FHA UPDATE

June 16, 2020 Sharon Purcell

(11 June, 2020)

FHA is a fortnightly income support payment for eligible farming families in financial hardship.
Payments up to $26,561.60/annum, per couple or $15,912.00/annum for singles are available for up to four years.

This is currently supplemented by an additional $550/person each fortnight due to COVID-19. The payment is administered by the Australian Government Department – Services Australia (formerly Dept of Human Services, aka Centrelink).

The payment is available to eligible farming families four years in every 10 years.

Other Benefits
• In addition to the basic rates of payment, Farm Household Allowance recipients can access an activity supplement which is a maximum amount of $10,000. This supplement is made available to recipients to undertake approved activities listed in their Financial Improvement Agreement.

• Health Care Card

Eligibility
You must be a commercial farmer (or a farmer’s partner), satisfy income and assets tests,
meet residence requirements, and be willing to engage in activities aimed at improving your
Business’ financial situation.

Assets Test
• Net assets must not exceed $5.5 million

Income Test
Income fortnightly ‘cut-out points’ (farm and off-farm income) are generally:
• Single $1086.50
• Couples (combined) $1987.00 per fortnight.
• This is no longer on a sliding scale

These limits may be higher depending on individual circumstances. Recipients can offset up to $100,000 of income that is not related to the farm enterprise, dependent on the amount of the farm loss.

Lump Sum Payment
FHA recipients who exhaust their full four years of payment on any day between 1 July, 2019 and 30 June, 2020 will automatically receive a one-off lump sum of $13,000 per couple or $7,500 for a single recipient.

https://www.servicesaustralia.gov.au/individuals/services/centrelink/farm-household-allowance