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Public Assistance

Information on Federal Public Assistance Eligibility for COVID-19

Applicants manual for federal grants

Frequently Asked Questions From Homeowners

Public Assistance Program Downloads

General Information

The FEMA Public Assistance (PA) Program provides federal disaster assistance to state and local government organizations for debris removal, emergency protective measures and the permanent restoration or replacement of public facilities that are owned and operated by an eligible Applicant. Assistance may also be provided to certain private non-profit organizations that provide services of a governmental nature open to all persons within the community.

The Vermont Emergency Management division of Public Safety (VEM) administers the Public Assistance Program as the grantee for the State of Vermont. Eligible organizations for the program are considered subgrantees. The program reimburses subgrantees for at least 75 percent of eligible costs that were a result of the disaster.

Upon a declaration of a major disaster or emergency by the President, applicant briefings are conducted by the VEM Public Assistance Program staff in the designated counties. These applicant briefings provide an overview of the program requirements and a hands-on session to complete the required application forms. To apply for assistance, each organization must submit a Request for Public Assistance in the FEMA Grants Portal within 30 days of the date of the presidential declaration.

Time Extension Requests

Project Worksheet Change Request

Time limits for completing the work covered by a Project Worksheet (PW) begin from the disaster declaration date.  Applicants who will need more time must submit a Time Extension request to the State prior to the end of the Period of Performance listed in their PW. Standard periods of performance are:

  • Emergency work and debris removal must be completed within 6 months;
  • Permanent work must be completed within 18 months.

Alternate Project Requests

Request for Alternate Project

When an applicant determines that restoration of a damaged facility or function does not serve the public welfare, they may request to use the Public Assistance grant for another public facility.

  • The alternate project must be approved by FEMA prior to construction.
  • The alternate project may require an environmental assessment.
  • Federal funding is limited to 75% of the federal share of the original project estimate or actual alternate project cost (whichever is less).

Improved Project Requests

Request for Improved Project

Applicants performing restoration work on a damaged facility may make improvements to the facility while restoring the facility to its pre-disaster condition. 

  • The improvements must be approved by the grantee prior to construction.
  • The applicant is responsible for additional costs associated with the improvements.  Federal funding is limited to the cost of restoration covered in the original PW.

Scope Change Requests

Request for Scope Changes

During the performance of work on a project, an Applicant may discover hidden damage, additional work that is necessary to properly complete the project, or that certain costs are higher than those used in estimating the original Project Worksheet.  Delays in the work schedule also may increase costs.  Changes in the scope of work may result in additional environmental/historic preservation compliance reviews and/or new permits.  If you become aware of the need to revise a PW scope or if cost is likely to exceed the PW amount by more than 10%, you should submit a Scope Change Request ASAP.  (Note:  a Scope Change can only be submitted for a project that already has an approved PW; all damages must have been identified and reported to FEMA within 60 days of the kick-off meeting to be included in a PW.)

To submit the completed form with all documentation email Kimberly Canarecci, State Public Assistance Officer or call 802-585-4209.

Public Assistance Guidance Documents and Forms

The following pages provide a guide for preparing a properly documented project worksheet package to be submitted to FEMA.  This information is used in FEMA’S National Template for Project Worksheets.  Submitting a complete package with the required backup documentation will expedite the processing of your reimbursement. 

Application and Project Worksheet forms

Guidance Documents

Closeout Forms

To supplement Federal Public Assistance the State of Vermont has established an Emergency Relief and Assistance Fund (ERAF).  Please visit Flood Ready Vermont for more information about ERAF and the actions that your community can take to secure better post-disaster funding.