Lamont announces approval of Presidential Major Disaster Declaration, assistance from FEMA, in response to coronavirus crisis


Conn. (WTNH) — Governor Ned Lamont announced the approval of a Federal Disaster Declaration for COVID-19 response in Connecticut Sunday.

Governor Lamont announced Sunday he had been notified by FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) that his request for the declaration in response to the pandemic was approved.

The governor’s office reports, this move unlocks additional federal assistance programs for the state to assist with coronavirus response.

Today’s approval is for public assistance, meaning that impacted state agencies and municipalities in all eight counties will be reimbursed for 75% of the costs associated with their response and emergency protective measures.

– Office of Governor Ned Lamont

However, the governor’s office reports that his other request for disaster assistance, “including individual assistance that could provide Connecticut residents with a number of critical benefits, such as expanded unemployment assistance, food benefits, and child care assistance, remains under review by the White House.”

I am grateful that the federal government is recognizing the severity of this pandemic in Connecticut and the impact it is having on the health and safety of the people of our state. It is an important step in providing critical aid in our communities.

I remain hopeful that our request for assistance for individuals will also be approved because this pandemic has had a significant impact on the livelihoods of so many people in Connecticut.

Thousands of workers and families are badly hurting. Unlocking this assistance would mean expanded unemployment benefits for those who are out of work because of the emergency, needed food benefits, child care assistance, and a host of other critically important aid.

This funding is imperative to protecting the health and safety of the people of our state and further limiting the spread of this disease.

I am grateful to our entire Congressional delegation who vigorously advocated for this declaration on our behalf. We will continue doing everything in our power to minimize both the health threat and the economic threat of this virus.

– Governor Ned Lamont

Representative Joe Courtney said of the announcement of the FEMA Approval of Connecticut’s Request for Major Disaster Declaration that it “dovetails with this past Friday’s passage and enactment of House Resolution 748, the CARES Act, which appropriated $45 billion for FEMA’s Disaster Relief Fund. That funding will pay for Connecticut’s FEMA-related expenses.”

He explained the order also authorized the use of the National Guard forces for coronavirus emergency response effort.

“As with the FEMA order,” Rep. Courtney said, “Dept. of Defense was responding to a request from Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont, which was supported by the entire Connecticut delegation.”

Senators Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy also reacted to the approval, saying the declaration is “an important first step in supporting Connecticut’s communities and first-responders that are on the front line of this fight”

“We urge the White House to promptly complete their review and approve Governor Lamont’s request for individual assistance.

Over the past few weeks we have both spoken with workers and businesses impacted by the economic downturn, and they will need every possible source of economic relief to survive the coming months.

Our offices will continue to work in close collaboration with Governor Lamont and White House to provide Connecticut with all the resources it will need.”

– Senators Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy (D-CT)

Governor Lamont said Thursday he had submitted a request to FEMA for a Presidential Major Disaster Declaration.

This request was made following the impact coronavirus has made in Connecticut thus far.

The Governor is asking for public assistance for the entire state, specifically from four programs under the Individual Assistance Program:

  • Disaster Unemployment Assistance
  • Crisis Counseling program
  • Disaster Case Management
  • Disaster Legal Services

“This global pandemic is continuing to have a major impact on the lives of every person and entity in our state and around our county,” Governor Lamont said. “If approved, this disaster declaration request will provide greatly needed assistance to our residents, as well as our local and state governments, so that we can try to bring some relief during this difficult and ongoing challenge.”

Lamont says if the assistance is approved, Connecticut residents may have access to additional resources to support the needs identified as a result of coronavirus.

View the entire request letter below:

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