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​​​​​​​​​​​Public Assistance Grant ​Program

The Public Assistance Gr​ant Program ​provides grant funding to pay for costs or damages incurred as a direct result of a federally declared disaster.

Who is eligible?​​​​

    • State agencies
    • Local government organizations
    • States, tribes, and territories
    • Certain private nonprofit organizations
    • Others that provide health and safety services of a governmental nature

All must be open to the general public and have IRS or state certification of their private nonprofit status.

What does it pay f​​o​​r​​​?

Public Assistance grants help communities recover from major disasters by helping pay for:

  • Debris removal
  • Life-saving emergency protective measures
  • Restoration of public infrastructure (buildings, public works systems, built or manufactured equipment, certain improved and maintained natural features)

How to apply

Two things must happen in order to apply for this program:

    1. A presidential disaster declaration must be made.
    2. Your jurisdiction must be named eligible for Public Assistance.

Eligible communities can contact their county emergency manager​ or email us at​ to begin the application process.

Once applications are completed, applicants should submit them online via the FEMA ​Grants Portal.


Public Assistance is categorized into two types of work: Emergency and Permanent.

    • Emergency work: Debris removal and life-saving emergency protective measures are categorized as “emergency work,” and typically take place within six months after the presidential declaration.

    • ​Permanent work: Restoration of infrastructure is categorized as “permanent work,” and typically take​​s place within 18 months after the presidential declaration.​​

Request an extension
Applicants are able to request an extension by submitting a request to us as soon as they know that the initial deadline is not achievable.

Reporting overages

Applicants have 60 days to report cost overages on their projects. Applicants who are late to report overages will not receive federal funding.

Overages are called Net Small Project Overruns, and they happen when a project is awarded based on estimated costs, but the actual cost upon completion surpasses that estimate.

What to do: If your project is going to exceed the allotted amount, reach out to your representative here at PEMA as soon as possible.

Not sure who your representative is?
Email us at​ to be connected with your PEMA representative.

Background info

We serve as the direct connection between the applicant and the federal government for public assistance. We are here to help you get the funding you need.

The program is a cost-share reimbursement program, which means the federal government provides at least 75 percent of the eligible cost. The remaining, non-federal share of up to 25 percent is split between eligible applicants. PEMA determines how those remaining funds are split.

Protecting against future disasters
This program provides assistance for hazard mitigation measures to be taken during the recovery process so that we can protect damaged facilities from future events.