The deadline has been extended for claims by Hispanic and women farmers and ranchers who allege past discrimination by USDA.
The new deadline to file a claim is May 1, 2013. At issue is whether Hispanic or female farmers can prove that USDA discriminated by denying an application for a loan or loan servicing assistance between 1981 and 2000.
The process offers a voluntary alternative to litigation for those who were the victim of discrimination. The claims process will make at least $1.33 billion available for cash awards and tax relief payments, plus up to $160 million in farm debt relief.
USDA urges potential claimants to contact the Claims Administrator for information and to file claims before May 1.
The special website for those with claims is farmerclaims.gov.