FEMA has approved more than $130 million in total assistance to Montana as of October 1, supporting the state’s fight against COVID-19 over the last 18 months. The assistance was authorized under the major disaster declaration issued for Montana on March 31, 2020.
Earlier this year, following new guidance from President Biden, FEMA increased reimbursement from 75 percent to 100 percent funding for projects related to the pandemic response, retroactive to January 20, 2020.
This federal funding was received by the state and distributed to Montana tribes, counties, cities, individuals, and other state and local partners.
The total includes nearly $40 million from FEMA’s Public Assistance program for vaccines, testing sites, medical staffing and supplies (including ventilators, masks and personal protective equipment), and other identified COVID-19 related management, communication, transportation and administrative costs.
An additional $35 million was provided by FEMA to reimburse other agencies that provided staffing or resources to augment state efforts. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Department of Health & Human Services and the Department of Defense all supported COVID-19 operations in Montana.
FEMA also contributed $48 million in Lost Wages Assistance to individuals to help ease the economic burden of Montanans struggling financially because of the coronavirus pandemic, and $1.6 million for Crisis Counseling to assist individuals and communities in recovering from the psychological effects of the pandemic through outreach and educational services.
Another $1.5 million has been approved for FEMA Funeral Assistance, which delivers funding to families for pandemic related funeral expenses incurred after January 20, 2020. Those in need of such aid can call FEMA’s COVID-19 Funeral Assistance Helpline at 844-684-6333 or (TTY) 800-462-7585. The helpline is open Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Eastern Time (7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Mountain Time). At this time, there is no deadline to apply for COVID-19 Funeral Assistance for families who have lost a loved one.
Montana also has been allocated $5.7 million from FEMA’s Hazard Mitigation Grant Program to invest in mitigation planning and projects that reduce risks from natural disasters.