Changes to Farm Household Allowance

Thursday, June 11, 2020
News

Minister for Agriculture, Drought and Emergency Management David Littleproud has announced that improvements to the Farm Household Allowance (FHA) take effect from today.

The changes make the FHA payment simpler to access and improve the support available to farmers and their families, as well as bringing more certainty around the support people can access during difficult times.

“Since the 2018 FHA Review, my department has been working closely with Services Australia to implement the recommendations of a farmer-led panel to modernise and streamline the FHA program,” Minister Littleproud said.

“We’re proud of Australia’s farmers and all they do to maintain our food security and our reputation among the world’s greatest producers of food and fibre.

“Providing them with the right support in times of hardship is essential to the continued strength of our agricultural sector.”

Key changes to the FHA include:

  • FHA assets test simplified to a single threshold of $5.5 million
  • no differentiation between farm and non-farm assets when accessing the payment
  • people whose income is under the limit will be paid the full rate automatically  
  • farm consultants and Rural Financial Counsellors now able to complete Farm Financial Assessments.

“Farmers and their partners will also now have access to a $10,000 Activity Supplement to get independent expert advice, undertake training, or gain new skills and qualifications,” Minister Littleproud said. 

“That’s more than double the previous amount. Funds are not limited to opportunities in farming — any activity that can boost income will be considered.”

See Minister Littleproud's FHA media release here.

More information:

  • Services Australia—Farm Household Allowance
    A payment for farming families in financial hardship. servicesaustralia.gov.au/farmhouseholdallowance
     
  • Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment—Farm Household Allowance
    For farm households experiencing hardship.
    agriculture.gov.au/fha
     
  • Rural Financial Counselling Service (RFCS)
    A free, confidential service. RFCS can help you find and apply for funds and offer individual support to meet your needs and help you to make the right decisions for your business.
    agriculture.gov.au/rfcs
     
  • Farmer Assistance Hotline - 132 316 (between 8am and 8pm Monday to Friday).
     
  • Rural Financial Counselling Service (RFCS) - 1800 686 175 (you will be referred to your nearest RFCS office).