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Published: May 29, 2009
Community Services Block Grants (CSBG)
Guidance, Policies, Procedures, Q & As


The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (Recovery Act)
Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) Program
Frequently Asked Questions

Application procedures

1.  Question:
Are States required to modify their State plan? 

States are not required to modify existing plans for ongoing CSBG programs funded through regular appropriations.  However, States that receive Recovery Act Funds are required to submit a separate plan to the Office of Community Services (OCS) for FY 2009 Plan for Recovery Act (ARRA) Funds by May 29, 2009.  This requirement is in accordance with Section 676(e) of the CSBG Act which requires submission of revised plans to the Secretary. 

2.  Question:
Are States required to conduct a public hearing for purposes of the use of Recovery Act Funds?

Yes, States and eligible entities are required to track Recovery Funds and activities so that they are clearly distinguishable from non-Recovery Act funds.    Funds must be accounted for separately from regularly appropriated funds, and will have a separate CFDA number, a separate CAN number, and separate draw-downs in the Payment Management System. Two separate audits will be required, one for Recovery Act Funds and one for non-Recovery Funds.

3.  Question:
Are there any restrictions or limitations as to how States modify current 2009 agreements with eligible entities for receipt of Recovery Act Funds? 

Currently States include language in their contract agreements with Community Action Agencies that specifies reporting requirements, and outlines requirements related to the State monitoring process.   Similar to the current CSBG Act, there is nothing in the ARRA that would prohibit States from continuing this practice.

4.  Question:
How prescriptive can States be in defining services and strategies to be carried out by the eligible entities with Recovery Act Funds? 

Additional CSBG funding appropriated under the Recovery Act is required to be used “for carrying out activities under sections 674 through 679 of the Community Services Block Grant Act…” including the CSBG activities described in Section 676(b) of the CSBG Act.  In addition, due to the unique nature and purposes of the Recovery Act and to support the President’s unprecedented effort to jumpstart the economy, States should encourage eligible entities to use Recovery Act Funds for employment-related services and activities that create and sustain economic growth in communities in keeping with the requirements of the CSBG Act. 

5.  Question:
Will OCS and/or the Department issue additional guidance regarding Recovery Act Funds?

Yes, States should keep in mind that program guidance will continue to be clarified and developed as new information is received and new implementation questions emerge.

6.  Question:
Who is eligible to apply for CSBG Recovery Act Funds?

Each of the 50 States, the District of Columbia, and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico are eligible for funding.  Federal and State-recognized Indian Tribes and Tribal Organizations that currently receive CSBG funding directly from OCS are eligible for these funds.

7.  Question
How does one apply for CSBG Recovery Act Funds?

States are required to submit to the Office of Community Services (OCS) a FY 2009 Plan for Recovery Act (ARRA) Funds by May 29, 2009. States will receive CSBG Recovery Act Funds under the same formula used for allocating regular CSBG annual appropriations.