The American Rescue Plan includes provisions for USDA to pay up to 120% of loan balances, as of January 1, 2021, for Farm Service Agency (FSA) Direct and Guaranteed Farm Loans and Farm Storage Facility Loans (FSFL) debt relief to any socially disadvantaged producer who has a qualifying loan with FSA. This includes producers who are one or more of the following: Black/African American, American Indian, Alaskan Native, Hispanic/Latino, Asian American, or Pacific Islander. Since this debt payment will qualify as income, Congress determined the 20% additional payment is intended to help mitigate liabilities that occur when clearing a debt, which may include tax liabilities, among others.
How to Participate
No action on your part is needed right now to participate. FSA is currently compiling and analyzing balances for all types of loans and is determining the most efficient way to make payments. Once finalized, FSA will provide the payment process in writing to all Farm Storage Facility Loans and Direct and Guaranteed Farm Loans borrowers. In addition, details of the process and your debt payment amount will be reviewed with you prior to final processing.
About the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021
The COVID-19 pandemic and the corresponding economic crisis are devastating families across the country. More than 30 million Americans have contracted COVID-19, and more than half a million people have died. From big cities to small towns, too many Americans are barely scraping by, or not scraping by at all. After a year of the public health crisis, our nation continues to battle the pandemic and its corresponding economic crisis.
The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, signed into law on March 11, 2021, is a package of financial assistance meant to contain the pandemic, provide millions of households with immediate relief, and build a bridge towards economic recovery.
On top of the economic pain caused by the pandemic’s impact on the economy, socially disadvantaged communities are also dealing with a disproportionate share of COVID-19 infection rates, hospitalizations, death and economic hurt. Previous rounds of COVID-19 assistance to farmers have also had significant gaps and disparities in the level of assistance, which have included socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers.
The Plan includes important provisions to begin to ensure equity in agriculture considering the pandemic’s impact on socially disadvantaged communities, including access to land, debt payments, education and outreach related to credit and better access to markets. To find more information related to the American Rescue Plan Act at USDA, visit usda.gov/arp.