Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic – FEMA Public Assistance (PA) Grant Program for State and Local Governments and Private Nonprofit (PNP) Organizations
The President declared a National Emergency for the COVID-19 pandemic on March 13, 2020. Under the emergency declaration, FEMA is authorized to reimburse local governments for costs associated with “emergency protective measures” in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. These emergency protective measures are defined in Category B of the Public Assistance Program of the Stafford Act.
Who can Participate in the PA Program?
An applicant must be one of the following:
The facility where emergency protective measures were performed must be:
Updated information about eligible emergency protective measures can be found in the COVID-19 Pandemic Eligible Emergency Pandemic Measures Fact Sheet
View information on the COVID-19 Pandemic Safe Opening and Operation Work Eligible for Public Assistance Interim Policy
View information on the FEMA Funds Community Engagement for COVID-19 Vaccinations
Costs must be:
Cost is reasonable if it is a cost that is both fair and equitable for the type of work being performed. FEMA will evaluate the applicant’s submitted documents to determine if the claimed costs are necessary and reasonable.
FEMA assistance will be provided at a 75 percent federal cost share. This is a cost reimbursement program. Applicants are required to pay for costs up front. The Recipient (State) administers grant reimbursement to eligible Applicants (Subrecipients).
What Projects/Activities are Funded Under the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic PA Grant?
Under the COVID-19 Emergency Declaration, FEMA may provide assistance for emergency protective measures including, but not limited to:
- Management, control and reduction of immediate threats to public health and safety:
- Emergency Operations Center costs
- Training specific to the declared event
- Disinfection of eligible public facilities
- Technical assistance to state, tribal, territorial or local governments on emergency management and control of immediate threats to public health and safety
- Emergency medical care:
- Non-deferrable medical treatment of infected persons in a shelter or temporary medical facility
- Related medical facility services and supplies
- Temporary medical facilities and/or enhanced medical/hospital capacity (for treatment when existing facilities are reasonably forecasted to become overloaded in the near term and cannot accommodate the patient load or to quarantine potentially infected persons)
- Use of specialized medical equipment
- Medical waste disposal
- Emergency medical transport
- Medical sheltering (e.g. when existing facilities are reasonably forecasted to become overloaded in the near future and cannot accommodate needs)
- All sheltering must be conducted in accordance with standards and/or guidance approved by HHS/CDC and must be implemented in a manner that incorporates social distancing measures
- Non-congregate medical sheltering is subject to prior approval by FEMA and is limited to that which is reasonable and necessary to address the public health needs of the event, is pursuant to the direction of appropriate public health officials and does not extend beyond the duration of the Public Health Emergency
- Household pet sheltering and containment actions related to household pets in accordance with CDC guidelines
- Purchase and distribution of food, water, ice, medicine, and other consumable supplies, to include personal protective equipment and hazardous materials suits Movement of supplies and persons
- Security and law enforcement
- Communications of general health and safety information to the public
- Search and rescue to locate and recover members of the population requiring assistance
- Reimbursement for state, tribe, territory and/or local government force account overtime costs
Further information about eligible emergency protective measures can be found in the COVID-19 Pandemic Eligible Emergency Pandemic Measures Fact Sheet. For general PA Grant program information please refer to the Public Assistance Program and Policy Guide, FP 104-009-2 (April 2018).
DEADLINE: The deadline to submit the Request for Public Assistance (RPA) for the COVID-19 is nationally extended and will remain open for the duration of the Public Health Emergency, as declared by the Secretary of Health and Human Services, unless an earlier deadline is deemed appropriate by the Assistant Administrator, Recovery Directorate. Reference Memorandum from the Assistant Administrator of the Recovery Directorate, dated March 20, 2020
FEMA Public Assistance FAQ
- I work in the tourist industry and was laid off because of COVID-19. Am I eligible for a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Public Assistance (PA) Grant?
No, PA Disaster Grants from FEMA are solely for State, Local Governments (e.g. Counties), and Private Nonprofit Organizations (PNP). These grants are not for private citizens but are for community organizations that have been affected by a disaster.
- My nonprofit organization has a 501(c)(3) tax exemption and we provided assistance during COVID-19 by delivering meals to the elderly. Are we eligible for FEMA grants?
Many PNP organizations perform valuable services for the community, but not all PNPs are automatically eligible for public assistance grants. There are many factors that determine a PNP’s eligibility for Public Assistance, but the four basic categories are: the applicant itself, the facility, the work being performed, and the cost of the work.
It is recommended that PNPs that believe they are eligible should apply. Eligibility will be determined on a case by case basis.
- Do PNPs have to apply for, and be denied a small business loan before being eligible for PA?
No, this requirement is not needed as COVID-19 eligible activities are limited to Emergency Work, Category B, Emergency Protective Measures.
- What Emergency Protective Measures (EPM) are eligible for PNPs?
For PNPs, eligible EPMs are generally limited to activities associated with preventing damage to an eligible facility and its contents. Emergency services are usually the responsibility of State, Territorial, Tribal, or local governments. Therefore, PNPs are generally not legally responsible for those services and ineligible for PA funding. When a PNP provides emergency services at the request of, and certified by the legally responsible government entity, FEMA provides PA funding through that government entity as the eligible Applicant. Costs related to patient evacuation, or when essential components of a facility are urgently needed to save lives or protect health & safety by PNPs owning medical or custodial care facilities are eligible
- How much money can I receive from a FEMA Disaster Grant?
As a reimbursement program, FEMA will usually provide funding at the applicable cost share (currently 75%) for eligible costs that have already been expended for emergency protective measures work (under Category B). Purchases will be evaluated for reasonableness. Procurement documentation must be provided to show that contract costs are reasonable.
- What is Grants Portal, and how do I upload documents into it?
Grants Portal is FEMA’s cloud-based program management software for receiving and processing public assistance grants. To upload documents, go to the document uploader tool and then add it to the correct level depending whether it is a general or project specific document.
- What documents will I need to provide or for reimbursement?
The FEMA PA process requires substantial documentation, and so good record keeping is of the upmost importance to receive funding and satisfy any potential audit compliance. FEMA requires general documents such as insurance, procurement and labor/union policies. In addition, FEMA will require project specific documents. As a rule of thumb please keep all timesheets, equipment logs, invoices, receipts, bids, volunteer hours, procurement documentation and contracts related to your FEMA approved project. You will also be required to provide proof of payment for costs already completed, such as canceled checks and paystubs. Funding may be jeopardized if you are unable to prove/verify with documentation the amount being claimed and that payment was made in full.
Questions: Please email [email protected]