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Second Appeal Letter
PA ID# 099-54025-00; Area Agency on Aging Palm Beach\Treasure Coast, Inc.
PW ID# N/A; Request for Public Assistance
June 28, 2012
Division of Emergency Management
2555 Shumard Oak Boulevard
Tallahassee, Florida 32399-2100
Re: Second Appeal-Area Agency on Aging-Palm Beach/Treasure Coast, Inc. RPA Denial, FEMA-1785-DR-FL and 3288-EM-FL
Dear Mr. Koon:
This letter is in response to a letter from your office dated September 14, 2010, which transmitted the referenced second appeal on behalf of the Area Agency on Aging-Palm Beach /Treasure Coast, Inc. (Applicant). The Applicant is appealing the Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) decision to deny its Request for Public Assistance (RPA).
In a letter dated March 19, 2009, FEMA determined that the Applicant, which has eleven Area Agencies on Aging, is not an eligible recipient under the Public Assistance Program. The Applicant contends that it is eligible for Public Assistance on the basis that it provides indirect emergency medical and custodial care services. However, based on the Applicant’s website it is an agency that serves seniors and their caregivers and focuses on funding, advocacy, services and programs.
The Applicant submitted a first appeal on October 20, 2009, asserting that it is eligible for Public Assistance funding because it provides indirect medical and custodial care services. The Regional Administrator denied the first appeal because the Applicant did not meet the definition of a PNP under 44 CFR §206.221 (e) and was not eligible for Public Assistance. The Applicant’s mission statement specifically states, “To advocate and promote the independence dignity health and well-being of all elders and their caregivers in a manner that embraces diversity and reflects the communities we serve.” Under the Disaster Assistance Policy 9521.3, Private Nonprofit (PNP) Facility Eligibility, facilities that advocate for groups not directly providing health services are ineligible for Public Assistance funding.
In the second appeal dated July 7, 2010, the Applicant asserts that its facility is a Community Center. The Legal Aid Society of Palm Beach County Inc., (Legal Aid) represents the Applicant and submitted the second appeal. The Applicant states that FEMA did not explain why the facility was ineligible. Legal Aid asserts that, from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm Monday through Friday, the Applicant’s facility provides a location where seniors and their families and the community at large can socialize and access multiple direct care services and educational enrichment programs. Legal Aid lists a number of services that the Applicant provides such as the Aging Resource Center, assistance in Medicare and Medicaid, as well as other insurance issues, the foster grandparent program, Wellness Chronic Disease Management and a Matter of Balance program. The State asserted that under State law the Applicant is an eligible PNP and FEMA should qualify the Applicant’s facilities to be eligible. The State provided pictures from the internet of the programs offered by the Applicant.
Disaster Assistance Policies 9521.1, Community Center Eligibility and 9521.3, Private Nonprofit (PNP) Facility Eligibility require an Applicant to provide source documentation of the services and programs it provides to the public. In addition, the Applicant also must demonstrate that over 50 percent of the facility uses are for eligible purposes. FEMA describes the information it needs to make an assessment in section VII (B)(2)a-f of the Disaster Assistance Policy 9521.1, Community Center Eligibility. The information provided demonstrates that the activities described by the State and Applicant are at most a wide range of activities offered for a brief period or at irregular intervals. FEMA considers these as ineligible activities under the aforementioned policy. Furthermore, the Applicant’s charter and bylaws make no mention of intention to act as a community center.
I have reviewed the information submitted with the appeal and have determined that the Regional Administrator’s decision in the first appeal is consistent with Public Assistance regulations and policy. Accordingly, I am denying the second appeal.
Please inform the Applicant of my decision. My determination constitutes the final decision on this matter as set forth in 44 CFR §206.206, Appeals.
cc: Major P. May
FEMA Region IV