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Frequently Asked Questions about Reimbursement

Article IX of EMAC Law outlines what is eligible or not eligible for reimbursement. States use the mission documentation (see REQ-A Frequently Asked Questions) to determine estimated costs, and reimbursement packages are derived from the mission documentation.

Below are frequently asked questions about reimbursement under EMAC.  These answers are general in nature; always check with your home state emergency management agency to obtain answers specific to your state.

  • What expenses are eligible for reimbursement? +

    By and large, expenses during deployment that are eligible for reimbursement include those specifically stated on the signed REQ-A, which covers personnel, travel, equipment, commodities, and “other” expenses. A complete list is not available here, but ineligible expenses include such costs as costs for personal-use items (e.g., tobacco, liquor), workers compensation (which is provided by the Assisting State), and items for which the deployed individual provides no receipt or other form of proof of expense paid.

  • Do states still pay for missions if there is a presidential disaster? +

    Yes.  Whether a federal declaration of emergency is made or not, a Requesting State is always responsible for the reimbursement of EMAC mission costs that were detailed on the EMAC REQ-A. 

  • Are EMAC reimbursements tied to FEMA PA eligibility? +

    If a Requesting State finds that it does not qualify for FEMA’s Public Assistance funding for a given emergency, is the Requesting State still obligated to reimburse Assisting States for the costs they have incurred during their response?

    Whether a Requesting State qualifies for FEMA’s Public Assistance funding or not, that Requesting State is still obligated to reimburse Assisting States for costs it has agreed to reimburse. All REQ-As that are processed appropriately and signed off on by EMAC Authorized Representatives are legal agreements.

  • What expenses are ineligible for reimbursement? +

    By and large, expenses during deployment that are eligible for reimbursement include those specifically stated on the signed REQ-A, which covers personnel, travel, equipment, commodities, and “other” expenses. A complete list is not available here, but ineligible expenses include such costs as costs for personal-use items (e.g., tobacco, liquor), workers compensation (which is provided by the Assisting State), and items for which the deployed individual provides no receipt or other form of proof of expense paid.

  • How are hours and equipment rates determined? +

    In general, the actual pay rates for that equipment should be used. If actual rates are not known, the Resource Provider may choose to use the published FEMA equipment rates. 

    To estimate hours, the Resource Provider should assume a set number of equipment hours per day such as 8-12. 

    The equipment rates that are on the fully executed REQ-A set the rates and hours for what will be reimbursed. 

  • What criteria are used to differ between response and recovery costs? +

    There is no distinction between response and recovery costs for mutual aid assistance under the Compact.

    When executed, the REQ-A constitutes a binding agreement. Once assistance is negotiated and agreed to in the REQ-A, the Requesting State is obligated to pay reasonable expenses directly related to the mission, including justified pre- and post-deployment costs.; but, it must be stated on the REQ-A.

  • What eligibility issues have to be addressed during reimbursement? +

    Issues that arise during the reimbursement process generally stem back to items that were either not on the REQ-A or were not documented. 

    Example:  If equipment was damaged on the mission, it should be documented and the home state emergency management should be notified.  Depending upon the extent of the damage, they may choose to amend the REQ-A.  If it is not reported or documented but during the reimbursement process, there is a request to repair or replace damaged equipment, it will cause an issue and likely a delay. 

    Other items that must be clearly stated on the REQ-A include the payment of 24/7 duties, expenses associated with the backfill of positions for deployed personnel, unanticipated costs that far exceed the initial cost estimate, and claims for expenses that are not related to the mission being performed. 

    Two extreme, but actual, examples of issues encountered in the past are expenses for alcoholic beverages claimed "for morale purposes" and expenses for silk-screened T-shirts for deployed personnel. Neither of these items was necessary or directly related to the mission performed nor were they on the REQ-A; and therefore, neither expense was eligible for reimbursement.

  • Does the EMAC reimbursement process follow the FEMA reimbursement process? +

    The EMAC reimbursement process does not follow the FEMA reimbursement process, as the EMAC reimbursement process is based on General Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) applicable in Member States and in compliance with Member State laws.

  • Does EMAC reimbursement of specific resources align with FEMA "team" typing? +

    There are no reimbursement requirements tied to NIMS resource typing.  While resources that deploy through EMAC do not have to be resource typed, it is helpful to know that the resource that is being requested is the resource that is being sent. 

  • Is equipment depreciation an eligible reimbursement cost? +

    Generally, equipment costs are "use costs" by hour or day or by event. The depreciation of equipment would be factored into the equipment rate of that specific piece of equipment.

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