Centrelink’s Dubbo Service Centre will open from 10am to noon on Saturday to help farmers complete Farm Household Allowance (FHA) claim forms.
Specialist staff from the Department of Human Services and a rural financial counsellor will be on hand.
Earlier this year the federal government announced two extra lump sum payments “worth up to $12,000” for eligible households.
Farmers and their partners can apply for FHA, but will need to lodge their claim before December 1 in order to be eligible for the first FHA lump sum payment. Claims lodged after December 2 may only qualify a farmer to receive the second supplement payment.
Federal Member for Parkes Mark Coulton is urging farmers to take the chance to “learn more about the support on offer to help them through the challenging times, and connect with other services for which they may be eligible”.
“The FHA claim form was recently simplified and the easiest way to apply is online,” he said.
“I strongly encourage local farmers to gather their paperwork and go along on Saturday to receive personalised assistance from specialist staff and have their FHA questions answered.”
Mr Coulton said scattered rain has provided some relief in parts of the Parkes electorate.
“However the effects of the drought will be felt for quite some time,” he said.
Minister for Human Services Michael Keenan said farmers attending Centrelink’s Dubbo Service Centre on Saturday could expect to receive “ongoing support”.
“Our network of farm household case officers provide ongoing assistance for FHA recipients to help them access other support services and develop action plans to get their farm business back on track,” he said.
“They will also help farmers to register for online services available through myGov so they can easily keep in touch with the department, or even upload important documents without the need to call or visit a service centre.”
Further information can be found at humanservices.gov.au/farmhouseholdallowance.
Centrelink’s Dubbo Service Centre is at 64 Wingewarra Street.