The Coalition Government recently passed legislation to amend the Farm Household Allowance (FHA) to boost help for farmers in drought. Minister for Agriculture David Littleproud said the changes will deliver the $12,000 FHA supplement from 1 September for couples and $7,200 for singles. This brings the total payment for a couple to around $37,000 and to around $22,000 for a single.
“We’re working full tilt to get this support out the door as soon as possible,” Mr Littleproud said. “The increase to the net asset threshold potentially means about 8,000 extra farmers will soon be eligible for the FHA. The Department of Agriculture estimates 27,000 farmers are potentially eligible for FHA and have not applied. Farmers should not guess at whether they’re eligible for FHA. They should see a Rural Financial Counsellor”.
Farmers already on FHA will not have to apply for the extra payments – it will be paid automatically. The threshold changes will stay in place to 30 June 2019, with the review of FHA due in early 2019. “I ask that farmers bear with us while the Department implements the necessary changes to give effect to the threshold changes, which I expect to be completed by 1 October 2018.”
For eligibility please seek advice from the free Rural Financial Counselling Service on 1800 686 175 or the Department of Human Services Farmer Assistance Hotline on 13 23 16. For more information, visit http://www.agriculture.gov.au/ag-farm-food/drought/assistance