Drought assistance

Exceptional Circumstances Relief Payment

We deliver several payments and services for drought-affected communities, farmers, farm hands and irrigators. There are payments to help you during Exceptional Circumstances, and also payments to help if you are living in an area that is likely to become an Exceptional Circumstances declared area.

Exceptional Circumstances

Exceptional Circumstances are rare and severe events outside those a farmer could normally be expected to manage using responsible farm management strategies. Specifically, they are events that occur on average once every 20 to 25 years and have an impact on income for a prolonged period (greater than 12 months).

Read more about Exceptional Circumstances on the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry website.

Who does this information apply to?

This information applies to people who are affected by drought and need assistance.

Assistance for Exceptional Circumstances declared areas

For farmers, there are payments to help you during Exceptional Circumstances. The Exceptional Circumstances Relief Payment for Farmers helps farming families living in areas affected by Exceptional Circumstances meet everyday living expenses.

Interim Farm Household Allowance

The Interim Farm Household Allowance replaces the Transitional Farm Family payment and is available to farm families from 1 March 2014.

The payment offers help for farm families experiencing financial hardship to meet basic household needs and improve the family’s long term financial security.

Other services for drought-affected areas

We also provide other services which can help people affected by drought.

Mobile Service Centres travel to rural and regional communities to help people claim Australian Government payments and services.

The Financial Information Service (FIS) is a free, confidential service that provides education and information on financial and lifestyle issues to all Australians.

Our social workers can help you during difficult times by providing confidential counselling, support and information.

Call us on 132 850 to speak to a social worker or to make an appointment with a social worker at your local service centre.

Income support payments

There are income support payments, such as Newstart and Youth Allowance, to assist people who are unemployed and/or who need financial support.