Farm Household Allowance

On 27 September 2019, the Australian Government announced a radical simplification of the Farm Household Allowance (FHA) application process and key policy settings.

Legislation is currently before the Parliament to:

  • change the time limit on FHA payments to 4 in every 10 years
  • increase the off-farm income offset and broaden its reach
  • provide a relief payment for FHA recipients who have used their 4 years of payment by 30 June 2020.

Implementation dates for this set of changes are yet to be announced. Minister McKenzie media release has more details on each element.

The Australian Government’s announcement follows the independent review of the Farm Household Allowance (FHA) that was undertaken in the second half of 2018.

Read the outcome of the Review of the Farm Household Allowance.


Support for eligible farmers and their partners. Helping you through hardship, including drought.

See all drought and rural support we provide.


Check if you are eligible for Farm Household Allowance.


  • are a farmer
  • are an Australian citizen or permanent resident
  • are at least 16 years of age
  • have a right or interest in land and use it for a farm business.

Your farm:

  • is in Australia
  • has a significant commercial purpose or character.

You must:

  • contribute a significant part of your labour and capital to the farm business
  • enter into a financial improvement agreement, or have one in place already.

You can apply as a farmer, or as a farmer’s partner.

Each application is assessed on a case-by-case basis.

You cannot apply for FHA if you:

  • currently receive other pensions or social security benefits
  • have already received the payment for 4 years
  • do not meet the criteria in the guidelines.

Read the detail in the FHA guidelines.

Need help?

You can get help to understand and apply for Farm Household Allowance.

Talk to one of our Rural Financial Counsellors​. It is a free service. They will evaluate your situation and let you know what you can apply for.

Call 1800 686 175.

Payments and support

You can get Farm Household Allowance for up to 4 years (1,460 days). This gives you time to improve your circumstances. You do not have to receive all payments in one go. You can defer your payments for future hardship.

You will receive:

  • a fortnightly payment
  • allowances to help you with expenses like rent, phone and medicine
  • a financial assessment of your farm business (worth up to $1,500)
  • a Health Care Card, to help reduce health care costs
  • funding to help you develop skills, access training and pay for professional advice (worth up $4,000).

Fortnightly payments vary depending on your situation. They are based on social security allowances. Your payment amount will be based on the information you provide.

You will also get ongoing support from your own:

  • ​Farm Household Case Officer (FHCO)
  • Rural Financial Counsellor (RFC).


Applications and payments are managed by the Department of Human Services.

Call the Farmer Assistance Hotline on 132 316.

Learn more about Farm Household Allowance.


Last reviewed: 11 November 2019
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