The $2.2 trillion federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act established the $150 billion Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF) to help state and local governments pay for COVID-19 expenses incurred between March 1 and Dec. 30. Here’s a brief look at the fund's guidelines and how much Texas and its cities and counties received from the program.
Administering Agencies: U.S. Treasury, Office of the Governor, Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM)
Eligible Local Governments: Cities and counties
Eligibility and Permitted Expenses:
- Six cities and 12 counties in Texas with populations above 500,000 received a direct payment from the U.S. Treasury.
- The remaining 242 counties, and each city within those counties, must apply to TDEM.
The six categories of eligible expenses are (examples):
- Medical costs
- Public health expenses
- All payroll for public safety and public health personnel (Contact your TDEM unit chief or email CRF@tdem.texas.gov for more information.)
- Costs of actions to facilitate compliance with COVID-19 public health measures
- Economic support to offset the impact of the pandemic
- Any other reasonably necessary expenses related to COVID-19
- CRF payments may be used to meet the local matching requirement for FEMA public assistance.
Grant or Loan: Grant Texas Received: $11.24 billion
Value of Direct U.S. Treasury Payments to Texas Jurisdictions (Populations 500,000+): $3.2 billion
Value of Indirect U.S. Treasury Payments to Texas Jurisdictions: $1.85 billion
- Cities and counties not eligible for a direct federal payment had to apply to TDEM for a $55 per capita allocation by Oct. 16, 2020, at tdem.texas.gov/crf.
- 75% of funds must be spent on eligible expenses in the first three categories and 25% on the remaining three.
- A 20% advance is available immediately, and the remainder is available via reimbursement. A list of eligible cities and counties, their allocations and the 20% advance they received can be found on TDEM’s CRF webpage.
- See TDEM FAQs for more on the eligible uses for the grants. A link to a CRF FAQ also can be found on TDEM’s relief fund webpage.
Deadline: Cities and counties not eligible for a direct federal payment must submit all documentation for reimbursement to TDEM by Dec. 15, 2020. All grants must be used by Dec. 30, 2020, or returned to the federal government.