COVID-19 Federal Disaster Declaration

FEMA Public Assistance (PA) is available to cities and towns, state agencies and certain non-profits in all Massachusetts counties to help pay for emergency protective measures (response costs) related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

FEMA is also providing financial assistance for COVID-19-related funeral expenses: COVID-19 Funeral Assistance

Table of Contents

Overview of the FEMA Disaster Declaration

Disaster Number: DR-4496

Declared: March 27, 2020

Incident Period: January 20, 2020 - May 11, 2023

Cost Share: 100% through July 1, 2022. After July 1, 2022 the cost share is lowered to 90%.

Counties Declared: All

Project Thresholds:
Minimum PW: $3,300
Small PW: $3,300 - $131,100
Large PW: $131,100​+

RPA Deadline: July 1, 2022 - COVID-19 RPA Deadline Memo

Additional information about the deadline to report costs/activities incurred/performed between July 1, 2022 and May 11, 2023 will be forthcoming from FEMA.

Volunteer Rate: $17.44/hr

Public Assistance Grant Process

For the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic, FEMA has announced a Simplified Public Assistance application process. This process will empower applicants to drive their own recovery and directly apply for assistance through FEMA’s PA Grants Portal.

It is important that applicants continue to track their costs, including direct and indirect administrative costs, to be able to have records to submit for reimbursement.

For information about the PA Grants Process, forms, and workbooks, visit: FEMA Public Assistance: Local, State, Tribal and Non-Profit.

Eligible Costs

FEMA may provide reimbursement for certain emergency protective measures in response to COIVD-19. For details about eligible costs under the COVID-19 Major Disaster Declaration and to see related policies, forms, and guidance, see: Eligible Costs for COVID-19 Federal Disaster Declaration and Vaccine Cost Reimbursement.

Declaration Specific Guidance and Documents

The unique and wide ranging nature of the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in the need for various specific guidance from FEMA regarding the Public Assistance program and the disaster declaration. This includes specific guidance on the Federal Cost Share, procurement standards and many other topics.

For disaster specific guidance issued by FEMA, please visit:

CARES Act for Municipal Government

The federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (the “CARES Act”) includes funds for Massachusetts governments to use to pay costs incurred in responding to the COVID-19 outbreak. See CARES Act for Municipal Government webpage for details, eligibility, reporting, memos and guidance regarding the CARES Act.

Municipalities should contact the Federal Programs Office at the Executive Office for Administration and Finance at  with any questions regarding CARES Act funding. Municipalities located in Plymouth County should contact county officials for information about the Coronavirus Relief Fund.


Current Federal procurement standards (found at 2 C.F.R. § 200.320(f)(2)) allow non-state entities to noncompetitively procure contracts (i.e., sole-sourcing) under certain emergency or exigent circumstances. FEMA defines an emergency or exigent circumstances as unexpected and unusually dangerous situations requiring immediate action or an urgent need for assistance or relief.  For additional information regarding procurement requirements, please refer to the FEMA - Procurement During Emergency Circumstances Fact Sheet.

MEMA Emergency Procurement Form


For webinars about this disaster declaration including MEMA webinars, FEMA webinars, MEMA applicant briefings, and more, see Webinars for DR-4496 - COVID-19 Federal Disaster Declaration in Massachusetts.

Frequently Asked Questions

For frequently asked questions and answers for this disaster declaration including general information, eligible items, applying for PA, project development, and vaccines, see: COVID-19 Public Assistance Frequently Asked Questions.

Contact   for COVID-19 Federal Disaster Declaration

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