(CARSON CITY, Dec. 3, 2012) – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has announced that Hispanic and women farmers and ranchers who allege discrimination by the USDA in past decades can file claims until March 25, 2013.
The process offers a voluntary alternative to litigation for each Hispanic or female farmer and rancher who can prove that USDA denied their applications for loan or loan servicing assistance for discriminatory reasons for certain time periods between 1981 and 2000.
The voluntary claims process will make available at least $1.33 billion for cash awards and tax relief payments, plus up to $160 million in farm debt relief, to eligible Hispanic and women farmers and ranchers. There are no filing fees to participate in the program.
USDA will continue reaching out to potential Hispanic and female claimants, around the country to get the word out to individuals who may be eligible for this program so they have the opportunity to participate.
Claimants must register for a claims package by calling the number or visiting the website listed below, and the claims package will be mailed to claimants. All those interested in learning more or receiving information about the claims process and claims packages are encouraged to contact the website or claims telephone number.
Claims Period: September 24, 2012 – March 25, 2013.