HURON, S.D., August 9, 2023, – On July 7, USDA and its partner vendors announced the opening of the application period for Section 22007 of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), which directs USDA to provide financial assistance to farmers, ranchers, and forest landowners who experienced discrimination in USDA farm lending programs prior to January 2021. The opening of the application process is an important step in delivering on USDA’s commitment of providing financial assistance to those who have faced discrimination in USDA farm lending programs. The application process is open now and will close on October 31. Borrowers will have the option to apply for assistance online via 22007apply.gov or through a paper-based form.
The Discrimination Financial Assistance Program is a new program, authorized by Section 22007(e) of the Inflation Reduction Act, that will provide financial assistance to farmers, ranchers and forest landowners who experienced discrimination in USDA farm lending programs prior to 2021.
Details about the program, including an application and e-filing portal, are available at 22007apply.gov. The website includes an English and Spanish language application that applicants can download or submit via an e-filing portal, information on how to obtain technical assistance in-person or virtually, and additional resources and details about the program. Applicants can also call the free call center at 1-800-721-0970, or visit one of several dozen brick-and-mortar offices the program has set up around the country. Locations are provided on the program website and vendors will update the local events schedule with more information as it becomes available.
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.
Under the planned timeline, applications will be reviewed in November and December, with payments reaching recipients soon thereafter. Importantly, applicants should know that the application process is not on a first come, first served, basis. All applications received or postmarked before the October 31 deadline will be considered.
To support producers throughout the application process, USDA is ensuring that organizations with extensive experience conducting outreach to farm organizations are able to support individuals who may be eligible for the program. These groups include AgrAbility, the Farmer Veteran Coalition, Farmers’ Legal Action Group, Federation of Southern Cooperatives, Intertribal Agriculture Council, Land Loss Prevention Program, National Young Farmers Coalition, and Rural Coalition.
In standing up this program, USDA has become aware of some lawyers and groups spreading misleading information about the discrimination assistance process, pressuring people to sign retainer agreements, and asking people to fill out forms with private and sensitive information. The official application process and filling out an application is free and does not require a lawyer. For more information, please visit 22007apply.gov. If you want to get weekly updates on the program’s events and progress, there’s a button there to subscribe to a weekly newsletter.