HARRISBURG, Pa. -- Under a Federal disaster declaration signed by the President earlier this month, certain private nonprofit organizations (PNPs) in Pennsylvania may be eligible to receive Federal assistance when they meet certain Public Assistance (PA) criteria. The disaster declaration was the result of severe winter snowstorms that hit the Commonwealth in February.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA’s) new Snow Assistance and Severe Winter Storm Policy, effective November 2, 2009, makes Federal funding available to the Commonwealth, eligible local governments and certain PNP organizations on a cost-sharing basis for emergency work and the repair or replacement of facilities that were damaged by the storms.
To request PA, private nonprofit organizations must meet one of the following basic requirements:
- An effective ruling letter from the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) on IRS letterhead, granting
tax exemption under Section 501 (a), (d) or (e) of the IRS Code of 1954 as amended, or
- State certification that the organization is a non-revenue producing nonprofit entity organized or doing business under State/Commonwealth law.
Private nonprofit organizations meeting one of the basic requirements may submit a Request for Public Assistance (RPA) and a PNP questionnaire for reimbursement for eligible costs associated with the storms. Additional documents may be requested by the Commonwealth to complete the process, depending on the PNP and the type of costs incurred as a direct result of the storms. The additional documentation may include:
- Proof of certification it is accredited, if an educational facility is asking for reimbursement.
- Legal proof an organization is a Parent Organization, if it is applying for reimbursement for facilities under its umbrella.
- A list of the facilities owned or leased, if multiple facilities are used by the applicant.
- A copy of the insurance policy, if the facility incurred structural damage.
Once the organization is identified as an eligible PNP, Commonwealth and FEMA Public Assistance Coordinators will assist the PNP write a Project Worksheet to document costs.
If a PNP is requesting reimbursement for structural damage, it may have to apply for a U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) loan first, then the following may occur:
- The PNP is approved for an SBA loan and the loan fully covers eligible damages from the disaster event. No assistance from FEMA is available.
- The PNP is approved for an SBA loan, but the loan does not fully cover eligible damages. The excess damages are eligible for FEMA assistance.
- The PNP is approved for an SBA loan but does not accept the loan. The amount of FEMA assistance will be reduced by the amount of the approved loan.
For information on how to apply, a PNP which believes it may be eligible for reimbursement should contact the emergency management agency of the county in which it is located.
FEMA’s mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.