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Eligible Costs for COVID-19 Federal Disaster Declaration

Under the COVID-19 Major Disaster Declaration, emergency protective measures (response costs) including, but not limited to, the following, may be eligible for reimbursement through FEMA or other federal agencies.

This webpage includes information about eligible costs for reimbursement by FEMA's Major Disaster Declaration for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, DR-4496, related to the COVID-19 pandemic response.

For all other information about the disaster declaration including declaration information, applicant briefings, information about the public assistance process, FEMA grants portal, procurement, webinars, training resources, FAQ, contact information and more, see the COVID-19 Federal Disaster Declaration webpage.

It is important that applicants track their costs for the duration of the response to be ready to submit for reimbursement once the crisis has passed. Costs will be evaluated at that time and routed to the appropriate federal agency for reimbursement.

Table of Contents

Types of Eligible Costs

  • Force Account Labor (Permanent, Part-time, Seasonal, Re-assigned, Disaster Hires, Backfill Employees)
    • Overtime costs only for regularly budgeted staff
  • Force Account Equipment and Leased Equipment
  • Material (Purchased supplies and/or taken from stock)
  • Contract Services
  • Mutual Aid - mutual aid agreement must reference compensation

Management, control and reduction of immediate threats to public health and safety:

  • Emergency Operation Center costs
  • Training specific to the declared event. This may include PPE training, medical shelter operations, etc.
  • Disinfection of eligible public facilities
  • Technical assistance to local governments or eligible PNPs on emergency management and control of immediate threats to public health and safety

Medical care:

Primary Medical Care Facilities

  • Emergency and inpatient clinical care for COVID-19 patients, including, but not limited to emergency medical transport, triage and medically necessary tests and diagnosis, necessary medical treatment, prescription costs.
  • Purchase, lease and delivery of specialized medical equipment
  • Purchase and delivery of PPE, durable medical equipment and consumable medical supplies
  • Medical waste disposal
  • Certain labor costs associated with medical staff providing treatment to COVID-19 patients

Temporary and Expanded Medical Facilities (used to treat COVID-19 patients, non-COVID-19 patients, or both)

  • All eligible items and stipulations for Primary Medical Care Facilities
  • Lease, purchase, construction or alteration costs as reasonable and necessary to provide medical care services
  • Mobilization and demobilization costs with setting up and closing the temporary or expanded medical facility
  • Operating costs including equipment, supplies, staffing, wraparound services and clinical care not covered by another funding source
  • Maintenance of a temporary or expanded medical facility in an operationally read but unused status available for surge capacity for COVID-19 readiness and response
  • Administrative activities and associated costs necessary for the provision of essential medical services at temporary and expanded medical facilities and Alternate Care Sites (see FEMA ACS Warm Sites Fact Sheet for information on eligible costs to maintain a minimum operational lever of an ACS warm site).

For more information on Medical Care cost eligibility, see FP 104-010-04 Public Assistance Medical Care Policy for COVID-19

Additional Resources

Medical sheltering:

(e.g. when existing facilities are reasonably forecasted to become overloaded in the near future and cannot accommodate needs)

  • All sheltering must be conducted in accordance with standards and/or guidance approved by HHS/CDC and must be implemented in a manner that incorporates social distancing measures
  • For non‐congregate medical sheltering see detailed section below.

Purchase and distribution of food, water, ice, medicine, and other consumable supplies:

Purchase and distribution of food, water, ice, medicine, and other consumable supplies, to include personal protective equipment and hazardous material suits (refer to FEMA: COVID-19: Purchase and Distribution of Food Eligible for Public Assistance).

Additional Resources

Non-Congregate Medical Sheltering:

FEMA has issued approval of non-congregate sheltering for the state and local governments for the individuals meeting the following criteria:

  • Individuals who test positive for COVID-19, or are symptomatic for COVID-19, as documented by a medical professional, who do not require hospitalization, but need isolation (including those exiting from hospitals) and cannot do so safely in their current living situation without causing undue risk to themselves or others.
  • Individuals who have been exposed to COVID-19 (as documented by a state or local public health official, or medical health professional) that do not require hospitalization but need quarantine and cannot do so safely in their current living situation without causing undue risk to themselves or others.
  • First-responders, medical workers, nursing facility workers, and 24/7 congregate care workers, and other personnel working with high-risk individuals, who, through their missions, can reasonably expect to be exposed to COVID-19 and may, therefore, be asymptomatic carriers, but who continue to work and cannot safely live at home without posing a risk to their families.
  • First-responders, medical workers, nursing facility workers, and 24/7 congregate care workers who work with high-risk individuals, including children, youth and adults with disabilities and who can reasonably expect to be exposed to COVID-19 by moving to and from work within the Community or by living at home and therefore cannot safely live at home without posing a significant risk to “high-risk” population that they care for.
  • Individuals who are asymptomatic, but are at high-risk, such as people over 65 or who have certain underlying health conditions (respiratory, compromised immune systems, chronic disease), and who require quarantine as a social distancing measure and cannot do so safely in their current living situation without causing undue risk to themselves or others.
  • If you have a question about sheltering other populations, please click the link below to submit a question.

Program Guidance

  • FEMA approval is limited to emergency non-congregate sheltering costs that are reasonable and necessary to address the public health needs resulting from FEMA-4496-DR-MA.
  • FEMA approval is limited to costs associated with sheltering individuals through September 30, 2020, unless the public health needs should sooner terminate. The Applicant must obtain FEMA’s approval for any time extensions, which should include a detailed justification for the continuing need for emergency non-congregate sheltering.
  • FEMA approval is limited to costs associated with the provision and operation of emergency non-congregate shelters and does not include the approval of costs for the conversion of the proposed or any other facility for emergency medical care. Minor repairs or upgrades to existing facilities are fine, anything beyond that please click the link below and ask a question.
  • The state and local governments must follow FEMA’s Procurement Under Grants Conducted Under Exigent or Emergency Circumstances guidance and include a termination for convenience clause in its contracts for sheltering and related services, such as food, security services, and care for those with disabilities or access and functional needs.
  • FEMA will not approve Public Assistance funding that duplicates funding by another federal agency, including the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services or Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
  • State and local governments must comply with, and enable FEMA to comply with, applicable environmental and historic preservation laws, regulations, and executive orders or funding may be jeopardized.

The Applicant must maintain tracking mechanisms to provide sufficient data and documentation to establish the eligibility of costs for which it is requesting Public Assistance funding (including the need for non-congregate sheltering of each individual, length of stay, and costs). As with any activity, lack of sufficient support documentation may result in FEMA determining that some or all of the costs are ineligible. If you have any questions click here.

Additional Resources

Other costs

  • Household pet sheltering and containment actions related to household pets in accordance with CDC guidelines
  • Movement of supplies and persons
  • Security and law enforcement
  • Communications of general health and safety information to the public
  • Search and rescue to locate and recover members of the population requiring assistance

Additional Resources