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03 Jul 2022

Minister Humphreys makes major changes to Farm Assist Means Test

Ireland to host major International Rural Development Conference in 2022

Minister Heather Humphreys

Social Protection Minister Heather Humphreys, TD, has today (Tuesday 14 June) introduced major new changes to the Farm Assist Means Test in a move that will benefit thousands of farmers.

The Minister has signed regulations that will introduce a new income disregard which will ensure farmers who avail of Agri-Environmental Schemes will not see their social welfare payments impacted.

As a result of these changes, an income disregard will now be applied to the Department’s Farm Assist, Jobseeker’s Allowance and State (Non-Contributory) Pensions

Introducing an income disregard under these schemes is intended to incentivise more farmers to participate in them, in line with the Government’s climate change objectives.

Grants under these agricultural schemes benefit from the maximum disregard of €2,450, with the remaining balance assessed at 50%.

So as an example, a farmer who receives a grant of €2,000 would not see their social welfare payment impacted whatsoever.

Announcing the new measures, Minister Humphreys said: “I am delighted today to extend the list of agri-environmental schemes that benefit from a social welfare disregard – providing additional certainty to our farming community.

“These measures will benefit thousands of farmers across the country with a maximum disregard of €2,450 being applied. I also believe by expanding the list of Agri-Environment Schemes, more farmers will participate. I would encourage small farmers, particularly, to apply for these schemes in the knowledge that it will not have a negative effect on their social welfare payment."

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