- be a farmer for at least the last two years
- derive a significant part of your income from the farm enterprise
- contribute significant labour and capital to the farm enterprise
- meet an income and assets test
Eligibility and payment rates
Eligibility for Transitional Farm Family Payment
To be eligible for Transitional Farm Family Payment you need to:
- be a farmer experiencing financial difficulty for the last two years
- earn a significant amount of income from your farm and contribute a significant part of your labour and capital to your farm
- commence developing an action plan with a Rural Financial Counsellor
- meet an income and assets test
- meet residency requirements
Payment rates for Transitional Farm Family Payment
Income and assets tests for Transitional Farm Family Payment
The amount of income and assets you have may determine the payment you will get.
Your income must be below the allowable income limits used to calculate Newstart Allowance.
The assets test has three components that you have to meet.
Component 1 – Non-farm assets
The first component is the same as the assets test used for Newstart Allowance. Farm Management Deposits are included in this assets test. Those assets that are essential to the operation of the farm are exempt from this initial assets test.
Component 2 – Total net assets
The second component assesses your family’s total net assets, including all of your farm assets, and the total must be below $1.5 million.
Component 3 – Liquid assets
The third component assesses your family and businesses immediate funds (liquid assets). Your liquid assets includes cash immediately available in personal and business bank accounts, term deposits, shares and other financial accounts. The total must be less than $20,000, otherwise you may be subject to a liquid asset waiting period of up to 13 weeks from the date you lodged your application until you can receive the Transitional Farm Family Payment.
Your waiting period is calculated at one week for every $1,000 over the $20,000 limit. If you are subject to a waiting period, it will reduce the maximum payment period you would otherwise be eligible for. This means that your payment period will be 12 months minus your waiting period.
Residency requirements for Transitional Farm Family Payment
To meet residency requirements you must be an Australian resident and in Australia on the day that you lodge your claim.
To be an Australian resident, you must be living in Australia as:
- an Australian citizen
- the holder of a permanent resident visa, or
- the holder of a special-category visa–that is, someone with a New Zealand passport living in Australia, or
- a New Zealand citizen who was in Australia on 26 February 2001 or for 12 months in the two years immediately before that date, or who was assessed before 26 February 2004 as 'protected'
Newly arrived residents generally have a two-year waiting period. Some exemptions apply for refugees, holders of certain other permanent visas, Australian citizens, and, in some circumstances, their partners and dependent children.
Other benefits while receiving Transitional Farm Family Payment
If you qualify for the Transitional Farm Family Payment, you may be entitled to other services, such as:
Once you have read about eligibility the next steps are:
- decide how you will submit your claim, by mail or in person
- complete your forms
- complete the supporting documentation
- submit your claim
- we assess your claim and let you know the outcome
Managing your payment
Change of circumstances while receiving Transitional Farm Family Payment
You need to tell us if your circumstances change when you are receiving a payment. For example, if:
- you change your address
- your income changes
- you do not have to lodge a tax return
- your care arrangements change
- your work or study load changes
- you leave Australia
If you do not tell us about changes in your circumstances within 14 days of any change occurring your payment may be affected. You may be overpaid benefits and, if you are overpaid, you will probably have to pay the money back.
If you deliberately do not tell us about changes, you could be charged with fraud, and a recovery fee may be imposed.
Quarterly meetings with a Rural Financial Counsellor
To continue receiving the Transitional Farm Family Payment, you must have quarterly meetings with a Rural Financial Counsellor to complete and review the activities outlined in your action plan.
Find out more about Transitional Farm Family Payment
You can access the Transitional Farm Family Payment policy guidelines on the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry website.
Find out more in the Transitional Farm Family Payment factsheet.