ARP Program Summary

The latest round of federal COVID assistance was passed by the U.S. Senate as the American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act and subsequently signed into law on Thursday March 11, 2021. This program summary provides a preliminary overview of ARP provisions that may affect the state of Georgia. Provisions are organized according to broad topics. U.S. and state estimates contained in this summary are based on projected allocations from the U.S. Treasury through Federal Funds Information for States (FFIS), where known.

States are awaiting specific allocation totals on certain programs, denoted by (N/A) throughout the summary. These values are subject to change until official guidance is released by the U.S. Treasury. Georgia’s projected allocation is listed in parenthesis and bolded, while the totals for all states are listed to the left of Georgia’s portion.

According to current projections, the bill will result in at least $17.4 billion to Georgia, including state and local governments and individual assistance.

However, Georgia may receive more or less than the projected amount for any particular program. Funds have not yet been received from U.S. Treasury.  

  • Governmental Fiscal Assistance

    Governor’s Office of Planning and Budget

    State Fiscal Relief Fund: $219.9 billion ($4.7 billion) For expenses incurred through December 31, 2024

    • Funds may be used to respond to COVID-19 or its negative economic impacts, premium pay to essential workers (up to $13/hour, maximum of $25,000 per worker), lost revenues, and water/sewer/broadband infrastructure
    • May not be used to reduce taxes directly or indirectly or make payments to pension funds

    Local Fiscal Relief Fund: $130 billion ($3.5 billion) For expenses incurred through December 31, 2024

    • Cities with a population of 50,000 or more. Follows Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) formula.
    • Non-Entitlement units of local government: ($857 million) (cities with a population of less than 50,000):
      • Total amount received by Non-Entitlement unit of local government may not exceed 75% of most recent budget as of January 27, 2020.
      • The state will be responsible for dispersing funds to non-entitlement governments while large municipalities and county governments will receive funds directly from Treasury
    • Counties: $65.1 billion ($2 billion) Distributed based on population, with hold-harmless provision relative to CDBG formula for urban counties
    • Consolidated city-county governments will receive BOTH their city and county allocations

    Capital Project Fund: $10 billion ($262 million) For expenses incurred through December 31, 2024

    • To carry out projects to support work, education and health monitoring during COVID-19
    • For capital projects to carry out “critical capital projects directly enabling work, education and health monitoring, including remote options, in response to the public health emergency”
    • The legislation directs the Treasury Secretary to establish an application process within 60 days after the bill’s enactment

    Local Assistance and Tribal Consistency Fund: $2 billion nationwide. Available until September 30, 2023. To counties that experienced negative revenue impacts due to changes in federal programs, $750 million in FY 2022 and $750 million in FY 2023 based on economic conditions. Monies may be used for any governmental purpose other than lobbying.

    Georgia Department of Labor (DOL)

    UI Extension Implementation: ($0.275 million) to extend unemployment benefits for the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC), Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), and Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) programs through September 6, 2021. FPUC will remain a $300 weekly supplement for weeks ending January 2, 2021 through September 6, 2021, as appropriate and is subject to deductions for federal and state tax withholdings, child support, and overpayment recoveries.

  • Commerce Assistance

    Economic Adjustment Assistance: $3 billion (N/A) Available through September 20, 2022

    • A set-aside of 25% is provided for states and communities for economic injury in the travel, tourism, or outdoor recreation sectors
  • Education Assistance

    Education: $167.3 Billion ($5.6 billion) Georgia Department of Education and the University System of Georgia, Board of Regents. Funds available through 9/30/2023.

    Georgia Department of Education

    Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund: $122 billion ($ 4.2 billion)

    • Local Educational Agencies shall receive at least 90 percent ($3.8 billion) allocated to the state LEAs must reserve 20% ($765 million) to address learning loss (The LEA reservation for learning loss is the only provision subject to equitable services).
    • State Educational Agencies (SEAs) may utilize up to 10% ($425 million) and must reserve 5% ($212 million) to address learning loss
    • SEAs required to reserve 1% ($42.5 million) of the total amount of grant funds awarded to the states for evidence-based summer enrichment programs
    • SEAs required to reserve not less than 1% ($42.5 million) for evidence-based after school programs
    • SEAs may reserve not more than .5% ($21.2 million) of the total amount of grant funds awarded to the state for administration

    Emergency Assistance to Non-Public Schools: $2.8 billion ($65.6 million)

    • To provide services or assistance to non-public schools that enroll a significant percentage of low-income students and are most impacted by the qualifying emergency

    Individuals with Disabilities Education Act: $3 billion ($.9 million)

    • Grants to States: $2.6 billion ($77 million) for special education formula grants
    • Preschool: $200 million ($5.2 million) funds for preschools to provide free appropriate public education (FAPE) to children with disabilities, ages three through five
    • Infants and Toddlers: $250 million ($8 million) for early intervention services for infants and toddlers with developmental delays

    Department of Early Care and Learning (DECAL)

    Child Care and Development Block Grant: $15 billion ($607 million) Obligated by 9/30/2023

    • Funds may be used to provide childcare assistance to essential workers without regard to such workers’ income
    • Provides additional funds to be used for childcare stabilization in accordance with the Child Care and Development Block Grant Act

    Child Care Stabilization Grants: $24 billion ($970 million) Available through 9/30/2021

    • The remainder of the funds must be used to award subgrants to qualified childcare providers that were, on the date of submission of the application for the subgrant, either open and available to provide childcare services or closed for reasons related to the COVID-19 public health emergency
    • Examples: personnel expenses, cleaning supplies and personal protective equipment, and mental health supports
    • Subgrant funds may be used for sums obligated or expended prior to the date of enactment of this Act
    • A lead agency may reserve up to 10 percent of grant funds for administrative and technical assistance costs

    Child Care Entitlement to States (Increase in Matching Portion): $633 million ($17.5 million) Obligated by 9/30/2021

    • The bill permanently increases funding for this program from $2.91 billion annually to $3.55 billion annually

    Head Start: $1 billion ($27 million) to be awarded based on number of children enrolled. Available through September 30, 2022.

    University System of Georgia Board of Regents, Technical College System of Georgia

    Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund: $39.6 billion ($1.2 billion)

    • Public and private non-profit institutions will be required to spend at least 50 percent of such allocations on emergency financial aid grants to students, while for-profit institutions receiving allocations and institutions receiving allocations due to the enrollment of students enrolled exclusively online will have to spend 100 percent of such allocations on student aid
    • Institutions are required to use a portion of the institutional share of new allocations to implement evidence-based practices to mitigate COVID-19 and conduct outreach to students regarding the opportunity to receive a financial aid adjustment due to the recent unemployment of a family member or other changes in financial circumstances. Restrictions that were applied exclusively to institutions subject to the endowment tax in the previous Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund will not apply to new allocations under this section.
  • Public Health Assistance

    Georgia Department of Public Health

    COVID-19 Vaccines: $7.5 billion ($95 million) Available until expended.

    • For activities to plan, prepare for, promote, distribute, administer, and track COVID-19 vaccines
    • The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will provide supplemental funding (no later than 21 days after enactment) to jurisdictions that were awarded less funding than anticipated for vaccines under the December 2020 relief bill.


    COVID-19 Testing: ($319 million) Available until expended.

    • For testing, contract tracing, and mitigation

    Public Health Workforce: $7.7 billion ($N/A)

    • Funds can be used for recruiting, hiring, and training new public health workers; providing personal protective equipment, technology, and other supplies to new workers; and administrative costs.

    Georgia Department of Community Health

    National Health Service Corps: $800 million ($N/A)

    • $100 million is set aside for state loan tuition repayment programs for participating physicians/clinicians. Matching requirements do not apply
    • No more than 10% may be used for state administration.

    Community Health Centers: $7.6 billion ($143 million) Available until expended.

    • For vaccine distribution, testing, contact tracing, equipment, staff, infrastructure, and community education and outreach.
    • Funds may be used for prior expenditures beginning on January 27, 2020.

    Nursing Home Strike Teams: $250 million ($N/A) Available until expended

    Rural Health Care Providers: $8.5 billion ($N/A) Available until expended

    • To reimburse rural health care providers serving Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries for health care-related expenses and lost revenues attributable to COVID-19. This fund is similar to the provider relief fund.

    Medicaid, Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP): 100% federal match for Medicaid and Kids Care COVID-19 vaccines. Executive budget includes $23 million for state share of vaccine administration in FY 2021.

    • State option to provide coverage to uninsured for COVID-19 vaccines and treatment without cost sharing through the public health emergency, with vaccines matched at 100% federal match.
    • State option to extend eligibility to women for 12 months postpartum, for 5 years.
    • Enhanced federal match at 85% for mobile crisis intervention services.
    • 100% federal match for services to beneficiaries under Urban Indian Organizations for 2 years.
    • Eliminates cap on drug rebates, beginning in CY 2024. We estimate this would increase Prescription Drug Rebate Fund revenues by $13 million.
    • Temporary federal match increase of 10% (with COVID 2 federal match, total of 86.21%) for states to make improvements to Medicaid Home and Community Based Services for 1 year. Contains supplement, not supplant requirement.

    Emergency Rural Development Grants for Rural Health Care: $500 million ($N/A) Available until September 30, 2023.

    • For rural health care, including vaccine distribution and lost revenues.
    • Not distributed based on formula


    Subsidies for workers eligible for continuation coverage under the Consolidated Omnibus Reconciliation Act of 1985 (COBRA) due to involuntary termination or reduction in hours: 85% premium assistance available through September 30, 2021; provides refundable payroll tax credit to allow employers and health plans to be reimbursed for the full amount of COBRA premiums.


    Georgia Emergency Management Agency

    Emergency Management Performance Grants (EMPG): $20 million ($2.7 million) Available through 9/30/2025

  • Human Services

    Georgia Department of Human Services

    Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program: $4.5 billion ($118 million) to help families afford home heating and cooling costs, to remain available through September 30, 2022.

    Pandemic Emergency Assistance: $1 billion ($22 million) Available April 1, 2021-September 30, 2022

    • No more than 15 percent of Pandemic Emergency Assistance Fund dollars may be spent on administrative costs, and the remainder may only be spent on Non-Recurrent Short-Term cash and other Non-Recurrent Short-Term benefits.
    • Funds must Supplement, not Supplant

    Community-Based Child Abuse Prevention: $250 million ($8.4 million) Available through 9/30/2023

    • It amends the formula to allocate all funds (instead of 70%) based on each state’s relative share of children under age 18 (with a small-state minimum)
    • Match is waived

    Child Abuse State Grants: $100 million ($3.3 million) Available through 9/30/2023.

    •  For child abuse and neglect treatment and response state grant program, without regard to discretionary activity allocation requirements.

    Supportive Services: $460 billion ($12.3 million) Available until expended

    • Funding may be used for COVID-19 vaccination outreach and to address extended social isolation
    • 15% state match requirement

    Congregate and Home Delivered Meals: $750 million ($20.3 million) Available until expended

    • Special programs for aging nutrition services

    15% state match requirement

    Expansion of Emergency Shelter Meals Reimbursement increasing the maximum age from 18 to 24.

    Preventive Services: $44 million ($1.2 million) Available until expended

    • DHS Special Programs for Aging-Disease Prevention and Health Promotion
    • 15% state match requirement

    Family Caregiver: $145 million ($3.8 million) Available until expended

    • 25% state match requirement

    Title VII Long-Term Care Ombudsman: $10 million ($.27 million) Available until expended

    Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities (DBHDD)

    Mental Health Block Grant: $1.5 billion ($45.5 million) Spent by 9/30/2025

    Substance Abuse Block Grant: $1.5 billion ($46 million) Spent by 9/30/2025

  • Housing Assistance

    Georgia Department of Community Affairs


    Water Assistance Program: $500 million (N/A) Available until expended.


    • To assist low-income consumers in paying for drinking water and wastewater expenses.


    Emergency Rental Assistance: ($21.5 billion) ($562 million)


    • Up to 15% may be used for administrative costs, up to 10% may be used for housing stability services, and there is no specified minimum allotment for financial assistance
    • Up to 15% may be used for administrative costs
    • Up to 10% may be used for housing stability services
    • The bill does not provide specific reporting requirements.
    • Currently, OPB is the prime recipient and DCA is the administering agent for the fund

    Homeowner Assistance Fund: $9.96 billion (N/A) Funding is available until September 30, 2025


    • The formula is to be based on a state’s proportions of unemployed individuals over an unspecified period (between three and 12 months) and mortgagors in foreclosure or with payments more than 30 days past due.
    • At least 60% of each grantee’s allotment must be targeted to homeowners with incomes no more than the greater of the area median income and the median income of the United States. The remainder is to be prioritized for “socially disadvantaged individuals.”


    Tenant-based Rental Assistance/ HOME Investments Partnership Program (HOME): $5 billion (N/A) Available until September 30, 2030.


    • For tenant-based rental assistance, affordable housing development, supportive services, and non-congregate shelter units.
    • Formula based on public housing capacity and geographic diversity


    Housing Counseling: $100 million (N/A) Available until September 30, 2030.


    Fair Housing Activities: $20 million (N/A) Available until September 30, 2023


    Emergency Food and Shelter Program: $30 million ($12.3 million) Available through 9/30/2025

  • Food Assistance

    Georgia Department of Public Health

    WIC Cash Value Vouchers: $490 million ($13.2 million) Applicable from enactment until 4 months after enactment.

    • The ARP allows states to increase the amount of a cash-value voucher to as much as $35 for participants receiving food packages.

    Department of Human Services

    Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP): $1.1 billion (N/A)

    • 75% based on the share of SNAP households for the most recent 12-month period for which data are available, adjusted by the secretary for participation in disaster programs
    • 25% based on the increase in SNAP households over the most recent 12-month period, adjusted for participation in disaster programs
    • Pandemic EBT may be implemented for any school year during COVID and may be extended through the summer. Extends earlier COVID relief program which provides SNAP-like benefits to children who have received free or reduced-price school meals if not for COVID-related school closures or reduced hours.
  • Transportation Assistance

    Georgia Department of Transportation

    Urbanized Area Local:  $26 billion ($343.6 million)

    Nonurbanized Area: $317 million ($1.6 million) Available through 9/30/2024

    • To maintain operations and avoid layoffs and furloughs
    • A notice of funding opportunity must be released within 180 days and awards must be made 120 days after the application deadline
    • The bill provides $100 million for certain intercity bus operators, allocated to states in proportion to FY 2020 Rural Area Formula Grants. States with ineligible bus operators may use this funding for other activities eligible under Rural Area Formula Grants

    Enhanced Mobility of Seniors and Persons with Disabilities -State: $50 million ($0.64 million) Available through 9/30/2024.

    Enhanced Mobility of Seniors and Persons with Disabilities -Local: $30 million ($0.703 million)

    FTA Inner City Bus Formula: ($3.3 million)

  • Institute for Museum and Library Services

    University System of Georgia Board of Regents

    Public Libraries: $178 million ($4.3 million)

    • 85% of total funds distributed to state library administrative agencies.
    • Matching and maintenance-of-effort (MOE) requirements are waived.
  • National Endowment for the Arts and Humanities

    Department of Economic Development

    State Art Agencies: $54 million ($.9 million)

    State Councils:  $54 million ($1.1 million)

    • Distributed to states and regional arts organizations
    • Matching requirements may be waived