Audits, Arbitration and Appeals in the Public Assistance Program




Appeals Database

The applicant may appeal any FEMA determination related to an application for, or the provision of, assistance under the Public Assistance (PA) Program. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • Applicant eligibility denials
  • Non-concurrence on eligible damage or scopes of work (SOWs)
  • Denial of time extensions
  • Closeout determinations
  • De-obligations resulting from an audit
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Have Questions?

For questions about Appeals, refer to the FEMA Public Assistance Program and Policy Guide or contact the PA Appeals Branch.

For Recovery Audit questions, please contact FEMA Recovery Audits


FEMA recipients and subrecipients are subject to federal and non-federal audits. Records are subject to audit by state or territorial government auditors, FEMA, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Office of Inspector General (OIG) and the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO).

Learn About Audits

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Note: FEMA may adjust project funding due to audit findings.


Most Public Assistance (PA) projects are free from disputes. However, certain applicants that disagree with their eligibility for or repayment of assistance can seek arbitration in lieu of a second appeal. Additionally, applicants that have had a first appeal pending with FEMA for more than 180 calendar days may withdraw such appeal and submit a request for arbitration. The arbitration process is facilitated by the Civilian Board of Contract Appeals (CBCA) and all decisions made by that body are final.

Learn About Arbitration


Most Public Assistance (PA) projects are free of eligibility disputes or, if eligibility issues arise, they are quickly resolved.

When there is a FEMA determination the applicant disagrees with, PA applicants are provided a two-tiered administrative appeal process. The Regional Administrator (RA) of the applicable FEMA Region decides the first level appeal. If the applicant chooses to second appeal that decision, then the Assistant Administrator for Recovery at FEMA Headquarters determines the Agency’s final decision regarding the matter. If the Applicant does not second appeal the decision within 60 days of the first appeal decision, the first appeal decision becomes the final agency decision.

Learn About Appeals

Appeals Database

The Appeals Database is an online, searchable database containing FEMA responses to applicant appeals for assistance.

Waterway Debris Removal - Result of Declared Incident

Applicant: Big Slough Drainage District
Category: Waterway Debris Removal, Result of Declared Incident
Disaster: 4461
Date Signed:

Evacuation, Medical Care, and Sheltering

Applicant: University of Pittsburgh
Category: Evacuation, Medical Care, and Sheltering
Disaster: 4506
Date Signed:

Private Nonprofit

Applicant: Ciudad Mistica, Inc.
Category: Private Nonprofit
Disaster: 4473
Date Signed:

Scope of Work

Applicant: Brazoria County
Category: Change in Scope of Work
Disaster: 4332
Date Signed:

Force Account Labor & Equipment Costs

Applicant: Charleston
Category: Force Account Labor & Equipment Costs
Disaster: 4464
Date Signed:

Last updated June 6, 2022