Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic: Public Assistance Simplified Application

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Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic: Public Assistance Simplified Application

This Fact Sheet supplements Fact Sheet: Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic Emergency Protective Measures and provides an overview of the FEMA Public Assistance application process for recipients and applicants requesting reimbursement related to federal emergency and major disaster declarations for Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19).

FEMA is simplifying the Public Assistance application and funding process to address the magnitude of this event and allow local officials to receive eligible funding more quickly.

FEMA is simplifying the Public Assistance application process. FEMA is developing a simplified online form applicants can complete, and on which they may explain work activities, answer basic questions, provide limited supporting documentation, and provide a cost estimate. FEMA and the recipient will review this information, follow up with limited requests for additional information if necessary, and award assistance. Recipients will have access to all projects in PA Grants Portal, consistent with the traditional PA process.

The national emergency declaration authorized Public Assistance Category B reimbursement for emergency protective measures. It does not include additional categories of assistance, such as infrastructure repair and replacement, which are needed after typical natural disasters. This enables FEMA to eliminate many application steps that are designed for those categories, including: eliminating exploratory calls, recovery scoping meetings, and most site inspections; and reducing documentation requirements to the minimum needed to support Category B reimbursement.

Recipients are states, tribes, or territories that receive and administer Public Assistance awards. Applicants are state, local, tribal and territorial governments, or eligible private nonprofits, submitting a request for assistance under a recipient’s federal award.

Applicants are empowered to drive their own recovery and directly apply for reimbursement without waiting for FEMA to assign a Program Delivery Manager.

FEMA is simplifying the process so applicants may directly apply for assistance through the PA Grants Portal.

As FEMA and recipients implement these changes, FEMA will continue to process and fund Public Assistance projects.

Funding is immediately available should state, tribal, territorial or local officials request expedited assistance.

Prior to funding, recipients must sign FEMA-State/Tribal/Territorial Agreements, submit signed Federal Grant Applications (SF-424), and update Recipient Public Assistance Administrative Plans.

Recipients should start setting up Grants Portal accounts for themselves and applicants at grantee.fema.gov so they can apply for assistance. Once an account is created, Applicants may submit Requests for Public Assistance to begin the application process.

FEMA is working to rapidly scale up the information, tools and technology necessary to provide assistance to all applicants.

Eligibility guidance on what FEMA can fund will be updated on the Public Assistance Policy, Guidance, and Factsheets page on FEMA.gov and the COVID-19 page on FEMA.gov.

Application support and tutorials are available on the resource tab in PA Grants Portal.

More Information
For more information, visit the following websites:

  1. Public Assistance Program and Policy Guide
  2. FEMA.gov/Coronavirus
  3. Coronavirus (COVID-19) (CDC)

Current FEMA Guidance on Eligibility of Medical Expenses. Prior to the COVID-19 outbreak, FEMA had published guidance on which costs are, and are not, eligible for assistance when "the emergency medical delivery system within declared area is destroyed, severely compromised or overwhelmed."

Emergency medical care:
o Non‐deferrable medical treatment of infected persons in a shelter or temporary medical     facility.o Related medical facility services and supplies.
o 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)
.o Use of specialized medical equipment.
o Medical waste disposal.
o Emergency medical transport.

Emergency medical care:
o Non‐deferrable medical treatment of infected persons in a shelter or temporary medical     facility.o Related medical facility services and supplies.
o 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)
.o Use of specialized medical equipment.
o Medical waste disposal.
o Emergency medical transport.

The guidance emphasizes that FEMA funding is for "extraordinary"situations – which quite clearly describes the COVID-19 outbreak. FEMA's focus is on using funding only for temporary costs created by the declared event,such as "extraordinary costs associated with operating emergency rooms and with providing temporary facilities for emergency medical care of survivors…Costs are eligible for up to 30 days from the declaration date unless extended by FEMA." FEMA's Policy includes examples of eligible and ineligible work and costs and is available here at page 63.

When the emergency medical delivery system within a declared area is destroyed, severely compromised or overwhelmed, FEMAmay fund extraordinary costs associated with operating emergency rooms and with providing temporary facilities for emergency medical care of survivors. Costs associated with emergency medical care should be customary for the emergency medical services provided. Costs are eligible for up to 30 days from the declaration date unless extended by FEMA.

Eligible medical care includes, but is not limited to:

·        Triage and medically necessary tests and diagnosis

·        Treatment,stabilization, and monitoring

·        First-aid assessment and provision of first aid

·        A one-time 30-day supply of prescriptions for acute conditions or to replace maintenance          prescriptions

·        Vaccinations for survivors and emergency workers to prevent outbreaks of infectious and           communicable diseases

·        Durable medical equipment

·        Consumable medical supplies

·        Temporary facilities, such as tents or portable buildings for treatment of survivors

·        Leased or purchased equipment for use in temporary medical care facilities

·        Security for temporary medical care facilities

Expedited Projects for Emergency Work


(NOTE : This is NOT CURRENT COVID-19 Guidance but current disaster guidance. Specific Covid-19 Guidance will be coming)

FEMA may provide expedited funding for Emergency Work projects (Category A or B) that meet or exceed the large project threshold. FEMA funds Expedited Projects at 50 percent of the Federal share of the estimated project cost. Requests for Expedited Projects must be submitted to FEMA within 60 days of the Applicant’s Recovery Scoping Meeting. To support its request, the Applicant must provide enough information for FEMA to validate that the work and costs are eligible. FEMA will work to obligate funding within 90 days of receipt of the request. Therefore, the PA Group Supervisor notifies the CRC as soon as possible after receiving a request.

The Applicant must substantiate its legal responsibility for the work. The Applicant needs to provide the following broken down by the Applicant’s monthly (or bi-weekly) operational periods (if Category A or B has an increased Federal cost share for a limited timeframe, the Applicant needs to separate work anticipated to be completed within the increased cost share timeframe from work anticipated to be completed after the increased cost share period (See Chapter 6:XIII, Increased Federal Cost Share for a Limited Timeframe):

  • A detailed description of the work and documentation to substantiate that the work is eligible. This includes:
  • Description of immediate threat
  • Detailed description of work activities
  • Work locations
  • Work Completion Date is the date the Applicant completes all work associated with the approved SOW including meeting all compliance requirements. It does not include invoice payments, warranty periods, or grant management activities (e.g., compiling and submitting documentation, financial reconciliation, requesting payment, etc.).
  • The total estimated cost with documentation to support the basis of the estimate and substantiate that the cost estimate is reasonable. This includes:
  • Insurance documentation

Force Account Labor

❖ Employees (full time, parttime, volunteers): Name, job title, date(s) worked, hours worked per day(regular and overtime), hourly wages, and total cost incurred. Labor rates include actual wages paid plus fringe benefits paid or credited. Contact Personnel or CFO for updated fringe rates. Supporting documentation includes copies of employees’ timesheets and departmental overtime policies.

For Force Account labor or other hourly labor costs such as mutual aid labor:

  • Number of personnel
  • Average hours per day
  • Average days per week
  • Average pay rate
  • Lodging and per diem rates
  • Mutual Aid Agreement, Memorandum of Understanding or other written agreement

Force Account Equipment

❖ Equipment details: Year, Make,Model, HP, and capacity.

❖ Equipment deployment: Date(s)used, operators name(s), hours used per day, FEMA equipment rate, and totalcost incurred.

Refer to the FEMA Equipment Rate tab in the PW Workbook or FEMA’s website (https://www.fema.gov/schedule-equipment-rates) for updated pricing information. Equipment standby and idle time are ineligible and should be excluded from the PW Workbook. Supporting documentation includes equipment logs and timesheets for personnel assigned to the piece of equipment.

For Force Account equipment:

  • Amount of equipment by type
  • Average hours per day
  • Average days per week
  • Hourly rate
  • For rented equipment:
  • Rental agreement with pricing

Rental Equipment

❖ Description of equipment rented, quantity, and total cost incurred.

Supply a copy of the rental agreement to support the equipment claim. Proof of payment, once complete, must be provided for reimbursement. Supporting documentation includes copies of rental and/or lease agreements.

Contracts

❖ Description of service and total cost incurred.

Contracts must be of reasonable cost, selected through competitive bid process, and comply with local, state, and federal procurement standards. Proof of payment, once complete, must be provided for reimbursement. Supporting documentation includes copies of signed contract documents including bid documentation and/or mutual aid agreements

For contract work:

  • Request for proposals, bid documents, contracts
  • If bids have not yet been received, the Applicant may submit a unit price estimate
  • FEMA estimates the work based on cost information provided by the Applicant. If the Applicant does not provide sufficient cost information, FEMA may use average historical pricing. For contracted work, FEMA uses the unit cost from the contract if it determines the costs are reasonable; however, this is only for the purpose of expediting funding based on an estimate.
  • FEMA reviews the Applicant’s procurement and contracting for compliance and addresses any noncompliance prior to final reconciliation and closeout of the project.
  • FEMA provides the Federal cost share for the remaining 50 percent of the project cost once the Applicant provides all of the documentation required to support the estimated project cost for a non-Expedited Project.

Force Account Materials

❖ Description of materials, unitprice, quantity used, and total cost incurred.

Eligible materials may be taken from existing stockpiles or purchased specifically for the disaster. Department’s must provide copies of invoices to support pricing. If invoices are unavailable, departments must contact area vendors to identify a price point. Proof of payment, once complete, must be provided for reimbursement. Supporting documentation includes invoices and/or purchase orders.

Estimating Emergency Work Projects with Work to be Completed

Emergency Work projects are often difficult to estimate due to the type of work conducted.

Unlike Permanent Work, where a detailed SOW is usually determined and estimated with unit pricing in advance, the detailed scope of work to address Emergency Work is often unknown and therefore, difficult to estimate in advance. Additionally, emergency response activities do not generally have established unit pricing and have a lot of variables that can impact pricing.

If the Applicant provides sufficient information, FEMA may process Emergency Work projects based on estimates.

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