The Public Assistance (PA) Program is based on statutes, regulations and policies. The Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (Stafford Act) is the underlying document that authorizes the program. Regulations published in Title 44 of the Code of Federal Regulations (44 CFR) Part 206 implement the statute. Policies are written to apply the statute and regulations to specific situations and provide clarification on a range of issues. These authorities govern the eligibility criteria through which FEMA provides funds for public assistance. These criteria have the following four components:
The diagram above refers to the four building blocks of eligibility. Using guidelines, FEMA determines if the various components are eligible for disaster assistance. The applicant is the basis for eligibility. The applicant must be eligible for the facility to be eligible. The facility must be eligible for the work to be eligible. The work must be eligible for the cost to be eligible.