Public Assistance (PA) Program Process

General

  • The Public Assistance (PA) Program may provide federal disaster assistance to states, local units of government and certain private non-profit organizations for debris removal, emergency protective measures and the permanent restoration of public facilities as a result of a declaration of a major disaster or emergency made by the President.

Damage Assessment

  • Initial Damage Assessment (IDA)
    • After a disaster or emergency incident occurs, potential applicant organizations are responsible for performing an Initial Damage Assessment (IDA) to identify damages, costs and impacts of the incident. Potential applicant organizations include:
      • State government organizations, including departments, agencies, boards commissions, authorities and universities
      • Local government organizations, including counties, townships, municipalities, school districts and special districts
      • Private non-profit organizations that provide services of a governmental nature, including hospitals, utility cooperatives, and parochial schools
      • Native American tribes or tribal organizations
    • Potential applicant organizations must use IEMA damage assessment documents or online tool (under development/as available) to compile and report their damages and costs to IEMA. These IDA documents/tools include the following:
    • Potential applicant organization must complete an IEMA Disaster Impact Assessment (DIA) form to provide information on the impacts (e.g. shelters opened, businesses closed, schools closed) for the incident. Organizations within a county should submit their DIA form to the county ESDA/EMA. They will then compile and submit one DIA form to IEMA to identify the impacts for the entire county.
  • Preliminary Damage Assessment (PDA)
    • The PDA is the formal process where teams collect information on the damages, costs and impacts for an incident.
    • The PDA is conducted by teams, which include Federal, State and local government representatives.
    • Each potential applicant organization is responsible for identifying and showing damages and costs to the PDA team.
    • The PDA is typically used as a basis for the Governor to request a major disaster or emergency declaration.
    • It is very important that all affected organizations participate in the PDA to capture all of the potential damages and costs for the state.
    • All costs reported during the PDA must be supported by documentation (e.g. location maps, photos, estimates, bills, invoices, receipts, equipment and labor records, contract documents).

Declaration Types

  • Major Disaster Declaration
    • When a catastrophe occurs in a State, the Governor may request a major disaster declaration
    • The basis of the request shall be a finding that:
      • The incident is of such severity and magnitude that effective response is beyond the capability of state and affected local governments;
      • Federal assistance under the Stafford Act is necessary to supplement the efforts and available resources of the state and local governments, disaster relief organizations, and compensation by insurance for disaster-related losses.
    • Factors considered when evaluating a Governor's request for a major disaster declaration:
      • Estimated cost of the assistance
        • FEMA evaluates the estimated cost of the federal and non-federal assistance against the statewide population to give some measure of the per capita impact within the state.
        • FEMA uses a statewide per capita impact indicator of $1.53 per person (FFY2020) as an indicator that the disaster incident is of such size that it might warrant federal assistance.
      • Insurance coverage in force
        • FEMA considers the amount of insurance coverage in force or should have been in force as required by law and regulation at the time of the disaster.
      • Hazard mitigation
        • FEMA considers the extent to which state and local government measures contributed to the reduction of disaster damages for the disaster under consideration.
      • Recent multiple disasters
        • FEMA considers the recent disaster history within the last twelve-month period to better evaluate the overall impact on the state or locality.
      • Programs of other federal assistance.
        • FEMA considers programs of other federal agencies, because at times, their programs of assistance might more appropriately meet the needs created by the disaster.
    • Once a declaration is made by the President, FEMA uses a county per capita impact indicator of $3.84 per person (FFY2020) as one of the criteria to designate counties for Public Assistance Program funding under the declaration.
    • The statewide and county per capita impact indicators are adjusted annually based on the Consumer Index for all Urban Consumers
  • Emergency Declaration
    • When an incident occurs or threatens to occur in a state, which would not qualify under the definition of a major disaster, the Governor may request that the President declare an emergency.
    • The basis for the Governor's request must be the finding that the situation:
      • Is of such severity and magnitude that effective response is beyond the capability of state and affected local governments;
      • Requires supplementary federal assistance to save lives and protect property, public health and safety, or to lessen or avert the threat of a disaster.

Post-Declaration

  • Applicant's Briefings
    • Applicant's Briefings are held in the affected areas as soon as possible after the declaration is made.
    • Applicant's Briefings provide information on program requirements, funding process and completing application documents.
    • All potential applicant organizations are encouraged to attend the Applicant's Briefing for their area.
  • Application
    • Applicant organizations must submit a FEMA Form 009-0-49, Request For Public Assistance (RPA) using the PA Grants Portal to IEMA within 30 days of the declaration date or date their county was designated for Public Assistance to be eligible for assistance. Applicants should contact the IEMA PA staff at (217) 782-8719 or PA.Grants@illinois.gov to request an invitation to register in the PA Grants Portal. 
    • Applicant organizations must also complete and submit a IEMA Form PA101, Public Assistance Grant Agreement to IEMA. The PA Grant Agreement must be completed and signed by the chief elected official of the organization. Only the originally signed PA Grant Agreement will be accepted. Faxes or photocopies of the PA Grant Agreement are not acceptable.
    • Applicant organizations must complete and submit a IEMA Form PA108, Public Assistance Risk Assessment​ to IEMA. IEMA will use this assessment to determine the appropriate level of monitoring for the organization during the performance of the grant.
    • Applicant organizations must complete and submit the IEMA Form PA109, FFATA Certification to IEMA. The FFATA Certification must be completed to provide information on the organization’s FFATA status regarding reporting.
  • Exploratory Call
    • FEMA will assign a Program Delivery Manager (PDMG) as a single point of contact for each applicant, to provide assistance through the PW development process.
    • The PDMG will conduct an Exploratory Call with assigned applicant representatives to obtain general information about the applicant and its disaster impacts, and to explain next steps.
    • Applicant representatives should be prepared to discuss damages, costs and impacts for their organizations.
    • Applicant representatives will also learn more about the PA Grants Portal, which is the online data base used to manage grant applications and upload required documents to FEMA.
  • Recovery Scoping Meeting (formerly Kickoff Meeting)
    • The PDMG will contact each applicant within 21 days of the Exploratory Call to conduct a Recovery Scoping Meeting.
    • During the meeting, the PDMG and applicant will have an in depth discussion on damages and costs, develop a list of projects and compile any documentation the applicant may have at that time.
    • The PDMG will coordinate the scheduling of any site inspections necessary to complete PWs.
    • Applicants have 60 days after the Recovery Scoping Meeting to identify and report damages to FEMA, in accordance with 44 CFR, 206.203(d)(ii).
    • After the meeting, the applicant and the PDMG should agree to weekly status meetings, until all PW work has been completed.
  • Project Worksheets (PWs)
    • The PDMG will work with each applicant to prepare Project Worksheets (PWs).
    • PWs establish a scope of work and funding amount for the projects. Applicants must complete their projects according to the approved PW scope of work. Any changes to the PW scope of work must be approved by FEMA before the work is started.
    • The federal share for a PW will be no less than 75% of the approved eligible costs.
    • IEMA, as the recipient for the state of Illinois, will reimburse applicants the federal share for their projects according to 44 CFR 206.205.
    • In general, applicants are responsible for the non-federal share (usually 25%) of their PWs.
    • Each PW is prepared under the appropriate category of work.
      The categories of work are as follows:
      • Category A - Debris Removal
      • Category B - Emergency Protective Measures
      • Category C - Road and Bridge System (non-FAS)
      • Category D - Water Control Facilities
      • Category E - Building and Equipment
      • Category F - Utility Systems
      • Category G - Parks, Recreational and other
    • An applicant must have a minimum of $3,300 of eligible costs (FFY2020) for a PW to be written under a category of work.
    • PWs with less than $131,000 (FFY20) in eligible costs are considered as small projects. The federal share of small projects is paid to the applicant as soon as practicable after approval by FEMA.
    • PWs with $131,000 (FFY20) or more in costs are considered as large projects. The federal share of large projects is reimbursed to the applicant based on the actual documented costs submitted to IEMA. Applicants may need to request reimbursement of large project costs as the work is completed, similar to a typical construction project.
    • The small project threshold is adjusted annually based on the Consumer Index for all Urban Consumers.
  • Subgrant Closeout
    • All subgrants must be closed.
    • Once all work has been completed, bills are paid, and the Federal share has been reimbursed, the applicant organization should complete and submit a IEMA Form PA107, Subgrant Closeout Certification form to IEMA to close their subgrant.
    • Applicants may request subrecipient management cost funding at subgrant closeout by completing and submitting an IEMA Form PA110, Subgrantee Management Cost Request to IEMA, along with actual cost documentation to support the costs being claimed.
    • IEMA will review the closeout documents submitted, perform any final inspections, process any necessary payment, and send a letter to the applicant closing the subgrant.
  • Grant Closeout
    • Once all subgrants have been closed, IEMA will work with FEMA to reconcile all grant expenditures and close the PA grant.