USDA Hispanic and Women Farmers and
Ranchers Claims Process
IMPORTANT NOTE: The Claims Deadline has been extended to May 1, 2013. For more information, click here.
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The purpose of this webpage is to provide a central clearinghouse of research and information related to the USDA Hispanic and Women Farmers and Ranchers Claims Process (Claims Process). This page is designed to serve as the single resource in which anyone involved in or otherwise interested in the Claims Process can access relevant information about the Claims Process. Please note that this webpage is not the official site for the Claims Process. The official site for the HWFRCP is www.farmerclaims.gov. Questions regarding the administration of the HWFRCP should be directed through the contact information provided at www.farmersclaims.gov. In addition, questions regarding the administration of the HWFRCP should be directed to 1-888-508-4429.
The United States Government is establishing a Claims Process to make available up to $1.33 billion or more to farmers who alleged discrimination by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) based on being female, or based on being Hispanic, in making or servicing farm loans during certain periods between 1981 and 2000. Qualified claimants who submit a timely claim could receive an award of up to $50,000 or up to $250,000 in cash, depending on the submitted evidence. In addition, USDA will provide a total of up to $160 million in debt relief to successful claimants who currently owe USDA money for eligible farm loans. Further, successful claimants may receive an additional amount, equal to 25% of the combined cash award plus the principal amount of debt relief, to help pay federal taxes that may be owed. The Claims Process filing deadline is May 1, 2013.
The National Agricultural Law Center (NALC) is providing the information associated with this webpage to the interested public solely in accordance with its mission as the nation's leading source of agricultural and food law research and information. The National Agricultural Law Center does not provide legal advice at any time or under any circumstances, specifically including any aspect of the HWFRCP. Any information provided on, by, or from the Center's website, including this specific webpage, is not intended to be legal advice, nor is it intended to be a substitute for legal services from a licensed professional. The resources or the provision thereof on this site are provided solely for educational and informational purposes in accordance with the Center's research and information mission. Further, the provision of this webpage by the NALC and the content contained on or from it does not serve as any type of express or implied recommendation about any aspect of the Claims Process, including but not limited to whether any particular individual should request a Claims Package or otherwise participate in the Claims Process in any capacity.
Claims Process Package
This website is not the official website for the USDA Hispanic and Women Farmers and Ranchers Claims Process. The official website for the Claims Process is www.farmerclaims.gov, which is provided by the Claims Administrator Epiq Systems. Instructions for requesting the Claims Package are available at www.farmerclaims.gov. Please note that this link will take you away from this webpage and to the official website for the Claims Process. For any questions regarding a request for a Claims Package, contact the Claims Administrator at 1-888-508-4429.
Legal Assistance Network
Farmers Legal Action Group, Inc. (FLAG) and the National Agricultural Law Center (NALC) are assisting in the development of a network of attorneys to assist claimants in the completion of the official HWFRCP Claim Form. The legal assistance network will be publicly available on this webpage so claimants and others can easily access the information.
Please note, however, that a claimant is not required to be assisted by an attorney in order to complete and submit the official USDA HWFRCP claim form. In addition, the attorney need not be listed in the assistance network to assist a claimant.
If you are an attorney interested in being publicly listed in the legal assistance network, please contact the National Agricultural Law Center at firstname.lastname@example.org with your name, appropriate contact information, state(s) in which you are licensed to practice law, and the corresponding bar license number(s). Once the information is received, a link to a training video, written training materials, and any further necessary information will be sent to you.
Legal Assistance Network Listing - This document provides a listing of attorneys who are included in the Legal Assistance Network. Attorneys listed in this document have indicated that they have viewed the Attorney Training Video provided by Farmers' Legal Action Group, Inc. (FLAG) and that they are interested in working with claimants in the completion of the official Claim Form. This information will continue to be updated on an ongoing basis, so please continue to check this document for updates. Any questions regarding the Legal Assistance Network can be sent to email@example.com.
Informational Advocate Webinar Trainings – This document provides dates, times and sign-in information for a series of webinars for individuals or advocates interested in helping potential claimants.
Attorney Recruitment Notice - This document provides instructions for attorneys interested in being listed in the Legal Assistance Network, as well as a brief description of the Legal Assistance Network. The link to this document can be used in order to share it with attorneys, law firms, and others who might be interested in assisting with the claims process as appropriate through email, listserves, bar section announcements and newsletters, social media avenues such as Facebook and Twitter, and other avenues.
Schedule of Claims Process Meetings/Workshops
The interactive map below allows anyone to search state-by-state for a listing of Claims Process meetings and locations. For a nationwide listing of Claims Process meetings and locations, click here.
If you know of any upcoming Claims Process meetings or workshops that are not listed, please send an email that identifies the date, time, location, and brief description of the meeting to firstname.lastname@example.org. In the subject line of the email, please type "Claims Process Meeting" in order to help ensure the information is added as promptly as possible.
If you cannot see a map of the United States below, click here to install the latest version of Adobe Flash Player.
This page will be updated on an ongoing basis as necessary, so please check back regularly. As updates are made, notices will be posted on this webpage as well as on the National Agricultural Law Center Facebook page www.facebook.com/nataglaw. In addition, notices will be announced through the National Agricultural Law Center twitter account at @nataglaw and will always include the "hashtag" #farmerclaims.
Research and Information
USDA Promotional Materials
The information provided within this section was produced by the USDA for the purpose of publicizing and promoting the Claims Process. This information may be freely downloaded and designed to be distributed by the public and/or any other person or entity associated with the Claims Process.
The informational materials provided in this section are designed to provide educational assistance to attorneys, legal service providers, and others throughout the United States who would be willing to work with potential claimants in completing and submitting the Claims Process Package. NALC does not warranty or otherwise guarantee the content of the informational materials and is providing all informational materials solely in furtherance of its national research and information mission.
Framework for Hispanic or Female Farmers' Claims Process - This document is designed to provide guidance regarding aspects of the Claims Process, including a description of the purpose of the HWFRCP, summary of the cash payments and other relief made available under the Claims Process, an explanation of the roles of the Claims Administrator and the Claims Adjudicator, required Claims Process procedures, the decisionmaking process, claims determinations, fraud prevention, attorneys' fees, and dual membership issues.
Frequently Asked Questions - Please note that this link will take you to the official HWFRCP website, farmerclaims.gov.
The information provided in this section is designed to enhance broader understanding of the Claims Process. NALC does not warranty or otherwise guarantee the content of the Additional Resources, and is providing the information in this section as a means of enhancing understanding of the Claims Process. This section will be updated and modified as necessary.
National Agricultural Law Center Reading Rooms - The NALC Reading Rooms are comprehensive, subject-based compilations of electronic agricultural and food law resources. Recommended Reading Rooms:
The Glossary of Agricultural Production, Programs, and Policy - Provides an extensive compilation of agricultural terms, programs, and policies
Congressional Research Service Reports - This is a free database of agricultural and food law and policy reports published by the Library of Congress. Recommended subjects are:
The United States Agricultural & Food Law and Policy Blog - A news, research, and information blog resource on agricultural and food law, including information regarding the Claims Process (indexed under "USDA HWFRCP")