Resources & Documents
Resources to help you with the program and Application.
Downloadable Application, Fact Sheet, FAQs and Instructions
Visit How to Apply for information on filing your application.
- Application Fact Sheet (PDF) (English) (Spanish)
- Application FAQs & Instructions (PDF) (English) (Spanish)
- Downloadable Application (PDF) (English) (Spanish)
This Application is for individuals who:
- Experienced discrimination, prior to January 1, 2021, by the Department of Agriculture (USDA) in USDA farm loan programs, which are currently administered by the Farm Service Agency (FSA);
- 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. (This applies, for example, if you inherited the debt that was the subject of USDA farm loan program discrimination.)
IF YOU DO NOT MEET AT LEAST ONE OF THESE REQUIREMENTS, YOU ARE NOT ELIGIBLE TO APPLY FOR THIS FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE.
Yes. There have been several prior cases and matters addressing discrimination in USDA farm loan programs. These include the cases commonly known as Pigford 1; In Re Black Farmers Discrimination Litigation (BFDL or Pigford 2); Keepseagle; and Hispanic and Women Farmers and Ranchers Claim Resolution Process (HWFRCP) / Love / Garcia. People who prevailed and obtained money or loan forgiveness in these cases or claims processes are eligible for this program as well. The information from those cases or claims processes will be helpful to applicants when the program administrators are determining if you experienced discrimination. Any prior payments received will be taken into account when your claim for this program is evaluated regarding the consequences of discrimination you suffered.
Yes. If you are eligible for both, you can participate both in this program under IRA Section 22007 and in the program providing assistance for distressed borrowers under IRA Section 22006.
No. This program is available only if the discrimination you experienced occurred prior to January 1, 2021. If you have filed a discrimination complaint with OASCR that deals with discrimination prior to 2021, you do not need to close or stay that complaint in order to be eligible for this program—and financial assistance awarded under this program does not bar consideration of that complaint by OASCR (although it may reduce the damages, if you are awarded such damages).
For discrimination that occurred after January 1, 2021, you may contact the Office of Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights (OASCR), Information Research Service, at (866) 632-9992 (toll free) or by emailing [email protected]. If you prefer Spanish, you can use (800) 845-6136. Individuals who use sign language to communicate may contact OASCR through the Federal Relay Service on 711. Your written complaint must be filed within 180 calendar days from the date you knew or reasonably should have known of the alleged discrimination, unless the time is extended for good cause by the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights or designee.
You can participate only if you experienced covered discrimination, or if you are currently a debtor with assigned or assumed USDA farm loan debt incurred by a person who was the subject of USDA discrimination. You cannot participate as the representative of the estate of a now-deceased borrower.
The program covers farm loan programs: Farm Ownership Loans (FO); Farm Operating Loans (OL); Microloans (ML); Youth Loans (YL); Farm Storage Facility Loans (FSFL); Emergency Loans (EM); Economic Emergency Loans (EE); Emergency Livestock Loans (EL); Soil and Water Loans (SW); Conservation Loans (CL); Softwood Timber Loans (ST), and Grazing Loans. Rural Development loans are not covered by this program.
The program covers both direct and guaranteed lending through USDA’s Farm Service Agency (or its predecessor, the Farmers Home Administration)—but for applicants who participated in guaranteed loan programs, discrimination by the non-USDA lender does not qualify for this program; only discrimination by USDA personnel is covered.
Discrimination means treating some people differently from others, for illegitimate reasons. In this program, a claim of discrimination may be based on different treatment you experienced because of race, color, national origin or ethnicity, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, age, marital status, or disability, or in reprisal/retaliation for prior civil rights activity. Covered discrimination could include, for example: failure to provide appropriate assistance; delay in processing a loan or loan servicing application; denial of a loan or loan servicing; prevention from applying for a loan or loan servicing; adverse loan terms; unduly onerous supervision of loan requirements—where these were due to the customer’s race, color, national origin or ethnicity, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, age, marital status, or disability, or in reprisal/retaliation for prior civil rights activity.
Yes, discrimination because you’re a Tribal citizen is covered by this program. We know that Tribal members can experience discrimination of different varieties, including, but not limited to, because of their status as enrolled members of a federally or state-recognized Tribe or because they operate on lands within Tribal jurisdiction. For purposes of this program, if you believe USDA discriminated against you in a USDA lending program because you are a member of a Native American Tribe, you may proceed with your claim by choosing one, or both, of the following answers in STEP 5 of the Application:
- You can check “race discrimination,” and list your race as “American Indian or Alaska Native.”;
- You can check “national origin discrimination,” and list your tribal membership.
Choosing one or both options will not work against you, but you will be required to submit proof of the claim you pursue. Either way, please provide documentation of Tribal membership to accompany the Application.
Submitting your information through this Application form is all that is required for you to be considered for this program. There will not be any hearings, appeals, or other application processes. You only need to file the Application and any supporting documentation as attachments. Applying to this program is free. The Application form asks you to provide information in response to detailed questions. The answers are important to help the program administrators assess your eligibility for the program.
To submit your Application, you must also agree to allow program administrators to obtain any information USDA or other federal agencies possess relating to the Application. This will assist the administrators as they review the claim.
USDA is committed to ensuring the integrity of this program and each applicant must sign the Application and certify, under penalty of perjury, that the information submitted is true to the best of their recollection. Submissions will be verified for accuracy and completeness. False statements made in connection with the Application may result in fines, imprisonment and/or any other remedy available by law to the Federal Government, including as provided in 18 U.S.C. § 1001. Applications that appear to be potentially fraudulent or to contain false information will be forwarded to federal, state, and local law enforcement authorities for possible investigation and prosecution.
You must provide specific evidence that you experienced discrimination in by USDA in USDA farm lending before January 1, 2021. Some specified documents are required; you are also permitted to provide additional evidence to support your claim of discrimination. The evidentiary standard for this Application is “substantial evidence” (which is less than “preponderance of the evidence”). To meet this standard, you should provide relevant evidence that a reasonable person could accept as adequate to support the conclusion that discrimination occurred. Accordingly, your Application will be stronger if you provide documentation and a full description of your experience.
Financial assistance under this program is available only to individuals. Therefore, if the loans that are the subject of the program Application were made to a business entity or to multiple co-borrowers, the financial assistance provided by this program will be allocated to each applicant based on the applicant's interest in the business entity. If you are or were a participant in multiple business entities, list and describe any that were affected by the discrimination described in the Application; be sure to explain the effects of the discrimination on each one.
Congress provided a total of $2.2 billion for this program. The amount of money awarded to individuals through this program therefore depends on the number of eligible applicants and the consequences of the discrimination. The statute caps any single award at $500,000. However, it is important to understand that nearly all awards of financial assistance will be less than this amount. The average potential size of award under this program will depend on the number of applicants. For example, if there are 50,000 eligible applicants, the average total award amount per applicant would be approximately $40,000; if there are 85,000 eligible applicants, the average total award amount would be approximately $25,000. Financial assistance will be based on the nature and consequences of the discrimination experienced, so individual amounts of financial assistance will vary.
Additionally, individuals who have never farmed, due to discrimination by USDA, can generally be expected to have experienced less severe consequences from discrimination than those who have farmed. This is because those who never farmed generally did not invest as much into a farming operation. For this reason, under this program, applicants who never farmed will receive substantially less financial assistance than those who did.
Importantly, the program is not designed to and will not attempt to compensate applicants comprehensively for actual economic losses. Rather, the program will provide financial assistance to applicants who have experienced discrimination in USDA’s farm loan programs.
No. This is not a “first-come, first-served” program. The program has a set application period: all Applications submitted on or before the deadline will be treated the same and awards will be based on the individual claim. Applications submitted after the deadline will not be reviewed. If your Application is late, you will not receive financial assistance.
Decisions will be made for all Applications, at the same time, within several months after the close of the Application period. As required by the Inflation Reduction Act, individual decisions are being made by the nongovernmental program administrators, using standards set by USDA and with oversight by USDA.
Any financial assistance received in this program will very likely be considered income, for tax purposes. Individuals receiving financial assistance will receive an IRS-1099 form showing the amount of assistance they have received. USDA is unable to determine if you will owe taxes, because every individual’s circumstances are different, and USDA recommends that you speak with a tax professional. USDA has partnered with Southern Extension Risk Management Education Center, the National Farm Income Tax Extension Committee and other tax experts across the country to provide general information and resources regarding USDA program payments and agricultural taxes. These resources are available online at farmers.gov/taxes , ruraltax.org , and agftap.org . In addition, tax information related to this particular program is available at 22007apply.gov.
No. If you are currently experiencing discrimination, you may contact the Office of Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights (OASCR), Information Research Service, at (866) 632-9992 (toll free) or by emailing [email protected]. If you prefer Spanish, you can use (800) 845-6136. Individuals who use sign language to communicate may contact OASCR through the Federal Relay Service on 711.
For some parts of the Application, documentation is required. For every part of the Application, you should include all evidence you feel may be beneficial. At each step of the Application, a sidebar tells you whether documentation is required or recommended, and there are boxes for you to check if you are submitting such additional evidence. Examples of written documentation include:
- Personal identity documentation, such as driver’s license, passport, state photo ID, SSN card, Form W9/W8.
- Business documents, such as bank statements, deeds, leases, easement documents, purchase agreements, business plans, marketing materials, equipment receipts, tax returns, utility bills, tax bills for farm parcel(s). These are particularly helpful if they are dated close in time to the events you describe.
- USDA documentation, such as loan applications or other paperwork; agency letters noting complete or incomplete loan application or withdrawn, denied, or approved loan application; receipts for service.
- Documentation of prior claims to USDA or in court, such as complaints, appeals, decisions, judgments.
- Letter(s) that support the claims or details in your Application, written close in time to when you experienced the discrimination, particularly if from a non-family member addressed to you, or from you to a non-family member.
- Statements under penalty of perjury, using the form available at 22007apply.gov or a document substantially like it, by individuals other than yourself who have knowledge of the facts asserted.
FSA records are not required for this Application. Please note that FSA follows government record retention schedules that require FSA to dispose of records past a certain number of years that are not subject to active litigation holds. Thus, FSA may not have your FSA records past a certain number of years. Keep in mind that even if no FSA records are available, you can provide any other evidence to show you were a farmer or intended to farm, and experienced discrimination by USDA in USDA farm lending.
In addition, where possible, FSA has already provided digital records to the program administrators to assist them as they conduct the program.
If you still wish to request your records from FSA, the agency will search for your records and provide you with copies of any relevant documents located in the search. You must request your records in writing. You can do this by emailing [email protected] no later than Friday, November 3, 2023. FSA will make every effort to search for and prepare the records and send them to you prior to this program’s filing deadline of January 13, 2024. Any requests made after November 3, 2023, will not receive a response prior to the deadline for this Application.
When you email, you should provide the following:
- Your name, address, phone number, and email.
- Proof of your identity. In order to protect your file, FSA needs authentication of your identity. Please provide the last four digits of your social security number.
- Whether the request is for your own records or for someone else’s records. If you are requesting someone else’s records, you need proof of their identity, proof of your identity, and also proof that they have authorized you to request their file (for example, written consent from the person, or a court order, or a power of attorney).
- The state and county/counties where loans and loan servicing were sought.
- The type of records you want (for example, farm loan records).
- The relevant year or range of years in which the records requested were created.
- How you would like to receive the copy of the records; mailed paper-copy or electronic file.
If you do not have an email address, you can call 1-800-721-0970 to receive information about where and how you can submit a request in writing.
The statute that provides the authority for this program does not authorize comprehensively compensating applicants for all losses incurred due to discrimination. Instead, the statute authorizes eligible applicants to receive financial assistance based on the consequences of the discrimination. The questions in the Application seek the information that will be used to assess the consequences of the discrimination. By responding to the questions in the Application carefully and fully, you will be providing the information that will be used to determine the amount of financial assistance you will receive if you are eligible. As you can see in reviewing the Application, the information sought from farmers who apply includes: the number of acres of owned agricultural land lost due to discrimination; whether a home was lost due to the discrimination; the fact and amounts of any offsets, garnishments, or deficiency judgments incurred due to discrimination; economic loss due to discrimination; and the number of discriminatory acts suffered.
Note: Payments you received in a prior claim based on the same discrimination will be taken into account and will somewhat reduce the financial assistance provided in this program.
A guide to this Application form will be available at 22007apply.gov; there will also be videos and other resources.
Additional assistance is also available. If you need assistance completing this Application, or have any questions, please call the toll-free Helpline at 1-800-721-0970 (English and Spanish). In addition, you can visit 22007apply.gov for a list of available walk-in locations available to receive assistance with completing this Application. If you use sign language to communicate, you can use the 711 relay service to call. If you have a disability and need another accommodation, please call 1-800-721-0970 or email [email protected]..
You are not required to have an attorney assist you in completing this Application. If you do choose to use an attorney, please note that you will be responsible for paying any attorneys’ fees. The law that created this financial assistance program – IRA Section 22007 – does not provide for attorneys’ fees, and no attorneys’ fees will be paid to you or your counsel by USDA or any other agency or department of the United States. The total amount of financial assistance will not be increased for you to cover any attorneys’ fees or costs. USDA and the program administrators will not encourage or discourage you to retain counsel or retain a specific attorney or law firm. However, if you have legal questions, you are advised to consult with licensed attorneys.
The Application for this program is extensive so that you can tell your full story and provide as much supporting documentation as you like.
Application Guides & Help
Creating an Online Account and Logging In
Video: Creating an Online Account and Login (English )
Filling out the Online Application
Video: Online Application User Guide (English )
Video: Using the Application Dashboard and Finding the Status of Your DFAP Application (coming soon)
Supporting Documentation Templates
You may wish to review the documentation checklist, before you begin your submission, as you gather documents helpful to process your Application.
Supporting documentation templates are posted below. Use these templates when providing this information. If you need forms in a language other than English or Spanish, please contact the Program Call Center by email at [email protected] or phone at 1-800-721-0970.
- Documentation Delivered Separately Cover Letter (English) (Spanish)
- Additional Co-borrowers Supplemental Attachment (English) (Spanish)
- Additional Entities Supplemental Attachment (English) (Spanish)
- Additional Information Disclosure Supplemental Attachment (English) (Spanish)
- Additional Instances of Discrimination Supplemental Attachment (English) (Spanish)
- Statement Under Penalty of Perjury Template (English) (Spanish)
- Signature Page - Applicant (English) (Spanish)
- Signature Page - Preparer (English) (Spanish)
- W-9 Tax Form (English ) (Spanish )
- W-8 BEN Tax Form (English )
- W-8 ECI Tax Form (English )
Beware of Scams
Be wary of any communication through mail, email, or phone that solicits information from you or requests compensation. The program staff and cooperators may provide you with information on the program but will never request compensation from you. The program staff may request additional information from you but only after you have filed an Application seeking financial assistance.
- Filing an Application is free. There are no fees associated with the application process or this program in any form.
- No lawyer is required to apply. If you feel the need for legal assistance, seek the assistance of a trusted, licensed attorney.
- The program staff can provide FREE help to assist in the completion of your Application. Please contact the Program Call Center by email at [email protected] or phone at 1-800-721-0970 for more information.
If you have information related to a potential scam, please contact the USDA Office of the Inspector General through their hotline complaint website: Hotline | U.S. Department of Agriculture OIG (oversight.gov) or reach them by telephone at +1 800-424-9121.