Independent TD Michael Fitzmaurice says farmers are under severe pressure at the moment.
He says: "With the price of livestock at the moment, beef especially and sheep, which most of these people that get farm assist come from, it is very difficult for them at the moment.
"In my own opinion, the Covid payment was badly handled by Government where farmers don't appear to be classed as the same as everybody else."
Low-income farmers received nearly €69m under the social-welfare scheme Farm Assist last year.
Nearly 6,000 people received the payment, which is capped at €203 a week.
More than 1,000 were in Donegal, and there were also high numbers in Mayo, Galway, Kerry, Cork and Monaghan.
The Rural Social Scheme is a different payment made to farmers and fishermen - with a minimum weekly amount of €225.50.
Last year, nearly 3,200 fishermen and farmers got this payment, totalling nearly €55m.