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USDA's
Discrimination Financial Assistance Program

WHAT IS USDA'S
DISCRIMINATION FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE PROGRAM?

The United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Discrimination Financial Assistance Program (DFAP) is a limited-time program that Congress authorized in Section 22007 of the Inflation Reduction Act in August 2022 for the purpose of providing financial assistance to ranchers, farmers, and forest landowners determined to have experienced discrimination in USDA lending programs prior to January 1, 2021.

KEEPSEAGLE PARTICIPANTS ARE ELIGIBLE TO PARTICIPATE BASED ON THE SAME CLAIM(S).

WHAT IS IAC'S ROLE IN USDA'S

DISCRIMINATION FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE PROGRAM?


IAC is serving as a “cooperator” to ensure that the latest information about the Discrimination Financial Assistance Program reaches Tribal producers and to provide direct assistance to Tribal producers during virtual and in-person events throughout the application period. As a cooperator, IAC also makes requests for improvements to USDA guidance on the DFAP based on feedback we hear from Tribal producers.

IAC has no role in processing the DFAP applications or making determinations on discrimination claims. While IAC advocated for certain Tribal considerations since Congress passed the Inflation Reduction Act in August 2022, IAC had no say in the final design or implementation of the DFAP.

ELIGIBILITY

There are two paths for Producer eligibility in this Program:

  1. The Program is open to ANY farmers, ranchers, or forest landowners (or would-be farmers, ranchers, or forest landowners) who can demonstrate they experienced discrimination in a USDA farm lending program; or

  2. The Program is available to a farmer, rancher, or forest landowner who has an assigned or assumed USDA farm loan and the original borrower experienced discrimination on that same debt.

 

The discrimination must have taken place before January 1, 2021, and the discrimination must have been by USDA (direct loan or guaranteed loans where the discrimination was by USDA, not the lender). 


KEEPSEAGLE PARTICIPANTS ARE ELIGIBLE TO PARTICIPATE BASED ON THE SAME CLAIM(S).

ELIGIBILITY
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APPLY

November 3, 2023: Records Request Deadline

  • Requests to USDA for file information you may want to include in your DFAP application MUST be submitted by September 6. 

  • Requests must be made in writing by emailing info@22007apply.gov  or calling 1-800-721-0970 to receive information about where and how you can submit a request in writing. 

January 13, 2023: DFAP Application Submission Deadline

  • Electronic applications must be submitted by October 31; 

  • Hard copy applications must be postmarked by October 31.

 

DFAP APPLICATION AVAILABLE AT https://22007apply.gov/

APPLY

EVENTS SCHEDULE

Virtual live Q&As will be hosted regularly through October.

Upcoming Virtual Q&As with IAC (All dates start at 8:00 pm CST): 

In-person Events:

  • September 26-27

    • IAC Southwest Regional Summit at Indian Pueblo Cultural Center, Albuquerque, NM

    • Register

  • October 5

    • DFAP Producer Information Session at Mother Road Coffee, 900 E Will Rogers Blvd, Suite H, Claremore, OK 74017

  • October 6-7

    • IAC Eastern Regional Summit at Mohawk Nation Longhouse, Akwesasne, NY 13655

    • Register

EVENTS

RESOURCES

FLAG - Farmer's Guide to USDA DFAP

Farmers’ Guide to USDA Discrimination Financial Assistance Program

Farmers' Legal Action Group (FLAG)

FLAG has created a guide to this program. This Farmers’ Guide to USDA Discrimination Financial Assistance explains the details of the Program and provides a walk-through of the program application

RESOURCES
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FAQ

Why is DFAP limited to producers who experienced discrimination prior to January 1, 2021?

 

Congress wrote the law with the January 1, 2021 cutoff, so by law, DFAP cannot extend to producers who may have experienced discrimination in farm lending programs after January 1, 2021

If you experienced discrimination in a USDA farm lending program after January 1, 2021, your best options may be to:

  • File a discrimination claim with the USDA Office of Civil Rights; or

  • Appeal a local USDA office decision to the State FSA Committee

  • NOTE: each of these have time constraints, so the sooner one of these options is pursued after a producer experiences discriminatory actions, the more likely these options will actually be available to a producer

 

Is DFAP like the Keepseagle settlement?

 

No. Unlike the Keepseagle settlement, the DFAP is not the result of class-action litigation on USDA discrimination. It is an acknowledgment by Congress that discrimination has occurred in USDA farm lending programs, and as a result, has authorized a set amount of funding to provide some level of financial assistance to producers deemed to have experienced this discrimination.

 

The DFAP is available to any person who is deemed to have been discriminated against in a USDA farm lending program, not just Tribal producers.


 

Can I participate in the DFAP if I previously received an award from the Keepseagle settlement?

 

Yes, those who received Keepseagle settlement awards ARE still eligible to participate in the newly released Discrimination Financial Assistance Program. The DFAP website shares: "Note: Individuals who have personally prevailed and obtained money or loan forgiveness in a prior case addressing discrimination in USDA farm lending programs are eligible to participate in this program."

 

In recent comments, an attorney with Farmers’ Legal Action Group shared that it could be good to note your past participation/awards from one of the discrimination lawsuits, as it would show on the face of your claim that you've been discriminated against. That said, it could also result in a reduction in the amount you might receive under the new award, so there are different considerations to weigh in that respect.

FAQ
Contact IAC to learn more.
CONTACT
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