Article 9 of EMAC Law
Public Law 104-321
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the reimbursement process
The reimbursement package starts with Deployed Personnel submitting mission related expenses.
Developing the reimbursement package starts with the Deployed Personnel.
Until Deployed Personnel submit mission related expenses to their employer, the Resource Provider, for payment the reimbursement process cannot begin.
How can personnel who may deploy on an EMAC mission prepare for reimbursement? You need to have a working knowledge of EMAC by taking advantage of training opportunities offered by your agency, your State Emergency Management Agency and the National Emergency Management Association (NEMA).
Put your training to the test by participating in exercises you should be aware of your employer's internal guidelines including those of cost eligibility you should understand your responsibilities for maintaining good supporting documentation for expenses incurred during your deployment.
Most importantly, you should submit your reimbursement package to your home agency as soon as you return home from a mission. Reimbursement starts with you!
Resource Providers have a number of responsibilities to prepare for the reimbursement of their EMAC mission.
Preparing for the Reimbursement Process
Resource Providers have a number of responsibilities to prepare for the processing of EMAC missions.
These include the following actions:
- Developing internal EMAC reimbursement guidelines to standardize the reimbursement process and clarify cost eligibility in coordination with your state Emergency Management Agency.
- Developing internal procedures that specify how reimbursement claims will be processed including names and positions of those who will oversee the process.
- Compiling documentation to prepare the claim (reimbursement package).
- Conducting internal audits and review and resolve issues.
- Training both finance administration and Deployable Personnel on internal guidelines and procedures.
- Developing and maintaining response specific mission ready packages in collaboration with the state Emergency Management Agency to ensure identified costs are eligible.
The Resource Support Agreement (RSA) constitutes a legally binding agreement between states.
The EMAC Resource Support Agreement Form or RSA refers to the official form used by EMAC member states to document the request, offer and acceptance of the offer of assistance.
Each EMAC mission requires a RSA.
When signed by both requesting and assisting state EMAC Authorized Representatives, the RSA constitutes a legally binding agreement.
The RSA establishes the basis for reimbursement.
Resource providers will receive a Mission Order Authorization Form also called a Mission Order once the RSA is completed.
The Mission Order documents that the Resource Provider has been approved for an EMAC mission for the dates appearing on the mission order it also contains all mission related information and the costs, but it does not show the breakdown of personnel salaries.
Any unexpected costs that may occur during your mission may require the Requesting and Assisting State Emergency Management Agencies amend the costs within the RSA. You must report changes in costs to your home agency (Resource Provider) as soon as they are apparent. The EMAC Authorized Representatives of the Requesting and Assisting States decide whether an amendment is needed.
During the deployment, Deployed Personnel must maintain original copies of all invoices, receipts and other documentation relating to expenses incurred while performing the EMAC mission.
This documentation will be submitted to your Resource Provider as the basis for your reimbursement claim.
Once you are reimbursed for completing the EMAC mission, the Resource Provider forwards their reimbursement package to the State Emergency Management Agency.
Eligible costs include expenses that are typically incurred when conducting or traveling on an EMAC mission.
Eligible costs include expenses aligned to the RSA that are incurred when conducting or traveling on an EMAC mission.
Costs related to the use, of or damage to, equipment and the consumption of commodities are also eligible.
Eligible categories for cost reimbursement are as follows: Personnel, Travel (such as air and ground transportation). Lodging, Meals, Equipment, Commodities and Other.
Learn what personnel costs are eligible and how expenses should be documented.
Eligible costs within this category include the following:
- Salary including regular time calculated at the regular rate of pay
- Overtime in accordance with your employer’s policy
- Fringe benefits as calculated by your normal rate
All personnel costs should be consistent with the Resource Provider’s regular rates.
Personnel backfill costs are not eligible unless mutually agreed upon upfront by both party States and acknowledgement of this cost is included in the mission.
Documentation supporting personnel expenses include daily work records or work logs time and attendance records resource provider payroll registers are required.
Learn about eligible air travel expenses and how they should be documented.
Air Travel Expenses
Eligible costs within this category include airfare at the standard rate and baggage fees.
Upgrades are not eligible.
Documentation of air travel expenses include a receipt from airline or travel agent showing the name of the traveler dates traveled and the cost of travel with receipts for baggage fees.
Learn about eligible ground transportation expenses and how they should be documented.
Eligible costs include the following:
- Rental vehicle and fuel
- Shuttle fares
- Parking fees
- Highway and bridge tolls
- Fuel or
- Agency, state or GSA rates for government owned vehicles
- Agency state or GSA mileage rates for the use of a personally owned vehicle or POV supporting
Learn about eligible lodging expenses and how they should be documented.
Eligible costs include Per diem using GSA rates or actual costs for lodging.
If lodging is provided by or direct billed to the Requesting State or if lodging is not available or personnel are living in a base camp at no cost those expenses are not eligible for reimbursement.
Supporting documentation of lodging expenses include a copy of agency or state policy showing lodging rates a copy of GSA lodging rates for the area of deployment. Original lodging receipts showing a zero balance are required.
Learn what meal costs are eligible (receipt method and per diem) and how expenses should be documented.
Eligible costs for meals include per diem for meals using agency, state, or GSA per diem rates or actual costs for meals.
Per Diem Method
Supporting documentation of meal expenses include a copy of GSA meal rates for the area of deployment a copy of agency or state policy showing per diem rates.
If using the receipt method, Deployed Personnel must keep all meal receipts and turn them in for reimbursement. The policy document that verifies the agency utilizes the receipt method should be provided. Meals should be reasonable.
Pay Attention to the Mission Order
The Mission Order should identify whether meals are by the per diem or receipt method and Deployed Personnel should take note if they need to retain receipts for meals.
Meals provided at a base camp or by a non-governmental or volunteer organization are not eligible for reimbursement and should not be included in the Deployed Personnel or Resource Providers reimbursement claim.
Learn what equipment expenses are eligible for reimbursement and how they should be documented.
Eligible costs within this category include maintenance and operating costs for vehicles and machinery required to perform the mission, agency, state, or FEMA hourly equipment rate schedule, loss or damage occurring to equipment during the time frame of the mission.
Supporting documentation of equipment related expenses include log sheets showing dates and hours that equipment was in use documentation substantiating fuel and oil consumption, a copy of equipment rates for each piece of equipment used, photographs affidavits or police reports documenting damage or loss.
In general equipment should not be purchased during the conduct of a mission. If equipment must be purchased a discussion should first take place between the Resource Provider and the Assisting and Requesting State Emergency Management Agencies. If the Resource Provider chooses to be reimbursed for the agreed upon cost of equipment the equipment becomes the property of, and remains in, the Requesting State.
Learn what commodity expenses are eligible for reimbursement and how they should be documented.
Eligible costs include consumables, supplies and other materials that are used to support the mission.
Supporting documentation of commodity expenses include actual receipts for purchases and records substantiating their need.
Learn what "Other" expenses are eligible for reimbursement and how they should be documented.
Eligible costs within this category include reasonable repair or replacement costs of equipment damaged during deployment, costs for the decontamination or cleaning of equipment used during deployment, costs of purchasing and transporting supplies maintenance and repair, expenses necessary to return equipment to pre disaster condition, replacement costs of damaged or destroyed non equipment items.
Supporting documentation includes actual invoices or receipts along with other documentation substantiating the expense.
Photographs, affidavits or police reports documenting damage or loss are suggested if documenting damage to equipment.
It is critical that accurate records and documentation substantiating other costs be maintained.
Learn what costs may be negotiated between states and what costs are not eligible for reimbursement
Ineligible costs are those expenses including the following:
- Personal expenses
- Costs that are not reasonable or not related to the mission being performed
- Costs that have not been agreed upon by the EMAC Authorized Representatives of the Requesting and Assisting State Emergency Management Agencies
- Costs of personal items such as alcohol tobacco or toiletries
- Costs incurred by self-deployed or self-dispatched resources
- Replacement or purchase of items outside the mission tour of duty dates
- Costs not substantiated by actual receipts or insufficient documentation
- Workers' Compensation benefits for claims
Some costs are eligible if agreed upon by both the Requesting and Assisting States at the time of the Request and Offer and completion of the RSA. Negotiated costs must be in the RSA to be eligible. These include the following:
- Administrative costs or other costs incurred to support the mission
- Backfill costs for personnel unless mutually agreed upon upfront by both the Requesting and Assisting States
Deploying personnel should remember to establish
a "paperwork system" and become knowledgable
of reimbursement policy and procedures prior to their deployment.
Upon returning home, organize and submit travel vouchers and documentation to your home agency (Resource Provider) and be prepared to assist in perparing the reimbursement package to send to the home state emergency management agency.
Reimbursement starts before the mission begins and doesn't end until everyone - Deployed Personnel, Resource Providers, and Assisting States have been reimbursed. The speed at which the reimbursement process moves is also dependent upon everyone within the process. Make sure you understand you understand your responsibilities. Together we can make reimbursement an efficient process.