What’s needed to qualify for farm assist payments?
I have a small farm that I work on full-time but the profit margins are very low. I am married with two children. Is there any State support available?
Farm Assist is a means-tested social welfare payment for farmers aged between 18 and 66, paid by the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection (DEASP). To qualify, you must satisfy a means test.
To qualify for Farm Assist, you must show that your means are below a certain level. Your means include:
- Any income that you and your spouse or partner have (including income from farming, other forms of self-employment and from schemes)
- Any property that you and your spouse or partner have (except your home)
- Other asset(s) that could provide you with an income
When you apply for Farm Assist, a social welfare officer visits you to carry out the means test.
Different assessment rules apply to different types of income.
For farm income, 70pc is assessed but there is an annual disregard of €254 for each of your dependent children. (The disregards for your children are applied first and 70pc of the balance is assessed.)
Your means from all sources are added together to get a total assessed weekly means.
If your weekly means are less than the maximum rate of Farm Assist (that is, the maximum amount your family could get if you had no means), you will be paid the difference between your means and the maximum rate.