Farm Household Allowance

Income and assets tests

You must meet an income and assets test to get Farm Household Allowance.

From 1 July 2018, you won’t be eligible for Farm Household Allowance (FHA) if you’re farm assets are more than $2.6375 million. This amount is indexed annually each 1 July in line with Consumer Price Index.
From 1 September 2018, the farm assets test will increase to $5,000,000. It will end on 30 June 2019. If your claim is finalised on or after 1 September 2018, it will be assessed under this provision. If you’re approved under the $5 million assets test, you’ll continue to get FHA after 30 June 2019 until you’re cancelled. Claims submitted on or after 1 July 2019 will be subject to the relevant farm asset threshold.

Income test

Your income must be below the cut off for the Newstart Allowance income test.

We’ll also look at any off-farm income when working out your payment.

Read more in the Farm Household Allowance Guidelines on the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources website.

If you earn less than $0 from your farm, you can use your off-farm income against a loan. You can offset up to $80,000 of off-farm income against interest repayments on a loan. You must prove the loan contract isn’t renegotiated.

To see if the off-farm income offset applies to you, submit a claim or call the Farmer Assistance Hotline.

Assets test

There are 2 parts to the assets test.

Part 1 – non-farm and liquid assets test

The first part looks at non-farm and liquid assets owned by you, your family and your business.

Liquid assets include:

  • cash
  • business bank accounts
  • term deposits, and
  • other financial accounts

They don’t include your family home and up to 2 hectares of land surrounding it, if:

  • it’s listed on a single title, and
  • used for domestic purposes

Part 2 – total net assets

The second part looks at your family’s total farm assets. These must be below $2.6375 million. This will increase to $5,000,000 if you claim between 1 September 2018 and 30 June 2019.

Water assets

If you or your partner own water assets, you need to tell us when you claim or if your circumstances change.

You must tell us the:

  • water asset you hold
  • way it’s used, such as:
    • 70% for watering crops
    • 20% for environmental management
    • 10% for domestic use
  • volume of each asset by kilolitre, megalitre, or gigalitre
  • estimated market value of each type of asset, for example the dollar amount per megalitre

You also need to give us evidence to support your:

  • ownership of the water assets
  • estimate of the value of your water assets, such as advice from a water authority or bank valuation

If you need help estimating your water assets, contact your:

  • state or territory water authority
  • an accountant or financial adviser

If your water asset is security for a loan, we’ll consider this. You’ll need to provide evidence of the loan.

Page last updated: 4 December 2018