United States Code

USC most recently checked for updates: Apr 13, 2024

§ 5174a.
Flexibility
(a)
Waiver authority
(1)
Definition
In this subsection, the term “covered assistance” means assistance provided—
(B)
in relation to a major disaster or emergency declared by the President under section 5170 or 5191, respectively, of this title on or after October 28, 2012.
(2)
Authority
Notwithstanding section 3716(e) of title 31, the Administrator—
(A)
except as provided in subparagraph (B), shall—
(i)
(ii)
waive a debt owed to the United States related to covered assistance provided to an individual or household if such assistance is subject to a claim or legal action, including in accordance with section 1
1
 So in original. Probably should be a reference to section 317 of the Act.
of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 5160); and
(B)
may not waive a debt under subparagraph (A) if the debt involves fraud, the presentation of a false claim, or misrepresentation by the debtor or any party having an interest in the claim.
(3)
Monitoring of covered assistance distributed based on error
(A)
In general

The Inspector General of the Department of Homeland Security shall monitor the distribution of covered assistance to individuals and households to determine the percentage of such assistance distributed based on an error.

(B)
Report on waiver authority based on excessive error rate
If the Inspector General of the Department of Homeland Security determines, with respect to any 12-month period, that the amount of covered assistance distributed based on an error by the Agency exceeds 4 percent of the total amount of covered assistance distributed—
(i)
the Inspector General shall notify the Administrator and publish the determination in the Federal Register; and
(ii)
with respect to any major disaster or emergency declared by the President under section 5170 or section 5191, respectively, of this title after the date on which the determination is published under subparagraph (A), the Administrator shall report to the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs of the Senate actions that the Administrator will take to reduce the error rate.
(b)
Recoupment of certain assistance prohibited
(1)
In general

Notwithstanding section 3716(e) of title 31, and unless there is evidence of civil or criminal fraud, the Agency may not take any action to recoup covered assistance from the recipient of such assistance if the receipt of such assistance occurred on a date that is more than 3 years before the date on which the Agency first provides to the recipient written notification of an intent to recoup.

(2)
Covered assistance defined
In this subsection, the term “covered assistance” means assistance provided—
(B)
in relation to a major disaster or emergency declared by the President under section 5170 or 5191 of this title, respectively, on or after January 1, 2012.
(c)
Statute of limitations
(1)
Omitted
(2)
Applicability
(A)
In general
With respect to disaster or emergency assistance provided to a State or local government on or after January 1, 2004
(i)
no administrative action may be taken to recover a payment of such assistance after October 5, 2018, if the action is prohibited under section 5205(a)(1) of this title, as amended by paragraph (1); and
(ii)
any administrative action to recover a payment of such assistance that is pending on such date of enactment shall be terminated if the action is prohibited under section 5205(a)(1) of this title, as amended by paragraph (1).
(B)
Limitation

This section, including the amendments made by this section, may not be construed to invalidate or otherwise affect any administration action completed before October 5, 2018.

(Pub. L. 115–254, div. D, § 1216, Oct. 5, 2018, 132 Stat. 3449; Pub. L. 117–263, div. E, title LVI, § 5602(a), Dec. 23, 2022, 136 Stat. 3404.)
cite as: 42 USC 5174a