UC Berkeley’s Request for Public Assistance to FEMA
To help balance out the losses sustained because of COVID-19, UC Berkeley is pursuing Public Assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for COVID-19 related eligible costs. On April 10, 2020, we submitted the request for public assistance. FEMA provides reimbursement for specific emergency protective measures taken by entities such as ours to protect the health and safety of people and personal property during this COVID-19 pandemic. In April, Vice Chancellor Rae convened a disaster recovery working group of staff from across campus to consider how best to track eligible activities and associated costs (and revenues) and develop FEMA policy-driven guidelines on how to gather the information needed to package and submit an application for Public Assistance. We are working closely with consultants from AG Witt to assist us in the navigation of the submittal process to ensure we are in alignment with the strict guidance of FEMA Public Assistance policy. The costs we submit to FEMA will be subject to audit and if there are costs that do not meet the requirements any reimbursement received will need to be returned.
If you have questions about how we’re submitting information to FEMA, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
FEMA data collection process
The goal of this collection process is to identify all COVID-19 related expenses across campus that may be eligible for FEMA reimbursement. To accomplish that, each division will complete a template that will help us in the collection of compensation costs, non-compensation costs, revenue sources, and fundraising details. For this initial request, the collection of expenses will be separate from the Department of Finance (DOF) reporting process, but as the project details are refined we hope to streamline the work for both projects to the extent possible.
Read more about reporting COVID-19 costs to FEMA:
- June 4 DFL Forum presentation on FEMA submission process
Key information about the collection process
- The initial reporting period is from January 20 – April 30, 2020.
- Once we receive and analyze the data from January 20 – April 30, 2020, we will determine the next reporting period and intervals of reporting.
- We are planning for a staggered collection of data. The Public Health Emergency was declared on March 22, 2020, for the state of California. The incident period for reporting eligible expenses related to the emergency is January 20, 2020, and it will extend until FEMA’s designated end date.
- We have 60 days from the declared end date to request reimbursement for all eligible expenses, but we can submit multiple applications/versions until the period closes.
- As the COVID specific chartfields were not set up until mid-March, it may require units to work with their departments to identify COVID-19 related expenses in the ledger that are not specifically identified as such. Additionally, any expenses incurred in January will need to be reviewed to see if they fall within the review period.
- The documentation required by FEMA depends on the applicant, project size, and project category. The guidelines outline in detail the documentation required for different activities.