Immediately after his inauguration, President Joe Biden signed several executive orders to address the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes assigning a COVID-19 Response Coordinator, ensuring equitable pandemic response and recovery, and increasing the reimbursement and other assistance provided to each state. Specifically, the President’s Memorandum to Extend Federal Support to Governors’ Use of the National Guard to Respond to COVID-19 and to Increase Reimbursement and Other Assistance Provided to States indicates that FEMA will fund 100 percent of the cost of activities associated with all mission assignments for the use of the National Guard and emergency protective measures. This executive order also addresses expediting the reimbursement of emergency work projects.
Under Category B of FEMA’s Public Assistance program, and in accordance with section 502 of the Stafford Act, eligible emergency protective measures taken to respond to the COVID-19 emergency and for the safe opening and operation of eligible schools, child-care facilities, healthcare facilities, non-congregate shelters, domestic violence shelters, transit systems, and other eligible applicants may be reimbursable. This assistance may include funding for the purchase and distribution of personal protective equipment, disinfecting services, and supplies.
To ensure reimbursement under these federal grant programs, there is a significant amount of documentation of costs and numerous tasks to complete. All eligible costs must be substantiated and supported by documentation, such as 214s, labor and equipment summaries, invoices, and a timeline of events. We can anticipate that previous guidance provided by FEMA will be amended to address the ongoing pandemic and therefore it is prudent that all eligible applicants accurately document costs incurred due to COVID-19 and the appropriate funding that is being captured to reimburse for these costs. If previous grants were submitted to FEMA and denied, applicants are strongly encouraged to reevaluate those claims for potential reversal of decisions and submit an appeal.
Due to the complexity of federal disaster reimbursement and the burden on entities dealing with the response to COVID-19, eligible entities can contract with experienced vendors to assist with the PA reimbursement process. These costs are eligible for reimbursement. More information is expected to be released this week, so we will update this post as necessary.
Our team at ISC has been involved in the pandemic response in several large metropolitan areas since March 2020. Currently, we’re assisting in mass vaccination plans and cost recovery services. If you’re interested in how our team might be able to help your organization, please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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