News

March 31, 2020

Governor Wolf: Request for Major Disaster Declaration Approved

Governor Tom Wolf today announced the approval of part of his request to the President for a major disaster declaration to support state, county and local response to the COVID-19 outbreak in Pennsylvania.

“We are grateful for federal funding that will support all levels of government as we work together to stop the spread, and support those who care for the ill,” said Governor Wolf. “But I remain unwavering in my call for the approval of the rest of my request, which will provide more direct support to our friends and neighbors who are facing financial difficulties that otherwise could be insurmountable.”

Under the major disaster declaration, state, county and municipal governments, as well as eligible private non-profits can receive reimbursement for up to 75 percent of eligible expenses related to the response to the COVID-19 outbreak. Eligible expenses can include but are not limited to costs associated with paying overtime, or materials and equipment purchases. The declaration also provides direct federal assistance, which provides federal materials and supplies to support state and local response efforts.

In the coming weeks, staff from the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency will reach out to potential applicants to view the application process and necessary documentation. As the response period for the COVID-19 outbreak is continuing, the process will take weeks. All reimbursements are handled electronically.

Governor Wolf said his request for other federal aid remains under consideration. His letter to the President included the following Individual Assistance programs: Disaster Unemployment Assistance, Crisis Counseling, Community Disaster Loans and the Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Program; and Statewide Hazard Mitigation.

It is not known how soon a determination will be made about the rest of his request. Governor Wolf signed a Proclamation of Disaster Emergency for the COVID-19 outbreak, which is a required step to request a federal major disaster declaration, on March 6, 2020.

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