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
Contact us for more details on the process and for assistance in requesting funds.