Determining Eligibility: Methods for Presenting Disaster-Related Costs to FEMA to Obtain Eligibility


General Work Eligibility

If your organization is eligible for public assistance, FEMA relies on the following tests to determine what is eligible work:

“First and foremost, Subrecipients know best what needs to be done in the immediate aftermath of a disaster. However, it is not uncommon for those efforts to be questioned by FEMA months, or even years, after an event.”


Required as a Result of the Event

FEMA holds the Subrecipient responsible for detailing how work is required as a direct result of the event. Typically this can be accomplished by showing how Emergency Work is necessary due to an immediate threat resulting from the declared incident or that other work is required to address damage caused by the declared incident. Since debris removal is often times a major part of a Subrecipient's work and costs, FEMA pays special attention to ensuring that the work is necessary to alleviate an immediate threat that was generated during the declared incident period and directly by the declared incident.

For temporary repairs or other emergency protective measures, mold remediation, and Permanent Work, Subrecipients are only required to demonstrate that damage was caused directly by the declared incident. However, FEMA will review these types of work to ensure the repairs are not needed due to other factors such as deterioration, deferred maintenance, negligence or the Subrecipient's failure to take measures to protect a facility from further damage. Examples of these factors are provided in the section titled “Test #2.”