Livestock Indemnity Program Updated:01/2015

The Agricultural Act of 2014 (2014 Farm Bill) authorized the Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP) to provide benefits to livestock producers for livestock deaths in excess of normal mortality caused by adverse weather. In addition, LIP covers attacks by animals reintroduced into the wild by the federal government or protected by federal law, including wolves and avian predators. LIP payments are equal to 75 percent of the market value of the applicable livestock on the day before the date of death of the livestock as determined by the Secretary.

The 2014 Farm Bill makes LIP a permanent program and provides retroactive authority to cover eligible livestock losses back to Oct. 1, 2011.

LIP is administered by the Farm Service Agency (FSA) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).
 
Eligible Livestock Owners
 
To be eligible for LIP, a livestock producer must have legally owned the eligible livestock on the day the livestock died.

To be eligible for LIP, an owner's livestock must:

  • Have died as a direct result of an eligible adverse weather event or eligible attack by an eligible animal or avian predator occurring:
    • On or after Oct. 1, 2011, and;
    • No later than 60 calendar days from the ending date of the applicable adverse weather event, and;
    • In the calendar year for which benefits are requested.
  • Have been maintained for commercial use as part of a farming operation on the day they died, and;
  • Not have been produced for reasons other than commercial use as part of a farming operation. Excluded livestock includes wild free roaming animals, pets or animals used for recreational purposes, such as hunting, roping or for show.

Eligible Livestock Contract Growers
 
To be eligible for LIP, a contract grower must have had the following on the day the livestock died: 

  • Possession and control of the eligible livestock, and;
  • A written agreement with the eligible livestock owner setting the specific terms, conditions and obligations of the parties involved regarding the production of livestock.

In addition to the requirements listed for livestock owners above, the only eligible livestock of contract growers under LIP are poultry and swine.
 
Payments
 
LIP payments are calculated by multiplying the national payment rate for each livestock category by the number of eligible livestock in each category. National payment rates are found at the end of this fact sheet.
 
LIP national payment rate for eligible livestock owners is based on 75 percent of the average fair market value of the livestock.
 
The LIP national payment rate for eligible livestock contract growers is based on 75 percent of the average income loss sustained by the contract grower with respect to the dead livestock.
 
A contract grower’s LIP payment will be reduced by the amount of monetary compensation received from his/her contractor for the loss of income suffered from the death of livestock under contract.
 
Payment Limitations and Adjusted Gross Income (AGI)
 
For 2012 and subsequent program years, no person or legal entity, excluding a joint venture or general partnership, may receive directly or indirectly, more than $125,000 total in payments under LFP, ELAP and LIP combined.
 
For 2011, no person or legal entity, excluding a joint venture or general partnership, may receive directly or indirectly, more than $125,000 total in the 2011 program year in payments under the LFP, ELAP, LIP and Supplemental Revenue Assistance Payments (SURE) program when at least $25,000 of such total 2011 program payments is from LFP or LIP for losses from Oct. 1, 2011, through Dec. 31, 2011.
 
In applying the limitation on average adjusted gross income, an individual or entity is ineligible for payment under LIP if the average AGIof the individual or entity exceeds $900,000.
 
Direct attribution provisions apply to LIP for 2011 and subsequent years.Under direct attribution, any payment to a legal entity also will be considered (for payment limitation purposes) to be a payment to persons or legal entities with an interest in the legal entity or in a sub-entity.
 
Applying for LIP
 
Producers may apply to receive LIP benefits at local FSA offices.
 
Producers who suffer livestock death losses should submit a notice of loss and an application for payment to the local FSA office that maintains their farm records.
 
To be eligible, the notice of loss must be submitted the earlier of:

  • 30 calendar days of when the loss of livestock is apparent to the producer, or;
  • 30 calendar days after the end of the calendar year in which the loss of livestock occurred.

The following table provides the final dates to file a notice of loss and application for payments:

Date of Livestock Death

Final Date to File Notice of Loss Final Date to Submit an Application for Payment
Oct. 1, 2011 to Dec. 31, 2014 Jan. 30, 2015 Jan. 30, 2015
Calendar Years 2015 and all subsequent years 30 days after death is apparent Jan. 30 of each year

The producer must include a copy of the grower contract if he/she is a contract grower and any other supporting documents required for determining eligibility. Supporting documents must show evidence of loss, current physical location of livestock in inventory and location of the livestock at the time of death.

Payments may be made for eligible losses suffered by an eligible producer who is now deceased or for a dissolved entity if a currently authorized representative signs the application for payment. Proof of authority to sign for a deceased individual or dissolved entity must be provided. If a producer is a dissolved entity, all former members at the time of dissolution or their duly authorized representative(s) must sign the application for payment.

Livestock Death Loss Documentation
 
Documentation requirements for livestock deaths that occurred after Oct. 1, 2011, through Dec. 31, 2014, have been relaxed from the rules outlined below. Contact a local FSA county office for additional information.
 
Livestock owners should record all pertinent information of livestock death losses due to adverse weather and attacks by animals reintroduced into the wild by the federal government or protected by federal law.
 
Documentation of the number and kind of livestock that have died, supplemented if possible by such items as, but not limited to:

  • Photographs or video records to document the loss, dated if possible;
  • Purchase records, veterinarian records, production records, bank or other loan documents;
  • Written contracts, records assembled for tax purposes, private insurance documents and other similar reliable documents.

Applicants must provide adequate proof that the eligible livestock deaths occurred as a direct result of an eligible adverse weather event or eligible attack by an eligible animal or avian predator in the calendar year for which benefits are being requested. The quantity and kind of livestock that died as a direct result of the eligible event may be documented by:

  • Purchase records;
  • Veterinarian records;
  • Bank or other loan documents;
  • Rendering truck receipts or certificates;
  • Federal Emergency Management Agency records;
  • National Guard records;
  • Written contracts;
  • Production records;
  • Records assembled for tax purposes;
  • Property tax records;
  • Private insurance documents;
  • Similar documents.

If adequate verifiable proof of death records documentation is not available, FSA will accept reliable records in conjunction with verifiable beginning and ending inventory records as proof of death. Reliable records may include, but are not limited to:

  • Contemporaneous producer records existing at the time of the adverse weather event;
  • Picture(s) with a date;
  • Brand inspection records;
  • Dairy herd improvement records;
  • Similar reliable documents.

FSA will accept certifications of livestock deaths by third parties on form CCC-854 along with verifiable beginning and ending inventory documentation if the following conditions are met:

  • That there is no other documentation of death available;
  • The number of livestock in inventory at the time of the adverse weather event.

The third party provides their telephone number, address and a written statement containing: 

  • Specific details about their knowledge of the livestock deaths;
  • Their affiliation with the livestock owner;
  • The accuracy of the deaths claimed by the livestock owner.

FSA will use data furnished by the applicant to determine eligibility for program benefits. Furnishing the data is voluntary; however, without all required data program benefits will not be approved or provided.

 

 

Contact Livestock Indemnity Program

USDA FSA

Service Area

National Program