The Australian Government has announced a review of the Farm Household Allowance (FHA), which provides help for farmers facing hardship for up to four years.
Since 2014, almost 8000 of Australia’s approximately 80,000 farmers have accessed the assistance, but the Department of Agriculture estimates there may be 19,000 farmers eligible for the FHA who have not applied for it.
According to new figures, more than 80 per cent of farmers said they’re happy with the structure of the FHA and the assistance it provides. The current net asset threshold cut-off has been lifted to $2.6 million and farmers who are receiving less than $52,000 a year in income can apply for a hardship exemption regardless.
The government said while it can’t make decisions for farmers about whether they should buy feed in the hope it will soon rain, or when to sell off stock. But it can and provide assistance through the FHA and free expert advice through Rural Financial Counsellors.
Farmers are encouraged not to self-assess whether they qualify for FHA, instead if they wish to know more about their FHA eligibility they should see their local Rural Financial Counsellor or call the Department of Human Services Farmer Assistance Hotline on 13 23 16.