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Types of Assistance


Currently, programs in the Catalog are being classified by GSA into 15 types of assistance. (Cooperative Agreements as a type of assistance is used for programs administered under that mechanism. However, the definition does not appear in this section.) Benefits and services of the programs are provided through seven financial types of assistance and eight nonfinancial types of assistance. The following list defines the types of assistance that are available through the programs. Code letters below (A through O) which identify the type of assistance) will follow program titles in the Agency Index, Applicant Eligibility Index, the Functional Index, Deadlines Index, and in the list of added programs.

  1. Formula Grants - Allocations of money to States or their subdivisions in accordance with distribution formulas prescribed by law or administrative regulation, for activities of a continuing nature not confined to a specific project.
  2. Project Grants - The funding, for fixed or known periods, of specific projects. Project grants can include fellowships, scholarships, research grants, training grants, traineeships, experimental and demonstration grants, evaluation grants, planning grants, technical assistance grants, survey grants, and construction grants.
  3. Direct Payments for Specified Use - Financial assistance from the Federal government provided directly to individuals, private firms, and other private institutions to encourage or subsidize a particular activity by conditioning the receipt of the assistance on a particular performance by the recipient. This does not include solicited contracts for the procurement of goods and services for the Federal government.
  4. Direct Payments with Unrestricted Use - Financial assistance from the Federal government provided directly to beneficiaries who satisfy Federal eligibility requirements with no restrictions being imposed on the recipient as to how the money is spent. Included are payments under retirement, pension, and compensatory programs.
  5. Direct Loans - Financial assistance provided through the lending of Federal monies for a specific period of time, with a reasonable expectation of repayment. Such loans may or may not require the payment of interest.
  6. Guaranteed/Insured Loans - Programs in which the Federal government makes an arrangement to identify a lender against part or all of any defaults by those responsible for repayment of loans.
  7. Insurance - Financial assistance provided to assure reimbursement for losses sustained under specified conditions. Coverage may be provided directly by the Federal government or through private carriers and may or may not involve the payment of premiums.
  8. Sale, Exchange, or Donation of Property and Goods - Programs which provide for the sale, exchange, or donation of Federal real property, personal property, commodities, and other goods including land, buildings, equipment, food and drugs. This does not include the loan of, use of, or access to Federal facilities or property.
  9. Use of Property, Facilities, and Equipment - Programs which provide for the loan of, use of, or access to Federal facilities or property wherein the federally owned facilities or property do not remain in the possession of the recipient of the assistance.
  10. Provision of Specialized Services - Programs that provide Federal personnel directly to perform certain tasks for the benefit of communities or individuals. These services may be performed in conjunction with nonfederal personnel, but they involve more than consultation, advice, or counseling.
  11. Advisory Services and Counseling - Programs which provide Federal specialists to consult, advise, or counsel communities or individuals to include conferences, workshops, or personal contacts. This may involve the use of published information, but only in a secondary capacity.
  12. Dissemination of Technical Information - Programs that provide for the publication and distribution of information or data of a specialized or technical nature frequently through clearinghouses or libraries. This does not include conventional public information services designed for general public consumption.
  13. Training - Programs that provide instructional activities conducted directly by a Federal agency for individuals not employed by the Federal government.
  14. Investigation of Complaints - Federal administrative agency activities that are initiated in response to requests, either formal or informal, to examine or investigate claims of violations of Federal statutes, policies, or procedure. The origination of such claims must come from outside the Federal government.
  15. Federal Employment - Programs that reflect the Governmentwide responsibilities of the Office of Personnel Management in the recruitment and hiring of Federal civilian agency personnel.