Homeland Security and Emergency Services

Public Assistance Fact Sheet

What is a Request for Public Assistance (RPA)?

A public or eligible private-nonprofit organization uses a Request for Public Assistance (RPA) form to apply for federal disaster assistance made available to the State. The State is referred to as the "Grantee." Using the RPA, potential applicants provide information about their organization, such as physical location, points of contact, and information regarding Private-Nonprofit status. FEMA and the State use the information to determine if an applicant is eligible for public assistance funding.

Who may submit a Request for Public Assistance?

RPAs may be submitted by any separate, legally established entity. The usual definition is an entity with separate taxing authority, such as a city or county government and is referred to as a "Sub-grantee."

How does a department apply?

Departments of municipal or county government do NOT submit a separate RPA. Instead, they should prepare project worksheets as subdivisions of the Sub-grantee. They work with inspectors to develop project worksheets for each damaged facility or for their emergency expenses to be submitted as part of the single county or municipal RPA with their share identified as a project worksheet reference.

What about schools?

Because schools usually have independent taxing authorities, school districts must submit RPAs. Each school facility within a district would not submit an RP A, but would get their cost recorded on project worksheets-the same as a subdivision of municipal or county government.

Are there other entities that should submit RPAs?

Yes, there are separate authorities, such as sewer authorities and power authorities, which should file RPAs separately from the communities they serve because they have independent authority to levy fees/taxes.

When are RPAs submitted?

The RPA must be submitted within 30 days of the declaration and may be submitted at the Applicants Briefing (or any time before the 30-day-from-declaration deadline). For more information, contact OEM Public Assistance at (518) 292-2293 or fax to (518) 322-4984.