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

DISASTERRECOVERYTODAY.COM performed outside of the designated disaster area, as outlined in 44 CFR § 206.223(a)(2). Also, Tribal Governments do not always have geographical boundaries and some have boundaries that cross state lines. Therefore, Tribal Government declarations do not usually define specific designated geographical areas. If a specific designated area is not defined in the declaration, FEMA determines eligibility based on legal responsibility and whether the work is directly related to the declared incident. 2


The Legal Responsibility of an Eligible Subrecipient

As with eligible facilities, the work performed must be the legal responsibility of the Subrecipient at the time of the disaster in order to be eligible. Ownership of a facility is generally sufficient to establish responsibility for work undertaken to repair the facility. If a Subrecipient leases a facility as a tenant, however, repairs to that facility are not eligible unless the lease states that the lessee is responsible for such repairs. In this case, a copy of the lease agreement should be provided to FEMA to determine responsibility. Although the lease usually contains general repair and maintenance language, responsibility for damage resulting from a disaster may not be established. In the absence of any mention in the lease, the owner of the facility will be assumed responsible for the repair. While this may seem straightforward, other variables often factor into the decision-making process. If a building was under construction or was being significantly renovated, a contractor involved may have legal responsibility for the facility. Also, in those situations where a formal lease is not present, but responsibility for the facility has been...

“When a request is made for Public Assistance for a facility whose repair FEMA considers to be under the authority of another federal agency, the specific federal agency with responsibility will be asked to review the request and advise FEMA whether the work is eligible.”