We aid farmers in their Farm Assist Applications and will advise them on their entitlements.
Farm Assist is a means-tested income support scheme for farmers. It is similar to Jobseekers Allowance, but has a more generous means test. In addition, you do not need to be available for work to qualify for Farm Assist.
In order to qualify for Farm Assist
You must be a farmer, farming land in the State, aged between 18 and 66 and satisfy a means test.
The means test takes account of virtually every form of income but assesses it in different ways and disregards various amounts. There are different rules applying to income from farming and other forms of self-employment, income from certain schemes, income from employment and income from property and capital.
What happens when you apply
When you apply for Farm Assist, a social welfare officer will call to see you and ask to see various documents. For example, accounts prepared for tax purposes, creamery returns, cattle registration cards, details of headage payments, area aid, etc. They will also want information on the sale of crops, cattle, milk and other produce. The officer will then assess the costs actually and necessarily incurred in connection with the running of the farm.
These costs may include rent, annuities, the cost of inputs like feed and fertiliser and the depreciation of farm machinery. Labour costs are taken into account, with the exception of the labour of the farmer and spouse, civil partner or cohabitant. You are entitled to receive a copy of the farm income calculation.
Weekly rates in 2014 :
|Farm Assist||Maximum weekly rate|
|Qualified child dependant||€29.80 (full-rate), €14.90 (half-rate)|
Since 26 September 2007, in the case of Farm Assist, a family rate less means applies where the spouse or partner of the customer does not have a social welfare payment in their own right. The family rate is based on a personal rate, a full qualified adult rate and full child dependant allowance rate less means. If the customer has a spouse or partner in insurable employment, a disregard of €20.00 a day applies to the spouse or partner for a maximum of 3 days a week (maximum €60.00 a week) and the balance is assessed at 60%. If the customer was in receipt of a higher rate of payment on 26 September 2007 than he or she would have been entitled to under the means assessment arrangements that came into effect on that date, their rate of payment is preserved at the pre 26 September 2007 rate. However, should their payment stop for a consecutive period of 4 weeks after 26 September 2007, the saver clause no longer applies and upon reapplication for payment of Farm Assist, they will be reassessed using the means assessment arrangements applying past 26 September 2007.
Farm Assist Application form
Click on this link for the Farm Assist Application form.