Farm Household Allowance

The Australian Government has extended the period farmers and their partners can receive Farm Household Allowance from three to four years. The extra time will give Australian farmers facing hardship more breathing space to implement plans to become financially self-sufficient so they are better placed to sustain their farming businesses.

The additional year of assistance will come into effect from 1 August 2018. In the meantime, please call the Farmer Assistance Hotline 132 316 for assistance.

Your feedback is valuable to us, so if you’ve just finished your time on the program we’d like to hear from you. Please fill out the exit survey.

Farm Household Allowance (FHA) provides eligible farmers and their partners experiencing financial hardship with assistance through planning and training for long-term financial improvements as well as income support for up to three years.

Management of FHA policy and payments is shared across multiple government departments.

The Department of Agriculture and Water Resources manages the policy. Read the guidelines relating to the administration of FHA.

Applications for Farm Household Allowance are managed by the Department of Human Services (DHS).

Applicants are encouraged to not self-assess your eligibility. You can seek advice on eligibility or how to apply for assistance, by contacting the Farmer Assistance Hotline on 13 23 16.

Available support

Eligible farmers and their partners can access, for up to three years:

  • income support allowance
  • dedicated case management to help a recipient assess their situation and develop a plan for the future
  • a financial assessment and assessment of their farm enterprise called a Farm Financial Assessment (FFA), including up to $1,500 to assist with completing that assessment
  • a plan to address the challenges facing them and their farm enterprise called a Financial Improvement Agreement (FIA), including up to $4,000 to undertake activities identified in the FIA
  • ongoing support from the Rural Financial Counselling Service (RFCS).

Eligible farmers and their partners can access up to three cumulative years of payment. This is designed to give recipients the time to take steps to improve their circumstances. Farmers and their partners are not required to use their three years in one go.

Apply for assistance

The Department of Human Services (DHS) is responsible for receiving and assessing FHA applications, delivering FHA payments and engaging in individual case management.

DHS can provide advice on:

  • eligibility
  • application process
  • processing and progress of applications
  • appeals process
  • general enquiries.

Find out more about applying for Farm Household Allowance on the Department of Human Services website.

Rural Financial Counselling Service

The Rural Financial Counselling Service (RFCS) provides free financial counselling. Counsellors can assist with the FHA application process and once granted can help a recipient to meet the program requirements.

Contact the RFCS enquiries line on 1800 686 175 for more information.

Manage your taxable income

Payments made under FHA, including the activity supplement and the FFA supplement, are taxable income payments. Some expenses incurred in obtaining the activity supplement and FFA supplement may also be tax deductible.

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) provides special assistance to drought-affected taxpayers.

Contact the ATO Small Business Hotline on 13 28 66 for more information.