USDA Reminds Producers of Upcoming Discrimination Financial Assistance Program Deadline
January 9, 2024 - The U.S. Department of Agriculture reminds farmers, ranchers and forest landowners that January 13, 2024, is the deadline to apply for the Discrimination Financial Assistance Program (DFAP). This program is made possible by the Inflation Reduction Act, which provided $2.2 billion in funding.
Farmers, ranchers, and forest landowners who experienced discrimination by USDA in its farm loan programs prior to January 1, 2021 and/or are currently debtors with assigned or assumed USDA farm loan debt that was the subject of USDA discrimination that occurred prior to January 1, 2021, are eligible for this program.
Applications may be submitted online through the program website at 22007apply.gov, in person at a DFAP local office, or by mail. The full list of offices and their operating hours can be found at 22007apply.gov/local-assistance.html. There is no cost to apply for this program and free technical assistance is available. More information can be found on the program website or by calling 1-800-721-0970. Offices will remain open until 8:00 p.m. local time and the call center will be available until midnight PST on the day of the deadline.
In September, after receiving feedback from potential applicants, nongovernmental program administrators, and community-based organizations, USDA extended the deadline to January 13, 2024. This provided potential applicants six months to prepare applications. The previous deadline was October 31, 2023. There will be no further extensions to the deadline.
Applications submitted after the following deadlines will not receive consideration:
- Applications submitted by mail (including overnight mail) must be postmarked no later than January 13, 2024.
- Applications submitted in person at a local office must be received by 8 p.m. local time on January 13, 2024.
- Applications submitted online must be submitted (not merely started) by 11:59 p.m. PST on January 13, 2024. Online submissions must use the website portal—applications and supporting documentation received by email are not able to be considered.
After the application deadline, local offices will be open until January 17, 2024, to allow for timely drop off of supporting documents for applications submitted by January 13, 2024, but applications will not be accepted after January 13, 2024. All customer offices will be closed starting January 18, 2024. All customer offices will be closed starting January 18, 2024.
The program’s call center will remain open until after program payments are made, from 8 a.m. EST to 8 p.m. PST, with English- and Spanish- speaking agents available, seven days per week (except Federal holidays) for the next several weeks, and weekdays after February 18, 2024.
Since the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act, USDA has worked diligently to design DFAP in accordance with the law and with significant stakeholder input. This includes working closely with the non-governmental program administrators who are conducting outreach, assisting with the financial assistance application process, processing applications, managing program call centers, and operating local offices. USDA has also worked with eight trusted community partners who are also providing outreach and application support. The entities involved in the DFAP application process have engaged in outreach at the local, state, and national levels. Thousands of virtual and in-person outreach and technical assistance events have been conducted across the country, in addition to the assistance provided at local program offices.
For the purposes of this program, a claim of discrimination may be based on different treatment you experienced because of race, national origin or ethnicity (including status as a member of a Native American Tribe), sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, age, marital status, disability, or in reprisal/retaliation for prior civil rights activity. The information submitted through the application form is the only application requirement for this program. Incomplete applications will be evaluated on the basis of the information that is included. There will not be any hearings, appeals, or other processes to apply to this program. Potential applicants are encouraged to apply in advance of the deadline to allow time to resolve any questions on the application.
USDA’s commitment to equity spans the Department’s mission areas and agencies. USDA is actively working to build a department that ensures none of our customers are ignored or left behind. The Discrimination Financial Assistance Program is just one of many programs helping USDA rebuild trust, address systemic issues. and improve service to people who may have been underserved by USDA in the past. To learn more about USDA’s equity work and resources, visit www.usda.gov/equity.
USDA touches the lives of all Americans each day in so many positive ways. In the Biden-Harris Administration, USDA is transforming America’s food system with a greater focus on more resilient local and regional food production, fairer markets for all producers, ensuring access to safe, healthy and nutritious food in all communities, building new markets and streams of income for farmers and producers using climate smart food and forestry practices, making historic investments in infrastructure and clean energy capabilities in rural America, and committing to equity across the Department by removing systemic barriers and building a workforce more representative of America. To learn more, visit www.usda.gov.
Source: USDA, USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer, and lender.
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