Citation: FEMA-4087-DR-CT, Connecticut Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection, Time Extension for Request for Public Assistance Submittal
Cross-Reference: Request for Public Assistance; Time Extensions/Limitations
Summary: On October 30, 2012, the President issued a major disaster declaration for the State of Connecticut as a result of Hurricane Sandy. Among the counties designated under the declaration was New Haven County, where the Milford Redevelopment and Housing Partnership (Applicant) is located. In a letter dated November 14, 2012, the Connecticut Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection (Grantee) requested that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) extend the deadline for filing Requests for Public Assistance (RPAs) until December 29, 2012. The FEMA Federal Coordinating Officer (FCO) granted that request and a subsequent one, ultimately extending the deadline to January 2, 2013. In granting those extensions, the FCO explained that the Grantee bears the responsibility to inform applicants about the availability of Public Assistance and noted that he would not grant any additional extension requests based on an assertion that an applicant was not informed of the availability of the Public Assistance or applicable deadlines. The Grantee nevertheless requested an additional extension on behalf of the Applicant, which had submitted its RPA to the Grantee on January 14, 2013. The FCO denied the request, explaining that neither the Grantee nor the Applicant had provided justification demonstrating that extenuating circumstances beyond either’s control prevented the timely submission of the RPA. The Grantee submitted a first appeal, arguing that the Applicant was unable to timely submit its RPA because, among other things, the Applicant did not obtain guidance on Public Assistance in two phone calls it made to a FEMA Individual Assistance hotline; the hurricane severely impacted the Applicant’s jurisdiction; and FEMA and the Grantee had established multiple application deadline dates for disaster assistance programs. The FEMA Region I Acting Regional Administrator denied the first appeal, concluding that the Grantee bears responsibility for informing applicants about the Public Assistance program and that no circumstances beyond the Grantee or Applicant’s control prevented a timely submission of the RPA. The Grantee submitted a second appeal, reiterating similar arguments set forth in the first appeal.
Issue: Has the Grantee provided justification demonstrating that extenuating circumstances beyond the Grantee or Applicant’s control prevented timely submission of the Applicant’s RPA, the deadline for which was extended twice?
Rationale: 44 C.F.R. § 206.202, Application procedures.