Almost 8,000 low-income farmers and fishermen got social welfare assistance from the State last year.
Mayo, Donegal and Galway had the highest numbers.
Farm Assist is a payment to low-income farmers, capped at €208 per week.
Fianna Fáil TD Eamon Ó Cuiv says there are specific criteria you have to meet.
"You are subject to a means test, and the means test is quite severe for all means tested schemes.
"[It] includes a partners or spouses income.
"As well as that, of course, they take 70% of the farming income into account".
The Rural Social Scheme is a similar support, aimed at low-income farmers and fishermen.
The Department of Social Protection says 5,004 people benefitted from Farm Assist last year - and 2,981 were on the Rural Social Scheme.
Some 1,356 people in Mayo were on either scheme - the highest in the country.
That is followed by Donegal on 1,272, and then Galway on 874.
Michael Fitzmaurice is an Independent TD for Roscommon-Galway.
"First of all if you look at the areas that the larger numbers would be, it would be in areas where you would have farmers that would own smaller plots of land that would be not big enough to make a living on".
Only six farmers or fishermen in Dublin were on either scheme last year.