On March 12, President Trump issued a formal Declaration of a National Emergency that authorizes qualifying nonprofit healthcare entities to receive reimbursement under section 502 of the Stafford Act and FEMA’s Public Assistance program for eligible emergency protective measures taken in response to COVID-19. These measures include costs incurred for personal protective equipment, temporary medical facilities, and similar measures necessary to treat persons in response to the pandemic. For more information on what measures are eligible for reimbursement, please see our prior alert discussing the scope of the Public Assistance program as well as FEMA’s factsheet on Eligible Emergency Protective Measures.

Earlier this week, FEMA issued an additional Fact Sheet in which it has announced that it is simplifying the Public Assistance application process to more quickly get funding into recipients’ hands. Under the new process, applicants will apply directly to FEMA through FEMA’s online Public Assistance Grants Portal. Applicants will use the Grants Portal to submit basic information about their work activities and cost estimate. FEMA and the state will review the submitted information online, follow up as needed, and then award assistance. This significantly reduces the documentation and pre-award review requirements that otherwise apply to Public Assistance funding. Applicants must secure a Grants Portal account from the government before beginning the application process.

If you have any questions about your nonprofit’s eligibility under the FEMA regulations or how to apply for Public Assistance funding, please contact the authors of this alert.