Transition extended for Interim FHA recipients
Joint media release
The Hon. Barnaby Joyce MP
Minister for Agriculture
Senator the Hon. Marise Payne
Minister for Human Services
15 July 2014
Farming families receiving the Interim Farm Household Allowance now have until 14 August 2014 to apply for the Australian Government's income support measure to avoid being out-of-pocket.
Minister for Agriculture, Barnaby Joyce, has extended the transition period for recipients of Interim Farm Household Allowance to complete their applications to transfer to the ongoing Farm Household Allowance (FHA) to avoid their payments ceasing.
"I have extended the deadline to 14 August to allow more time for Interim FHA recipients to lodge an application for the ongoing support measure," Minister Joyce said.
"I don't want farming families who have already qualified for the interim payment to be disadvantaged because of administrative requirements.
"All Interim FHA recipients who lodge their applications by this date will be back-paid to 1 July 2014.
"As FHA is a legislated payment, separate to Interim FHA, it requires a new application to be lodged for eligibility to be properly assessed. However, applicants will not need to resupply documentation they have only recently provided to support their Interim FHA application– if the information remains current.
"The FHA will ensure that farmers in hardship can access support when they most need it, whether because of drought or other issues, so they can put food on the table and pay the bills."
Minister for Human Services, Senator Marise Payne, said she strongly encouraged farming families not to delay in lodging their application for FHA.
"The sooner farmers and their partners lodge their applications, the sooner their payment can flow," Minister Payne said.
"The easiest way to submit a claim for the FHA is online at humanservices.gov.au/online. Farmers can also download the claim forms from the Department of Human Services website.
"Anyone who wants to make sure they are providing the right information or who wants assistance should contact the Department of Human Services on the Farmer Assistance Hotline on 132 316 between 8am and 8pm Monday to Friday."
The FHA provides up to three years of household income support to eligible farmers and farming families and includes a Health Care Card, up to $1500 for professional financial advice and up to $3000 for professional support, advice or training.
Ministers Joyce and Payne also highlighted the work of the Rural Financial Counselling Service in assisting farmers to access the FHA and thanked them for their work, especially during this transition period, to ensure farming families facing hardship didn't miss out.
For more information on this and other support measures for farmers and farming businesses go to daff.gov.au/assistance.
Claim forms can be found at humanservices.gov.au/farmhouseholdallowance or by calling the Farmer Assistance Hotline on 132 316.