Fast Track Process For Federal COVID Funding – Applications Due April 17

The process for the largest counties to receive an allocation of direct federal funding under the recent emergency CARES federal bill is very accelerated – an application by April 17 is required. Details are available here.

1200px-Seal_of_the_United_States_Department_of_the_Treasury.svgThe federal CARES legislation included $150 billion in new federal funding targeting state and local governments. The process for distributing those funds to jurisdictions larger than 500,000 population (in the federal bill, those counties received a carved-out allocation) is by application – which must be received by April 17.

(Note: the smaller jurisdictions, under 500,000 in population, will receive their shares through a State process – guidance on that process is forthcoming)

From local government guidelines released by the US Department of the Treasury:

Governments eligible for payments must provide payment information and required supporting documentation through the electronic form accessible below.  To ensure payments are made within the 30 day period specified by the CARES Act, governments must submit completed payment materials not later than 11:59 p.m. EDT on April 17, 2020.  Eligible local and Tribal governments that do not provide required information—and in the case of a local government, the required certification—by 11:59 p.m. EDT on April 17, 2020, may not receive any payment from the Fund.

Maryland’s senior US Senator Ben Cardin has developed a resource packet for Maryland local governments, to assist in developing payment applications. From their guidance document:

What can the allocated funding be used for?

The CARES Act established a new program, the Public Health and Social Services Emergency Fund (PHSSEF) to provide direct aid to health care institutions and providers to cover non-reimbursable expenses related to COVID-19 care and treatment. All non-reimbursable expenses attributable to COVID-19 qualify for funding. Examples include building or constructing temporary structures; leasing of properties; purchasing of medical supplies, personal protective equipment (PPE), and testing supplies; increasing staffing or training; and retrofitting ICUs.

It is important to note that this fund can only be used for non-reimbursable expenses. Any expenses reimbursed or obligated to be reimbursed by insurance or other mechanisms are not eligible. Should the entity subsequently receive reimbursement for expenses from any other source after receiving funding for the same expenses from the PHSSEF fund, the entity will be required to re-pay the funding it received from the PHSSEF fund.

Senator Cardin’s County and Municipal Governments Guide to CARES Act Funding 4-8-20– a 20 page pdf file.

Michael Sanderson

Executive Director Maryland Association of Counties