Income and assets tests

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

From 1 July 2019, the farm assets test threshold increased permanently to $5 million. This is to make Farm Household Allowance accessible to more farmers.

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 website.

Forced disposal of livestock

From 1 July 2019, we may exempt money you get from the forced disposal of livestock from the income test. We’ll exempt the income if you deposit it in a Farm Management Account.

Forced disposal includes selling or destroying livestock due to drought or natural disaster. It may also include when:

  • your farm can’t support the livestock
  • you have concern for the welfare of the livestock
  • the law requires you dispose of the livestock.

Off-farm income

Your off-farm income can affect your payment. You must tell us how much you earn each fortnight. Read how to report your income.

You may be able use your off-farm income against a loan. You can do this if you earn less than $0 from your farm business. You can apply to offset up to $80,000 of off-farm income against interest repayments on a loan. You must prove you can’t renegotiate the loan contract.

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 you, your family and your business owns.

Liquid assets include any of the following:

  • cash
  • business bank accounts
  • term deposits
  • other financial accounts.

They don’t include your family home and up to 2 hectares of land surrounding it. This is only if both of the following are true:

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

Part 2 – farm assets test

The second part looks at your family’s total farm assets. These are assets you hold or use wholly or mainly for the farm enterprise. They include both of the following:

  • shares you’re required to hold to operate the farm
  • tradeable water assets from the Murray-Darling Basin.

You’ll need to give us evidence to support your ownership of water assets and shares essential to your farm operation.

From 1 July 2019, the farm assets test threshold permanently increased to $5 million. Previously, from 1 September 2018 to 30 June 2019, the threshold temporarily increased to $5 million.

You must advise us of any changes to your circumstances. This includes money you get from the forced disposal of livestock or any other changes to your on-farm income.

Page last updated: 20 September 2019