FEMA’s Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic: Safe Opening and Operation Work Eligible for Public Assistance (PA) Interim Policy

FEMA New Interim Policy: Public Assistance for Certain Private Nonprofits – Some UIOs Eligible

Safe Opening and Operation Work Eligible for Public Assistance (PA) Interim Policy

On April 5, 2021, FEMA Office of External Affairs released an interim policy to continue to maximize the framework that supports the safe opening and operation of work under the Public Assistance (PA) program. Eligibility is inclusive to certain private nonprofit (PNP) organizations for work performed when ensuring safe opening and operations associated with the COVID-19 emergency, from January 21, 2021 through September 30, 2021.

New Policy Inclusion of Qualified PNPs is Paramount to UIOs

Under the new interim policy, which includes Qualified PNPs, some Urban Indian Organizations (UIOs) will be eligible. UIOs are urged to review the requirements to determine eligibility.

Eligible Assistance

To have PNP designation in the FEMA PA Program, the facility must show 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.

The PNP must meet the program definition of an eligible facility and provide eligible service(s) that may be critical or noncritical, and were reasonably provided for safe opening and operation during the pandemic. Services may include education, utilities, emergency, medical, custodial care, and other essential social services.

  • Purchase and distribution of face masks and PPE, items such as N95, surgical masks, gloves, protective eyewear, face shields, & protective clothing.
  • Cleaning and disinfection, in accordance with CDC guidelines, including the purchase of necessary supplies and equipment.
  • COVID-19 diagnostic testing
  • Screening and temperature scanning, including the purchase and distribution of hand-held devices.
  • Acquisition and installation of temporary physical barriers.
  • Signage to support social distancing.
  • Purchase and storage of PPE or other supplies based on projected needs.


  • FEMA will not duplicate assistance already provided by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). This is inclusive to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) & other federal agencies.
  • Eligible costs will be provided at a 100% Federal funding
  • PA reimbursement requires the execution of a FEMA-State/Tribal/Territory Agreement, as appropriate, and execution of an applicable emergency plan.

Eligibility Process

During the application process, applicants will need to provide general information to support eligibility determination.

  • Organizational information: physical location and point of contact
  • Work performed
  • Cost expenditures

Those interested in applying for a PA Grant should visit the FEMA Grants Portal or the Grants Line at (866) 337-8448. FEMA is currently allocating program delivery managers to support those interested in PA.

Next Steps

NCUIH will continue to monitor the changes in the FEMA PA policy. Issues raised during the consultation process are being considered for permanent updates in the FEMA Public Assistance Program and Policy Guide.

Read the Policy

Read the Dear Tribal Letter

Learn More and Apply

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