In this article, NFU BPS adviser Anna Logan gives her thoughts on payments this year.
As we move closer to the BPS 2020 payment window opening on 1 December, here are some timely reminders.
As always, we will be watching the RPA’s payment performance closely when 2020 payments start to be made. With all the bad weather at the end of last year and early this year and poor harvest this summer, more than ever timely and accurate payments are a must. We have been assured that this year’s performance will be on par with the 2019 performance, but we are hoping the RPA will exceed that. As a reminder, the RPA paid 95.7% of 2019 BPS payments by the end of December 2019.
Tracking your claim
You have the ability to log onto Rural Payments online and check the status of your claim. This is available to both online and paper claimants. If you haven’t logged into Rural Payments online for a while, you may notice some improvements to the business overview page. You will now find a quick link to accessing the status of your claim from the business overview page. You will need to scroll down to the Basic Payment Scheme section, and click the link which states ‘Apply for BPS or view status of your application’.
There are four status updates which may be shown, which are:
- Claim validation
- Final checking
- Preparing for payment
You may find it stays at the same stage for a while. This could be due to the RPA carrying out the various checks they need to do. In some cases, the claim may also move back a step. This isn’t something to worry about, it could just mean the RPA has identified a query that needs to be resolved before it can be moved on. Preparing for payment is the final stage, and hopefully means payment is imminent. When payment has been made, the preparing for payment status will continue to show.
While you're logged into Rural Payments online, it’s a good time to double check your contact details are up to date. It's especially important to check your email address, as the RPA is likely to contact you by email if there are any issues with your application.
If after receiving your 2020 BPS payment it is less than expected, you will need to await the claim statement before submitting a payment query form to RPA. You can find the query form on the Gov.uk website. It’s worth double checking your BPS application was completed correctly and any inspection correspondence before submitting the query form. Remember NFU CallFirst can help you with any issues you may have with your payment, so give them a call on 0370 845 8458.
Watch out for fraud
Sadly, at this time of year we start to hear of fraudsters targeting farmers for their BPS money. It’s important to remember that the RPA will not call you or send you emails or texts asking you to confirm your personal details or payment information. If you get any suspicious looking communication from the RPA, make sure you call them on 03000 200 301 to double check it is genuine. Click here for the RPA's top tips on preventing fraud at Gov.uk. If you think you’ve been a victim of fraud, contact Action Fraud immediately on 0300 123 2040.
You may also be interested in:
- BPS 2020: Entitlement values and greening rates Q&A
- Rural Payments online - all users required to check and confirm contact details
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