Public Assistance

COVID – 19 Pandemic Outbreak

Following the Presidential Emergency Declaration (3427-EM-WA) and the Major Disaster Declaration (4481-DR-WA), the Washington State Emergency Management Division has activated FEMA’s Public Assistance (PA) Program to initiate the recovery process for the COVID–19 Pandemic Outbreak.

The mission of FEMA's PA Program is to provide assistance to State, Tribal and local governments and certain types of Private Nonprofit organizations so that communities can quickly respond to and recover from major disasters or emergencies declared by the President.

For the COVID–19 Pandemic Outbreak, WA EMD-PA and FEMA will manage the PA Program process to provide supplemental Federal disaster grant assistance for Emergency Protective Measure activities that eliminate or lessen immediate threats to lives, public health, or safety.

4481-DR-WA COVID-19 event was declared March 22, 2020 – Incident Period: January 20, 2020 and continuing.

Public Assistance (PA) Program is a 75% federal / 25% non-federal reimbursement program – the non-federal share cannot be matched with other federal funding.

CARES Act funding and FEMA Category B Emergency Protective Measures funding can both be utilized – but cannot duplicate payments for the same expenses.

Current Public Assistance COVID–19 Pandemic Outbreak specific guidance:

All Public Assistance questions pertaining to the COVID–19 Pandemic Outbreak, please send to or contact the PA Program office directly.


The Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act (CARES) was signed into law on, March 6, 2020 providing $8.3 billion in emergency funding to combat the COVID-19 Pandemic.

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act signed into law on 18 March, 2020 providing approximately $108 billion in supplemental funding for free testing, worker benefits and nutrition services.

Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act signed into law on March 27, 2020 providing over $2 trillion in multiple economic relief packages. 

Paycheck Protection and Health Care Enhancement Act was signed into law on 24 April, 2020 and provides $484 billion in funding for the Paycheck Protection Program as well as hospitals and COVID-19 testing.

These funding streams impact all levels of government: State Agencies, Tribal Governments, Local Jurisdictions, and Special Purpose Districts.

CARES Act funding streams have specific terms and conditions governing the use of funds.

CARES and other federal funding streams: