Eligibility and Allocations:
Q. Which governments are eligible for funds?
A. The following governments are eligible:
• States and the District of Columbia
• Tribal governments
•Non-entitlement units, or smaller local governments
Q. Which governments receive funds directly from Treasury?
A. Treasury will distribute funds directly to each eligible state, territory, metropolitan city,county, or Tribal government. Smaller local governments that are classified as nonentitlement units will receive funds through their applicable state government.
Q. Are special-purpose units of government eligible to receive funds?
A. Special-purpose units of local government will not receive funding allocations; however, a state, territory, local, or Tribal government may transfer funds to a special-purpose unit of government. Special-purpose districts perform specific functions in the community, such as fire, water, sewer or mosquito abatement districts.
Eligible Uses – Responding to the Public Health Emergency / Negative Economic Impacts:
Q. What types of COVID-19 response, mitigation, and prevention activities are eligible?
A. A broad range of services are needed to contain COVID-19 and are eligible uses, including vaccination programs; medical care; testing; contact tracing; support for isolation or quarantine; supports for vulnerable populations to access medical or public health services; public health surveillance (e.g., monitoring case trends, genomic sequencing for variants); enforcement of public health orders; public communication efforts; enhancement to health care capacity, including through alternative care facilities; purchases of personal protective equipment; support for prevention, mitigation, or other services in congregate living facilities (e.g., nursing homes, incarceration settings, homeless shelters, group living facilities) and other key settings like schools; ventilation improvements in congregate settings, health care settings, or other key locations; enhancement of public health data systems; and other public health responses. Capital investments in public facilities to meet pandemic operational needs are also eligible, such as physical plant improvements to public hospitals and health clinics or adaptations to public buildings to implement COVID-19 mitigation tactics.
Q. If a use of funds was allowable under the Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF) to respond to the public health emergency, may recipients presume it is also allowable under CSFRF/CLFRF?
A. Generally, funding uses eligible under CRF as a response to the direct public health impacts of COVID-19 will continue to be eligible under CSFRF/CLFRF, with the following two exceptions: (1) the standard for eligibility of public health and safety payrolls has been updated; and (2) expenses related to the issuance of tax-anticipation notes are not an eligible funding use.
Q. If a use of funds is not explicitly permitted in the Interim Final Rule as a response to the public health emergency and its negative economic impacts, does that mean it is prohibited?
A. The Interim Final Rule contains a non-exclusive list of programs or services that may be funded as responding to COVID-19 or the negative economic impacts of the COVID-19 public health emergency, along with considerations for evaluating other potential uses of Fiscal Recovery Funds not explicitly listed. The Interim Final Rule also provides flexibility for recipients to use Fiscal Recovery Funds for programs or services that are not identified on these non-exclusive lists but which meet the objectives of section 602(c)(1)(A) or 603(c)(1)(A) by responding to the COVID-19 public health emergency with respect to COVID-19 or its negative economic impacts.
Q. May recipients use funds to respond to the public health emergency and its negative economic impacts by replenishing state unemployment funds?
A. Consistent with the approach taken in the CRF, recipients may make deposits into the state account of the Unemployment Trust Fund up to the level needed to restore the prepandemic balances of such account as of January 27, 2020, or to pay back advances received for the payment of benefits between January 27, 2020 and the date when the Interim Final Rule is published in the Federal Register.
Q. What types of services are eligible as responses to the negative economic impacts of the pandemic?
A. Eligible uses in this category include assistance to households; small businesses and nonprofits; and aid to impacted industries.
Assistance to households includes, but is not limited to: food assistance; rent, mortgage, or utility assistance; counseling and legal aid to prevent eviction or homelessness; cash assistance; emergency assistance for burials, home repairs, weatherization, or other needs; internet access or digital literacy assistance; or job training to address negative economic or public health impacts experienced due to a worker’s occupation or level of training. Assistance to small business and non-profits includes, but is not limited to:
• loans or grants to mitigate financial hardship such as declines in revenues or impacts of periods of business closure, for example by supporting payroll and benefits costs, costs to retain employees, mortgage, rent, or utilities costs, and other operating costs;
• Loans, grants, or in-kind assistance to implement COVID-19 prevention or mitigation tactics, such as physical plant changes to enable social distancing, enhanced cleaning efforts, barriers or partitions, or COVID-19 vaccination, testing, or contact tracing programs; and
• Technical assistance, counseling, or other services to assist with business planning needs
Q. May recipients use funds to respond to the public health emergency and its negative economic impacts by providing direct cash transfers to households?
A. Yes, provided the recipient considers whether, and the extent to which, the household has experienced a negative economic impact from the pandemic. Additionally, cash transfers must be reasonably proportional to the negative economic impact they are intended to address. Cash transfers grossly in excess of the amount needed to address the negative economic impact identified by the recipient would not be considered to be a response to the COVID-19 public health emergency or its negative impacts. In particular, when considering appropriate size of permissible cash transfers made in response to the COVID-19 public health emergency, state, local, territorial, and Tribal governments may consider and take guidance from the per person amounts previously provided by the federal government in response to the COVID crisis.