FEMA Guidance, Deadlines for COVID-19 Related Public Assistance Program


  • McKaia Dykema
May 5, 2022 - (4 min read)

At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) authorized reimbursement to local governments for costs associated with “emergency protective measures.” This Public Assistance Program was authorized under the President’s National Emergency Declaration on March 13, 2020.

Since the start of the program, FEMA has provided more than $43 billion dollars to state, territorial, tribal, and local government entities and certain eligible private nonprofit organizations that applied for assistance to reimburse a wide range of projects and efforts. In light of contributions this program has made in assisting local governments with COVID-19 response and recovery, FEMA recently established several deadlines for the Public Assistance Program. Initial guidance has also been released to assist eligible entities in submitting their applications for COVID-19 work under the 100% federal cost-share.

When are the deadlines?

FEMA previously stated that Requests for Public Assistance (RPA’s) would remain open through the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service’s Public Health Emergency. As COVID-19 caseloads decline and the vaccination rate of the U.S. population reaches 65%, the necessity for heightened public health measures is declining. In response, FEMA has established the following deadlines for the Public Assistance Program 100% cost-share:

  • July 1, 2022: Request for Public Assistance applications are due for projects that seek 100% of the Federal funding cost-share. Applicants must submit their RPAs to sign up for the FEMA Public Assistance Program in order to request funding for specific costs related to their eligible projects.
  • December 31, 2022: This is the interim deadline for accepted applicants to submit their project applications for COVID-19 work that was completed from the beginning of the incident period (January 20, 2020) through the end date for 100% Federal funding (July 1, 2022).

These deadlines are applicable to projects that aim to receive funding under the Federal 100% cost-share. After July 1, 2022, funding will remain available for eligible work under a 90/10% cost-share until the COVID-19 incident period is closed.

What are local governments required to do?

  1. Contact your State designated Public Assistance (PA) Representative for more information on submitting a Request for Public Assistance. If you don’t know who your State PA Representative is, you can contact:
    1. Your State Emergency Management Agency (click here for a list of State Emergency Management Agencies); or
    1. The FEMA Regional Office that is responsible for coordinating FEMA assistance for your state. Click here for contact information for your FEMA Region.
      1. Region I: CT, ME, MA, NH, RI, VT
      1. Region II: NJ, NY, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands
      1. Region III: Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia
      1. Region IV: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee
      1. Region V: Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin
      1. Region VI: Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas
      1. Region VII: Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, and Nebraska
      1. Region VIII: Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming
      1. Region IX: Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, American Samoa, Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, and the Federated States of Micronesia
      1. Region X: Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington
  2. Work with the State PA Representative and the FEMA Public Assistance Coordinator (PAC) Crew Leader who will be assigned to you to determine if facilities, work, and costs meet Public Assistance Program eligibility criteria under the Presidential National Emergency Declaration.
  3. Work with the FEMA PAC to help guide you through the steps to obtaining funding.
  4. The FEMA PAC Crew Leader will advise you on eligibility issues, obtain specialists to assist with projects, and approve certain project costs.
  5. Keep an eye out for an interim policy from FEMA that will provide further guidance on the implementation of the deadlines for this program.

Other resources:

About the Author

McKaia Dykema

About the Author

McKaia Dykema is the Legislative Research Manager on the Federal Advocacy team at the National League of Cities.