Income and assets tests

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

Income test

Your income must be below the cut off for the JobSeeker Payment income test.

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

We include income from farming-related activities such as agistment in farm income.

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

Forced disposal of livestock

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.

Non-farm income

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

If your farm is losing money, we’ll use that loss to offset your non-farm income. We’ll do this if you earn less than $0 from your combined farm business activities. We’ll calculate your farm business loss as an average fortnightly amount. We’ll then reduce your fortnightly non-farm income by that amount when working out how much FHA you get. We’ll use farm losses to reduce non-farm income up to $100,000 per couple, per financial year.

You don’t have to apply to offset your income. We’ll assess this when you report your income.

To find out more about farm business losses, 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.

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: 16 March 2020