Public Assistance Determinations can be Appealed

As cleanup continues from September flooding, local governments and nonprofit organizations may be submitting Requests for Public Assistance (RPA).

Not all applicants, facilities, work or costs in the 18 counties designated for FEMA Public Assistance will be eligible for reimbursement. Applicants who disagree with FEMA’s determination can appeal their eligibility decisions.

Applicants have two levels of appeals for determination decisions. The first level is through the state to the FEMA regional administrator. Appeals should be sent to in the Colorado Office of Emergency Management. If that appeal is denied, the second level of appeal is to the assistant administrator at FEMA headquarters.

The applicant must file an appeal with the state within 60 days of receipt of notice of the action or decision. Documentation to support the appeal should explain why the applicant believes the original determination is wrong and the amount of adjustment being requested.

Typical reasons for applicants to be denied include:
  • An entity is not an eligible applicant;
  • A portion of the cost claimed for the work is not eligible;
  • A facility, an item of work, an item of cost, or a project is not eligible for disaster assistance.
Typical reasons for appeal include:
  • Approved costs are less than the applicant believes necessary to complete the work;
  • A requested time extension was not granted;
  • The applicant disagrees with the approved “Scope of Work” on the Project Worksheet.
The counties eligible for Public Assistance reimbursements are Adams, Arapahoe, Boulder, Clear Creek, Crowley, Denver, El Paso, Fremont, Gilpin, Jefferson, Lake, Larimer, Lincoln, Logan, Morgan, Sedgwick, Washington and Weld.

Nov. 16 is the Request for Public Assistance deadline for Adams, Boulder, Clear Creek, El Paso, Jefferson, Larimer, Logan, Morgan, Washington and Weld. The deadline for Arapahoe, Crowley, Denver, Fremont, Gilpin, Lake, Lincoln and Sedgwick is Nov. 20.