Emergency Relief for Drought Stricken Farmers

The Federal Government recently announced that they were making available emergency “special” payments for eligible farmers, to be made through the Farm Household Allowance (FHA) scheme.

The announcement will provide those households in need with $12,000 in additional lump sum payments for couples, (payable in two lump sums of $6,000 each) and $7,200 for single farmers without children (payable in two lump sums of $3,600 each).

The first payment was made on 1 September 2018 direct to bank accounts for families who are already on the FHA.  The second payment will be made on 1st March 2019 direct to bank accounts.

Currently, those on the FHA scheme can access the payment, equivalent to the unemployment benefit, worth about $16,000 a year.

The Government says the money can be used for basic household expenses.

The Government has now extended the time period to receive the FHA from 3 to 4 years, and they have also announced that the eligibility criteria for accessing the FHA will be relaxed so that people with up to $5M net assets will be able to apply. Previously this cut-off was $2.6M.

This will help farmers who may be notionally asset rich but cash poor, access additional support without having to jeopardise the income producing capacity of their farm by selling farm equipment.

If any of our farming clients have any queries as to their eligibility for the FHA scheme, please call us on 02-4365 6789.