Minister gives clarity on options for farmers hit by COVID-19 crisis

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The options for farmers in the county whose incomes have been hit by the COVID-19 crisis have been clarified by the Department of Employment Affairs.

It was confirmed that farmers can apply for the COVID19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment if they are not trading during the pandemic or not in receipt of income from any other employment.

If their income is significantly reduced because of the pandemic, they can apply for the means tested Farm Assist scheme.

East Galway TD Ciaran Cannon welcomed the clarification, adding: “As the coronavirus outbreak has impacted upon every sector in Ireland, I know that some members of the agricultural community in Galway have been concerned as to what supports are available if their incomes have been significantly reduced as a result.”

To qualify for Farm Assist, applicants must be a farmer in the State, be aged between 18 and 66 and satisfy a means test.

If a farmer is currently in receipt of a Farm Assist payment, they are ineligible for the COVID19 unemployment payment, but if their income from farming has reduced, they may ask for their Farm Assist payment to be reviewed.