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Emergency Management

Posted on: June 5, 2020

Some private nonprofits may apply for FEMA aid to cover COVID-19 costs

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Certain private nonprofit organizations in the community are eligible to apply for funding through the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Public Assistance program to help cover the costs of COVID-19 response efforts.

Lt. Horace Staples, director of the Kenosha County Division of Emergency Management, encourages local organizations to determine whether they are eligible and to seek this aid.

To be eligible for Public Assistance, a private nonprofit applicant must show that it has:

  • A ruling letter from the Internal Revenue Service granting tax exemption under sections 501 (c), (d) or (e) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954; or
  • Documentation from the state, substantiating that the non-revenue-producing organization or entity is a nonprofit entity organized or doing business under state law.

Eligible private nonprofits must also own or operate an eligible facility that provides an eligible service. These services include education utilities, and emergency, medical or custodial care.

Emergency protective measures taken to respond to the COVID-19 emergency may be eligible for reimbursement through the Public Assistance program. Emergency work is that which is necessary to save lives or protect public health and safety.

While these expenses are generally the responsibility of state and local governments, which are also eligible to seek FEMA Public Assistance, there are limited circumstances in which private nonprofits may be eligible to seek aid directly to cover costs of COVID-19 response services for which they are legally responsible.

Clarifications for Private Non-Profits (PNP)

  • PNPs are not generally legally responsible for health/safety of the public, therefore they are typically not going to be eligible to receive PA Cat B funding under the COVID-19 declarations, except:
    • Emergency Medical Services may be eligible
    • Disinfecting PNP facilities open to the public, beyond normal cleaning expenses may be eligible
  • Feeding missions in response to COVID-19 to protect life/health safety of the public are the responsibility of the state, local, tribal or territorial (SLTT) governments
    • PNPs cannot be direct applicants for feeding missions
    • PNPs may be able to receive reimbursement for COVID-19 feeding mission if they are working with/for an SLTT governmental entity via a formal agreement; the SLTT government would reimburse them – NOT FEMA
  • Under FEMA’s Public Assistance program, houses of worship are considered PNPs and classified as non-critical essential, social-type service facilities and therefore are eligible applicants. Under DR-4520, PNPs are able to apply for PA just like a community for any eligible costs. PNPs are not required to go through SBA to submit Emergency Work costs, Cat B Protective Measure costs included.

All Public Assistance fact sheets and guidance released for COVID-19 can be found on FEMA’s website here: https://www.fema.gov/coronavirus/governments.

Questions may be sent by email to dmawempublicassistance@wisconsin.gov.

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