Health Center Program Carryover of Unobligated Balances FAQs

  1. What is new or different about carryover requests for Health Center Program awardees?

    Previously, HRSA required Health Center Program awardees to submit Prior Approval requests to carry over any unobligated balances (UOB) resulting from Health Center Program awards, regardless of the carryover amount or source.  

    Starting with the submission of fiscal year 2019 Federal Financial Reports, under certain circumstances HRSA is now allowing Health Center Program awardees to carryover unobligated funding from the prior budget period without the need to submit a separate prior approval request.  In addition, carryover may include UOB resulting from both base operational funding and any additional supplemental awards (e.g., Oral Health Infrastructure, New Access Point, and Integrated Behavioral Health Services). Previously, only one-time funding and certain types of UOB were permitted for carryover.

    This new flexibility does not apply to other Health Center Program award recipients such as Primary Care Associations, National Cooperative Agreements, and Health Center Controlled Networks. These awardees will still need to submit a prior approval request to carry over UOB.

  2. What type of unobligated balance can be carried over and what is the process for such requests? (Updated April 27, 2020)

    You may carry over unobligated balances (UOB) resulting from Health Center Program awards made in fiscal year 2019 or beyond. The unobligated balances may come from base operational funding or supplemental awards (e.g., Oral Health Infrastructure, New Access Points, and Integrated Behavioral Health Services).

    As part of the “Expanded Authority” HRSA is providing to health centers, you do not need to request prior approval from HRSA to carry over UOB that are 25% or less of the total amount awarded for the budget period. You can simply identify and request this carryover through the annual Federal Financial Report.  When submitting the FFR in the HRSA Electronic Handbooks (EHBs), there are several choices related to UOB. Note that the $250,000 limit on submitting carryover without prior approval does not apply to Health Center Program awardees. If the unobligated balance is 25% or less of the total amount awarded, select the first option in EHBs to request carryover of the UOB amount covered under expanded authority. No additional action is necessary.

    You will need to submit a prior approval request if you want to carryover dollars in the following situations:

    • If the total UOB of Health Center Program funds is more than 25% of the amount awarded for the budget period.
    • If the carryover is from a prior project period.
  3. What if my UOB was from a prior project period?

    If you are requesting UOB from a prior project period, regardless of the amount, you must submit a prior approval request. Submit your request through the Prior Approval requests module in the EHBs under the category of “Carryover of Unobligated Balances.” 

    You must include an SF-424A: Budget Information form, a line item budget, and a narrative justification that addresses:

    • The source of the funds and why they remain unobligated (i.e., where the UOB comes from and why it was not expended in the original budget period). 
    • How you will use the carryover funds for the previously approved goals and objectives of the funding. For example: “$300,000 of UOB from the Integrated Behavioral Health Services award will be used to complete activities A, B, and C, in accordance with the approved application. One-time funds of $80,000 made under the New Access Points award that remain unobligated for dental operatory equipment will be expended in the subsequent budget period once the operatory is renovated.”
  4. What if my UOB exceeds 25% of the federal funding amount awarded to my health center? (Updated April 27, 2020)

    If you are requesting UOB that is more than 25% of the amount awarded for the current budget period, you must submit a prior approval request. Submit your request through the Prior Approval requests module in EHBs under the category of “Carryover of Unobligated Balances.” 

    You must include an SF-424A: Budget Information form, a line item budget, and a narrative justification that addresses:

    • The source of the funds and why they remain unobligated (i.e., where the UOB comes from and why it was not expended in the original budget period). 
    • How you will use the carryover funds for the previously approved goals and objectives of the funding. For example: “$300,000 of UOB from the Integrated Behavioral Health Services award will be used to complete activities A, B, and C, in accordance with the approved application. One-time funds of $80,000 made under the New Access Points award that remain unobligated for dental operatory equipment will be expended in the subsequent budget period once the operatory is renovated.”
  5. How can my health center use carryover funds?

    Any carryover funds, regardless of amount, must be used for the original approved purpose(s) of the award. Remember, in accordance with 45 CFR Part 75.403-405, you must use federal award funds only for allowable costs that are:

    • Consistent with the terms and conditions of the federal award and the Federal Cost Principles (45 CFR Part 75 Subpart E);
    • Allocable to the purposes of the Health Center Program project; and
    • Reasonable. 

    HRSA reviews the use of federal funds through the single or program-specific audit conducted each year, in accordance with 45 CFR Part 75 Subpart F.  For additional information regarding the management of federal funds, please review the Health Center Program Compliance Manual. Contact your Grants Management Specialist with questions about appropriate use of carryover funds.

  6. Does approved carryover increase my future ongoing Health Center Program base level funding?

    No. An approved carryover request only allows funds from a prior budget period to be used in the current budget period. It does not increase the ongoing base level funding amount for a health center.

Date Last Reviewed:  April 2020