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USDA prohibits discrimination against its customers. You may file a complaint with USDA if you believe you experienced discrimination when obtaining services from USDA, or when participating in a USDA program or a program that receives Federal financial assistance from USDA. The Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights (OASCR), through the Center for Civil Rights Enforcement, will make a jurisdictional determination, and then as appropriate, investigate and resolve complaints of discrimination in programs conducted by USDA or receiving Federal financial assistance from USDA.

In USDA programs, discrimination is prohibited on the bases of race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, marital status, sexual orientation, familial status, disability, limited English proficiency, reprisal (based on prior civil rights activity), or because all or a part of an individual’s income is derived from a public assistance program.

In programs that receive Federal financial assistance from USDA, discrimination is prohibited on the bases of race, color, religion, sex, political beliefs, age, disability, national origin, limited English proficiency or reprisal (based on prior civil rights activity).

How to File a Program Discrimination Complaint

To file a program discrimination complaint, you may obtain a Complaint Form at the USDA’s OASCR website or by sending an email to: OAC@ascr.usda.gov.

You may also write a letter instead of completing a Complaint Form. If you write a letter, it must contain all the information requested in the Complaint Form. All correspondence to the OASCR must be signed by you or your authorized representative. An incomplete complaint may cause a delay.

Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication of program information (Braille, large print, audiotape, etc.) should contact USDA’s TARGET Center at: 202-720-2600 (voice and TTY).

Send your completed Complaint Form by mail or fax:

U.S. Department of Agriculture
Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights
Director, Center for Civil Rights Enforcement
1400 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20250-9410

Fax: 833-256-1665

For help filling out the Complaint Form, you may call any of these telephone numbers:

Local: 202-260-1026
Toll-free customer service: 866-632-9992
Local or Federal Relay Service: 800-877-8339
Relay voice users: 866-377-8642

Your Complaint Letter

In your complaint letter, you should include:

  • Your name, address, e-mail address and telephone number.
  • The name, address, e-mail address and telephone number of your attorney or authorized representative, if you are represented.
  • The basis of your complaint. The basis is what you believe was the motivating factor for the discrimination.
  • The date(s) the alleged incident(s) you are reporting as discrimination occurred. If the discrimination occurred more than 180 days prior to filing your complaint, you may request a waiver of the filing requirement.
  • The name of the individual(s) or entity you believe discriminated against you and the agency or recipient that employs that/those individual(s), if you have this information.
  • The issue(s) of your complaint. The issue is a description of what happened, or the action that was taken by the individual(s) or agency that discriminated against you resulting in some harm. If you have documents to support the events you are reporting, please provide a copy of the supporting documents.

Note: Filing a USDA program discrimination complaint does not waive the requirements for filing a lawsuit. Complainants may wish to consult a lawyer at their earliest convenience to ensure all rights are protected and preserved.