Audits, Arbitration and Appeals in the Public Assistance Program

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The COVID-19 incident period ended on May 11, 2023. FEMA will continue to provide funeral assistance until Sept. 30, 2025, to those who have lost loved ones due to this pandemic.




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.

Allowable Costs & Reasonable Costs

Applicant: Mecklenburg County
Category: Allowable & Reasonable Costs
Disaster: 4487
Date Signed:

Immediate Threat, Legal Responsibility

Applicant: Rider University
Category: Legal Responsibility, Immediate Threat
Disaster: 4488
Date Signed:

Improved Property/Natural Feature, Immediate Threat

Applicant: Paintsville Utilities
Category: Improved Property/Natural Features, Immediate Threat
Disaster: 4595
Date Signed:

Financial Accounting & Reconciliation

Applicant: Town of Ontario
Category: Financial Accounting and Reconciliation
Disaster: 4348
Date Signed:

Private Nonprofit

Applicant: Bayside Church
Category: Private Nonprofit
Disaster: 4399
Date Signed:

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