/Navajo), Division of Child Care and Arizona Early Intervention Program
Kathryn Steffen (Filipino & Hispanic), Division of Benefits and Medical Eligibility Tribal Liaison
Annette Yazzie (Diné/Navajo), Division of Developmental Disabilities Tribal Liaison
Sandra Sandoval (Diné/Navajo), Division of Employment and Rehabilitation Services Tribal Liaison
Guy Wright, OTR Lean Coach
DES Programs and Services: Updates, New Program Information and Developments:


Learn about DES programs and services and updates about our services. This edition features updates for program eligibility, application processes, and services available to tribal members and communities.


The Arizona Early Intervention Program (AzEIP) is Arizona’s statewide interagency system of services and supports for families of infants and toddlers, birth through two years of age, with disabilities or delays. AzEIP is established by Part C of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), which provides eligible children and their families access to services to enhance the capacity of families and caregivers to support the child’s development.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offers guidance on what to look for and how to get help for your child. https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/actearly/pdf/help_pdfs/How-to-Get-Help-for-Your-Child_ENG-2021-508.pdf

If you think your infant or toddler under age 3 is not meeting their developmental milestones, AzEIP can help you find resources and support.



What is Medicare?

Medicare is federal health insurance for anyone age 65 and older, and some people under 65 with certain disabilities or conditions. Medicaid is a joint federal and state program that provides health coverage for some people with limited income and resources.

Medicare is health insurance for people 65 or older. Individuals are first eligible to sign up for Medicare three months before turning 65. You may be eligible to get Medicare earlier if you have a disability, End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD), or ALS (also called Lou Gehrig's disease). Beginning in 2022, the standard age for full benefits will be 67 for anyone born after 1960.

An individual’s Medicare health and drug coverage can be reviewed annually on October 1. The Open Enrollment Period is from October 15 to December 7, which is the chance to sign up for a plan, as well as switch or leave a Medicare Advantage Plan or a Medicare drug plan.

Medicare consists of four parts A, B, C, & D:

Medicare Part A is hospital insurance that helps cover inpatient care in hospitals, skilled nursing facility care, hospice care, and home health care.

Medicare Part B helps cover:

  • Services from doctors & other healthcare providers
  • Outpatient care
  • Home health care
  • Durable medical equipment (like wheelchairs, walkers, hospital beds, and other equipment

Medicare Part C is Medicare Advantage, a Medicare-approved plan from a private company that offers an alternative to the original Medicare plan for health and drug coverage. These “bundled” plan options include Part A, Part B, and usually Part D. These plans may have a lower out-of-pocket cost than original Medicare, and may offer some extra benefits that original Medicare doesn’t cover, such as vision, hearing, and dental services.

Medicare Part D helps cover the cost of prescription drugs (including many recommended shots and vaccines). You join a Medicare drug plan in addition to your original Medicare or by joining a Medicare Advantage Plan with drug coverage. Plans that offer Medicare drug coverage are run by private insurance companies that follow rules set by Medicare.

Medicare Supplemental Insurance (Medigap) is extra insurance you can buy from a private company that helps pay your share of costs in original Medicare. Policies are standardized and in most states named by letters, such as “Plan G” or “Plan K.” The benefits in each lettered plan are the same, no matter which insurance company provides it.

See https://www.medicare.gov for Medicare enrollment and information.

Do you need further support to better understand Medicare? Below is information that may assist you or someone you may know to better understand the Medicare program and choices. To find your nearest Area Agency on Aging, see https://des.az.gov/services/older-adults/area-agency-on-aging-locations, or call 1-800-432-4040.

The Medicare Improvement for Patients and Providers Act (MIPPA) provides assistance to Medicare beneficiaries with limited income and assets to learn about programs that may save them money on their Medicare costs. MIPPA supports targeted outreach and education to eligible Medicare beneficiaries, especially those who are:

  • Low-income with limited resources
  • Residents of rural areas
  • Members of American Indian, Alaskan Native, and Native Hawaiian communities
  • People with disabilities under age 65
  • Speakers of English as a second language

The U.S. Administration for Community Living (ACL) allocates funding for MIPPA. The funding is provided to Area Agencies on Aging, State Health Insurance Assistance Programs, Disability Resource Centers, and tribes. These funds are used for education and financial assistance for low-income seniors and persons with disabilities to apply for two programs to help pay for their Medicare costs. The financial assistance provided is for the Medicare Part D Extra Help/Low Income Subsidy, which helps to pay for the Part D premium and reduces the cost of prescriptions at the pharmacy, and the Medicare Savings Program, which pays for Medicare Part B.

SHIP - State Health Insurance Assistance Program: Navigating Medicare

The State Health Insurance Program (SHIP) is one of the services that is provided by the Area Agencies on Aging (AAA). SHIP is a free health benefits counseling service for

Medicare beneficiaries. Its mission is to empower, educate, and assist Medicare-eligible individuals, their families, and caregivers through objective outreach, counseling, and training, to help individuals make informed health insurance decisions that optimize access to care and benefits. SHIP is an independent program federally funded by the Administration for Community Living and is not affiliated with the insurance industry. To locate a SHIP counselor, contact your nearest AAA or call 1-800-432-4040. To find AAA contact information, visit https://des.az.gov/services/older-adults/area-agency-on-aging-locations.

SMP - Senior Medicare Patrol: Preventing Medicare Fraud

Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP) is a group of professionally trained staff and volunteers who teach Medicare beneficiaries how to protect their personal information; identify and report errors on their health care statements; recognize scams, such as illegal marketing, providing unnecessary services, and charging for services that were not provided; and how to report fraud and abuse to the proper authorities. There are SMPs in every state and many U.S. territories. To locate an SMP counselor, contact your nearest AAA or call 1-800-432-4040. To find AAA contact information, visit https://des.az.gov/services/older-adults/area-agency-on-aging-locations.


  • Medicare and You
  • Medicare phone number: 1-800-633-4227

Grant Opportunities for Tribes: Lifespan Respite Programs & Family Caregiver Grants

The DES Division of Aging and Adult Services (DAAS) administers the Lifespan Respite Grant. The grant is awarded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Administration on Aging, and the Administration for Community Living. DAAS, in collaboration with the Arizona Caregiver Coalition, is working on a three-year project to develop respite care services across all age groups, disabilities, and chronic conditions; improve coordination and dissemination of service delivery between various state programs; and reduce the difficulties consumers experience with accessing and navigating respite programs and services.

To learn more about the Lifespan Respite Programs and how to apply, visit the Arizona Caregiver Coalition website at azcaregiver.org or call toll-free 888-737-7494.

Family Caregiver Reimbursement Program

The Family Caregiver Reimbursement Program was championed by AARP Arizona and established through legislation. The Arizona Department of Economic Security, Division of Aging and Adult Services was assigned to administer the program. DES launched the Arizona Family Caregiver Reimbursement Program (FCRP) on January 1, 2020, and funding is ending on June 30, 2024. There are remaining funds available, but time is running out!

Family caregivers can be reimbursed 50% for home modifications and assistive care technology up to $1,000 each for one (1) or more qualified family member. To be considered eligible for the FCRP program, the Applicant must:

  1. Be lawfully present in the United States.
  2. Be an Arizona resident.
  3. Have incurred a Qualifying Expense.
  4. Meet the following income requirements: 1) The combined Arizona Gross Income of the Applicant and Qualified Family Member is at or below $75,000 for a single person or a married person who files their taxes separately; or 2)The combined Arizona Gross Income of the Applicant and Qualified Family Member is at or below $150,000 for a married couple who files their taxes jointly; or
  5. Provide care for a Qualifying Family Member who, 1) Is at least 18 years old during the calendar year in which the Qualifying Expense occurred; 2) Requires assistance with 1 or more Activities of Daily Living as certified by a Medical/Social Work Professional; 3) Is related to the Applicant or Applicant’s spouse (through birth or adoption) as a, Spouse, Child, Grandchild, Stepchild, Parent, Stepparent, Sibling, or Aunt or Uncle.
  6. Submit an FCRP Application. The Application must be submitted in the same calendar year in which the Qualifying Expense occurs.
  7. An Applicant may not receive FCRP reimbursement for expenses already reimbursed by insurance.

Qualifying Expense:

  • Improving or altering the family caregivers’ residence whether it be owned or rented.
  • Purchasing/leasing equipment or assistive care technology for the family member to enable/assist/carry out one or more activities of daily living activities, such as toileting, bathing, dressing, grooming, eating, mobility, or transferring.

To learn more about the FCRP and how to apply, visit the Arizona Caregiver Coalition website at azcaregiver.org or call toll-free 888-737-7494.



Beginning October 1, 2023, the Able-Bodied Adults Without Dependents (ABAWD) Time Limit for receiving Nutrition Assistance (SNAP) benefits is returning to Arizona.

If you are 18 to 52 years old and don't have a child under 18 receiving Nutrition Assistance benefits as part of your household, you might be subject to ABAWD work requirements (listed below) beginning October 1, 2023. However, many people are exempt from the requirements, including individuals residing outside of Maricopa County. A complete list of the exemptions is detailed below.

NOTE: Nutrition Assistance (NA) participants living in an area covered by an ABAWD waiver are not subject to the three-month time limit, and therefore, do not need to meet the work requirements. The current waiver covers the entire state, and the waiver beginning October 1 will cover areas outside Maricopa County and on tribal reservations. Individuals within these areas will continue to receive NA as long as they continue to meet the eligibility requirements during renewals. Individuals who fall within any of the other exemptions are also exempt from the three-month time limit and the requirements thereof.

Who is considered an Able-bodied adult without dependents (ABAWD)? What are the ABAWD work requirements?

Beginning October 1, 2023, for Nutrition Assistance (NA), individuals who are 18 - 52 years of age, without minor dependents, and physically and mentally fit for work are considered ABAWDs. Per federal requirements, ABAWDs can only get 3 months of NA benefits in a 3-year period, unless they meet the ABAWD work requirements or qualify for an exemption.

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Career Advancement Network (SNAP CAN) has employment assistance that can help ABAWDs meet these work requirements. More information about the SNAP CAN program can be found below.

What are the ABAWD work requirements?

ABAWDs must meet one of the following work requirements:

  • Work at least 20 hours per week (or an average of 80 hours per month). This includes any combination of:
  1. A minimum of 20 hours per week
  2. Self-employment
  3. Volunteer work
  4. In-kind work: working in exchange for food, rent, or other needs. Proof must include the value of the work and the number of hours worked.
  • Participate in an approved Nutrition Assistance Employment and Training activity a minimum of 20 hours per week or an average of 80 hours per month, job search activities cannot exceed 10 hours a week.
  • Participate in a combination of work and an approved Nutrition Assistance Employment and Training activity for a minimum of 80 hours per month.
  • Show good cause for not meeting work requirements such as having an illness, not having transportation, or unreasonable working conditions.

What are the ABAWD Exemptions?

ABAWDs who meet one of the following criteria do not need to participate in the work requirements to continue to receive NA benefits beyond the 3-month time limit.

  • Under the age of 18 or 53 years or older
  • Living with a child, under 18 years old, who is a member of the budgetary unit, even if they are not eligible for NA benefits
  • Unable to work because of a physical or mental health reason
  • Pregnant
  • Homeless
  • A veteran, regardless of your discharge status
  • Former foster care youth, between the ages of 18 to 24, who was in the custody of foster care on the day the participant turned 18 years of age, or a higher age, when the foster care program offers continued foster care after 18 years of age
  • Living in a geographically exempt area (on a reservation, or outside of Maricopa County)

Additional Exemptions

ABAWDs who meet any of the following exemptions do not need to participate in the NA work requirements:

  • Earn an amount equal to or more than the Federal minimum wage multiplied by 30 hours, regardless of the number of hours worked (a total of at least $217.50 per week or $870 a month
  • Participate and comply with the Cash Assistance Jobs, Tribal NEW, or Tribal TANF Employment Program
  • Responsible for the care of an incapacitated individual
  • Participating in a drug or alcohol treatment and rehabilitation program
  • Applying for or receiving Unemployment Insurance benefits
  • A student enrolled at least half-time in any recognized school, including high school, training programs, or institutions of higher education
  • Receiving Social Security Supplemental Income (SSI)
  • Participating and complying in the Cash Assistance (CA) Jobs Program, Refugee Resettlement Program, or the Tribal Native Employment Works (NEW) Program
  • Work as a migrant or seasonal farmworker not living in their home project area, and meet any of the following:
  1. Following the job stream
  2. Working a minimum of 30 hours weekly
  3. Under contract or agreement to begin employment within 30 days
Link: What’s Changed page in the CNAP Manual
The following link may be accessed for more details regarding the COLA for FFY 2024: https://dbmefaapolicy.azdes.gov/#page/FAA6/NA_Income_Standards.html#wwpID0E0Y M0HA.



In 1989, Congress passed Public Law 101-112 designating October as National Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM) and each year, legislation is passed proclaiming October as National Domestic Violence Month. The theme for 2023 DVAM is #Every1KnowsSome1.

The National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center has established October 1 as “Unci Tillie Black Bear Annual Women Are Sacred Day.” This day is to honor the work of Tillie Black Bear, Rosebud Sioux, who is the first Native woman to advocate for battered Indian women at the national level and is recognized as the Unci (Grandmother) of the Battered Women’s Movement.

More than four in five American Indian and Alaska Native men and women (83 percent) have experienced a form of violence in their lifetime, whether it be physical violence and/or psychological aggression from an intimate partner, sexual violence, or stalking, according to the National Institute of Justice (NIJ Jan 17, 2022). The Arizona Coalition to End Sexual and Domestic Violence (ACESDV) documented 101 known domestic violence-related fatalities across Arizona in 2022. Arizona consistently ranks among the top states with the highest homicide rates of women murdered by men.

The Division of Community Assistance & Development (DCAD) Domestic Violence Program collaborates with ACESDV, community-based organizations, and state agencies to coordinate services for domestic violence survivors. A listing of the partner organizations can be found at https://des.az.gov/services/basic-needs/domestic-violence/domestic-violence-contracts-directory, and the Arizona Sexual and Domestic Violence Resource list available at https://www.acesdv.org/downloadable-resources.

The StrongHearts Native Helpline has become a lifeline to Native American and Alaska Natives impacted by domestic and sexual violence by offering a culturally appropriate, anonymous, and confidential service available 24/7 nationwide by calling or texting 1-844-7NATIVE (762-8483) or chatting online at the StrongHearts Native Helpline at https://strongheartshelpline.org/abuse. Survivors, family, friends, and partners questioning their behavior can connect with StrongHearts advocates who provide support and advocacy, including crisis intervention, safety planning assistance, and information on domestic violence.

Another resource is the National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center, which provides national leadership to end violence against American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian women by supporting culturally grounded, grassroots advocacy. Their website is https://www.niwrc.org/about.


Sexual Assault Hotline RAINN 800-656-HOPE (4673)

24-hour Domestic Violence Hotline: 800-799-7233 800-787-3224 (TDD)

AZ Coalition to End Sexual and Domestic Violence 602-279-2990, or 602-279-7270, or



Scam Alert: Emergency Rental Assistance Text Messaging

The Arizona Department of Economic Security (DES) Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) and the U.S. Treasury will not text or call you without prior contact and ask for your personal information. Only apply for rental assistance through the DES Housing Stability and Utility Assistance Portal or the ERAP hotline at 833-912-0878. DES may contact you by phone only after you have submitted an application if more information is needed.

Low Income Household Water Assistance Program (LIHWAP)

Effective August 8, 2023, DES is no longer accepting applications as the LIHWAP funding has been exhausted.

Subject to available funding: 1) benefits will be disbursed to approved applicants in the order of approval, and 2) existing applications will be processed in the order received. Please monitor this webpage for any future program updates.

Should assistance be needed, please contact your local Community Action Agencies: https://des.az.gov/services/basic-needs/community-action-agencies

Low Income Heating Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)

The federal LIHEAP statute allows Indian tribes and tribal organizations that wish to assist low-income households in meeting the costs of home energy to apply for a LIHEAP block grant. As of FY 2014, Tribes have received LIHEAP funds allowing them to directly operate LIHEAP programs, and in Arizona, nine tribes offer LIHEAP assistance. The following link provides contact information for each of the nine tribes administering LIHEAP: https://www.acf.hhs.gov/ocs/map/liheap-map-tribal-contact-listing#AZ_5212.

The only tribe within Arizona that partners with DES to operate a LIHEAP program is the Tohono O’odham Nation.

If the tribe has expended all their LIHEAP funds, then the individual or household may go to their local Community Action Agency for assistance or apply online through the DES Housing Stability and Utility Assistance portal located at https://era.azdes.gov/ . Locations for Community Action Agencies can be found at https://des.az.gov/services/basic-needs/community-action-agencies.

While eligibility requirements between the tribal and State programs are closely aligned, individuals who believe they may be eligible for assistance are encouraged to apply, and the DES team will determine if they are able to receive assistance. Tribal members who have received assistance through their tribal program in the last 12 months will not be eligible to receive State LIHEAP benefits, regardless of the amount they initially received. However, if they have not yet received the supplemental benefits for applicable crisis situations, they may be eligible for additional assistance.

For additional information, please visit the following web page: https://des.az.gov/tribal-low-income-home-energy-assistance-program-liheap-frequently-asked-questions.

Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP)

The federal Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) is ending on Friday, October 13, 2023.

Applications received after this date will not be processed. A new Arizona rental assistance program for households with children and seniors will launch on Sunday, October 15, 2023. Please monitor this page for more information.

Updates will be posted on the ERAP web page located at https://des.az.gov/ERAP.


Arizona Education Workforce Scholarship

The Arizona Education Workforce Scholarship Program is available through March 31, 2024, for parents working in the fields of child care and publicly funded Pre-K through 12th-grade schools and publicly funded charter schools. More details are available on the Division of Child Care website.

Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) State Plan - The 2025-2027 Pre-Print for state lead agencies to submit the next cycle for the CCDF State Plan is now available. DES will begin planning a kick-off event with stakeholders, and engagement with tribal partners, by or before January 2024.


New Quick Reference Guides Now Available for DDD Supports

DDD has launched its first five Quick Reference Guides in a new online library to improve plain-language communication and education for the people it supports.

The Quick Reference Guides are short PDF documents – generally one to two pages long – covering specific topics that are relevant to the DDD community.

The guides can be found on DDD’s webpage for Members and Family Resources under “Member Manuals and DDD Policies.”

Currently, the Division published five Quick Reference Guides, with more in development:

Naloxone to Treat Opioid Overdose

Informational Videos Also Available

Over the past four years, DDD has also developed and published several educational and informational videos. They cover topics ranging from “Planning Meetings and Assessments” to “What to Do When You Have a Complaint.” Find the videos here on the DDD website.

Crisis Services

If you, a family member or a friend have a mental health emergency, seek help right away. Trained crisis staff are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to help via phone, text, or chat. The crisis lines are free, confidential, and open to anyone who needs help. For medical, police, and fire emergency situations, always call 911.

National 24-Hour Crisis Hotlines


  • 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline: 988
  • National Substance Use and Disorder Issues Referral and Treatment Hotline: 1-800-662-HELP (4357)


  • Text the word "HOME" to 741741
  • Send a text to 988


For TTY Users

  • Use your preferred relay service or dial 711 then 988

Arizona Statewide Crisis Hotline

Suicide and Crisis Hotlines by County

  • Apache Country: Arizona Complete Health - Complete Care Plan, 1-866-495-6735
  • Cochise County: Arizona Complete Health - Complete Care Plan, 1-866-495-6735
  • Coconino County: Care1st, 1-877-756-4090
  • Gila County: Mercy Care, 1-800-631-1314
  • Graham County: Arizona Complete Health - Complete Care Plan, 1-866-495-6735
  • Greenlee County: Arizona Complete Health - Complete Care Plan, 1-866-495-6735
  • La Paz County: Arizona Complete Health - Complete Care Plan, 1-866-495-6735
  • Navajo County: Care1st, 1-877-756-4090
  • Maricopa County: Mercy Care, 1-800-631-1314
  • Mohave: Care1st, 1-877-756-4090
  • Pima County: Arizona Complete Health - Complete Care Plan, 1-866-495-6735
  • Pinal County: Mercy Care, 1-866-495-6735
  • Santa Cruz County: Arizona Complete Health - Complete Care Plan, 1-866-495-6735
  • Yuma County: Arizona Complete Health - Complete Care Plan, 1-866-495-6735
  • Yavapai County: Care1st, 1-877-756-4090

Tribal Resources:

  • Ak-Chin Indian Community: 1-800-259-3449
  • Gila River Indian Community: 1-800-259-3449
  • Salt River Pima Maricopa Indian Community: 1-855-331-6432
  • Tohono O’odham Nation: 1-844-423-8759

Especially for Teens

  • Teen Lifeline phone or text: 602-248-TEEN (8336)

Especially for Veterans

  • Veterans Crisis Line: 988 (press 1)
  • Be Connected: 1-866-4AZ-VETS (429-8387)

Volunteers Needed! Will You Help?

DDD needs volunteers in two areas: the Independent Oversight Committees and the Program Review Committee. Will you consider helping? See the details below.

Volunteers for Independent Oversight Committee Needed

DDD needs volunteers to support the five district Independent Oversight Committees (IOC). IOCs provide oversight on topics related to the human rights of people with developmental disabilities. Responsibilities include:

  • Review incidents that may have involved neglect, abuse, or denial of rights of members receiving services from DDD
  • Review Behavior Plans
  • Make recommendations to DDD about changes needed to protect members’ rights.

Each IOC has between seven and 15 members who have expertise in any of the following areas:

  • Psychology
  • Law
  • Medicine
  • Education
  • Special Education
  • Social Work
  • Criminal Justice

The Committee also includes at least two parents of children who receive services from DDD.

Each IOC meets virtually once a month. Visit https://ioc.az.gov/ to learn more and apply.

Volunteers for Program Review Committee Needed

DDD is looking for volunteers to serve on the Program Review Committee (PRC). Volunteers will:

  • Review Behavior Plans
  • Provide guidance on strategies addressing unsafe or inappropriate behaviors
  • Help members reach their full potential.

People who fall into any of the following categories are encouraged to apply:

  • Persons qualified in the use of behavior management techniques, such as a Psychologist, Psychiatrist, or a Board-Certified Behavior Analyst
  • Parent/Guardian of an individual with a developmental disability
  • Habilitation services professionals
  • Individuals with a developmental disability
  • A person with no ownership in a facility and who is not involved with directly providing services to people with developmental disabilities

Visit the DES Volunteer Engagement Center if you are interested in joining a Program Review Committee.

DDD Town Hall Meetings

DDD hosts public town hall meetings for members, families, and providers. You can join by the Internet or phone. Attendees can also ask questions. Visit http://bit.ly/dddtownhall for the schedule and to join.

Community Resources

DDD has information for local, state, and national groups that support members and their families. The DDD website has links to many of these groups that help with day-to-day tasks and other services that DDD may not cover. Visit the community resources section of the DDD website to learn more.


The U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL) consulted with various organizations on August 28, 2023, in an effort to seek feedback from federally recognized tribes related to the potential changes to the regulations governing the confidentiality and disclosure of the state Unemployment Compensation (UC) information. The proposed changes would allow access to confidential data by federally recognized tribes.

The USDOL highlighted the following questions for tribes to consider but welcomes feedback on all questions included in the request:

  • If the Department revises the definition of “public official” to include federally recognized Indian tribes in the definition to allow such tribes the same access to confidential UC information as a public official has under the existing regulation, how many additional annual disclosure requests would State UC agencies expect to receive?
  • How, if at all, are Tribal governments currently accessing confidential UC information?
  • What types of confidential UC information would federally recognized Indian tribes request from State UC agencies if such tribes were considered “public officials”?
  • For what purposes would federally recognized Indian tribes request confidential UC information from State UC agencies?
  • What benefits or cost savings would Tribal governments obtain if they had access to the same confidential UC information as local, State, or Federal government agencies?
  • Would Tribal governments potentially incur costs associated with requesting, receiving, processing, or storing confidential UC wage information (for example, relating to costs associated with making requests as well as maintaining data security)? If so, what types and amounts of costs would they incur annually?

One of the potential impacts of this proposed change could affect how Tribal TANF Programs can gain access to the UC information that participants are required to report. Currently, TANF Programs do not have access to the UC information, and, as such, rely mainly on self-reporting of information. Tribal leaders are encouraged to submit comments to the docket at www.regulations.gov. Please reference RIN 1205-AC11, comments will be accepted through September 25, 2023.

OTR On The Road: Where We Have Been


The OTR Team continues to schedule visits and find opportunities for presenting DES information to tribal staff and departments. Here are some of the events the Division Tribal Liaisons participated in during the past quarter. Tribes can reach out to any OTR Team members to request a presentation or send us an invitation to set up an informational table.

July 27, 2023, the OTR Team attended the Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation Back to School Fair sponsored by the Tribe's Education Department.
DBME Tribal Liaison met with the Navajo Nation Program for Self Reliance in Flagstaff on August 3rd for the Quarterly Meetings between DES/FAA and NNDSR. Pictured are the NNDSR staff meeting for lunch with DES at the local favorite lunch spot.
DERS Tribal Liaison attended the Navajo Nation Fair on September 7, 2023, to provide DES information and materials for tribal families.
DES & Tribal Program Partnership Highlights


With the support and guidance of OTR Staff, DES makes every effort to create and establish partnerships with our tribal communities. In this section, the Office of Tribal Relations (OTR) was able to showcase how DES's OTR supports working with tribes and creating partnerships.

DES Tribal Relations Manager, Jocelyn Beard, was invited to sit on a panel at the Office of Family Assistance, Tribal TANF Technical Assistance Meeting held in Tulsa, Oklahoma, from August 21 to 22, 2023, to discuss how State agencies can develop strategies and partnerships with Tribes, specifically with the Tribal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Programs. The conference comprised over 60 Tribal TANF Programs from across the U.S., most were Tribal TANF Administrators/Directors. Salt River Pima Maricopa Indian Community, Pascua Yaqui, San Carlos Apache Tribe, White Mountain Apache Tribe, Navajo Nation, and the Hopi Tribal TANF administrators and staff were in attendance. The DES Tribal Relations Manager was able to spend some time with the tribes that DES works closely with within the State of Arizona. This meeting provided the opportunity to meet in person and further discuss, share, and build a stronger relationship with their tribal program. This event provided another opportunity to become informed of the Office of Family Assistance (OFA) work and focus areas and to meet key staff from OFA to share the work we are doing with the Six Arizona TANF Tribes.

Name of Session: Chat with Ann Flagg & Friends (8/22/23)

[Panel description from Agenda]: This interactive fireside chat will draw on the experience of federal, state, and tribal leaders as they discuss strategies to build and strengthen partnerships to support the overall economic, social, and cultural well-being of Native families and Indigenous communities. Panelists will discuss best practices, provide examples of success, and offer their insights to develop strong, genuine partnerships in support of the overall economic, social, and cultural well-being of Tribal Nations.

The following panelists will join Ann Flagg for this discussion:

  • Patrice Kunesh, Administration for Native Americans (ANA) Commissioner
  • Lee Spoonhunter, ACF Tribal Advisory Committee (TAC) Member
  • Jocelyn Beard, Arizona Department of Economic Security Tribal Liaison
  • Glenn Basconcillo, Facilitator, California Tribal TANF Coalition

Feedback/Questions from the audience:

  • Some tribes expressed interest in building relationships with their State agencies and wanted to know how to go about it.
  • Unfortunately, most of the Tribal TANF Programs do not have a consistent relationship/communication with their state agencies as their state agency(s) do not have an Office of Tribal Relations and/or a Tribal Liaison.
  • Many expressed appreciation for the work the OTR Team does and that Arizona is very fortunate to have OTR working within DES.


Tribal Informational Forum October 25, 2023

DES Tribal Consultation November 1, 2023

Tribal Consultation information/registration will be sent to the Tribes, registration for non-tribal will be provided at a later date


Please get in touch. The OTR Team can provide additional information and resources from DES. If you have any questions or inquiries, an OTR staff member will always be happy to help. Feel free to contact us by clicking on the "request assistance" or "OTR Staff" buttons below.

If you have suggestions for future newsletter information and/or areas of interest not included in this issue, you can email jbeard@azdes.gov.