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FEMA Assistance for Nonprofit Healthcare Facilities

Karyn A. Nunn

March 26, 2020

Updates as of April 6, 2020

  • Organizations need to track costs back to 1/20/2020 for reimbursement since that was the original incident date.
  • The Request for Public Assistance (RPA) needs to be filed as soon as possible.  FEMA funds are administered by the designated state administrator.
    • FEMA’s listing of state administrate contacts
    • The online application process is not currently available to nonprofit organizations, therefore, you must apply through your designated state agency, which will set up the organization on the grants management portal.
  • Currently, if you decide to use a consultant, you do not need to bid, but once the emergency status is lifted, you would need to go through the bid process to continue with the consultant.
  • “Lost revenue” incurred is not currently being covered by FEMA, simply the additional costs incurred.
  • 5% of the total FEMA grant can be used to pay for administrative expenses. These reimbursable administrative expenses can be either the cost of a consultant, or internal costs associated with administering the FEMA grant.
  • Currently the FEMA rate is a 75% reimbursement with a 25% local cost share (state’s costs).
  • Since this is a new type of disaster for FEMA, costs will need to be justified as COVID related.
  • The states are still making decisions on logistics and recommend checking their websites and social media frequently for updates.

March 26, 2020

As a result of the President’s national emergency declaration relating to COVID-19, nonprofit healthcare organizations are eligible to request public assistance from FEMA.  Per FEMA’s website, “In accordance with section 502 of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, 42 U.S.C. 5121-5207 (the “Stafford Act”), eligible emergency protective measures taken to respond to the COVID-19 emergency at the direction or guidance of public health officials may be reimbursed under Category B of FEMA’s Public Assistance program.”  Currently the reimbursements are a 75% federal cost share.  All funds will flow through the state.  

Due to the magnitude of the event, FEMA is simplifying the Public Assistance application and funding process. The application is simplified because it will be geared toward just the emergency protective measures and does not include many of the reimbursement items for typical natural disasters. Although “simplified”, each nonprofit organization should evaluate the need to utilize a disaster recovery consultant to assist with the entire process, especially in determining which expenses are eligible for reimbursement. 

Due to being in an emergency situation, organizations are currently not required to go through the bid process for procurement of the consultant. However, once it is no longer deemed an emergency situation, the organization must go through the bid process to continue with the disaster recovery consultant. Historically, some of the consultant’s costs are reimbursable expenses.

What else should you be doing now to make requesting funds easier? 

  • Create separate cost centers or other ways to segregate COVID-19 expenses from normal operating expenses.
  • Track staffing changes and overtime related to COVID-19. 
  • Any purchase orders for COVID-19 related items need to be marked as COVID-19. 
  • Place separate purchase orders for your COVID-19 needed items, and items needed for normal operations.

These steps will make it easier to provide documentation for the reimbursement request.

Below is the request process listed on FEMA’s website:

PA = Public Assistance, RPA = Request for Public Assistance, PW = Project Worksheet

As always, we are here for you should you need assistance with the process, and we have outside resources available as well.  Please contact us if additional support is necessary.

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