No, I am not talking about Christmas (sorry the dreaded “C” word), but it is that time of year again when the RPA should be making BPS payments. The payment window opened on 2nd December (the usual opening date of 1st December was a Sunday), and at the time of writing we do have a few clients who did receive their money on 2nd December. The payment window is open from the beginning of December until 30th June next year, but the RPA are hoping that they will be in a position to make the bulk of payments during the month of December – they are suggesting at least 90% of claimants should be paid before 31st December. As in previous years, you will receive the money directly into your nominated bank account (remember if you have changed your bank account you must let the RPA know or they will not be able to pay you!). A few days later you should receive a remittance advice note setting out the amount paid into the account, and then a claim statement after that which will explain how they have calculated the amount they have paid you.
The payment rate per hectare of land is very similar to 2018, and therefore if your landholding has not changed between 2018 and 2019, you should receive a very similar amount this year to which you did last year.
As ever it is likely that some will not be lucky enough to receive their payment in December, and as in previous years those likely to be affected by late payments are those who have had RPA inspections, those with cross-border claims (land in other parts of the UK), those with large claims and finally those with common land.
In a change to previous years, the RPA have again changed the payment structure in relation to both Environmental Stewardship Schemes and also Countryside Stewardship Schemes. Differently to years past, this year they are going to be making your annual Stewardship payment in one lump sum, and again this is due during the period 2nd December 2019 to 30th June 2020. Therefore, it may just be possible that if the RPA are feeling generous that some people may receive both their BPS monies and their Stewardship monies for 2019 before Christmas…………………
When you do receive your money, either BPS or Stewardship, if it is not what you expect, then please do not hesitate to contact us at PFK Land Agency and we will be more than happy to help you look into matters. If there is an issue, the sooner it is raised with the RPA, hopefully the sooner it can be rectified.
All that is left is for me cross my fingers and hope that the RPA are in the festive mood and get out as many payments to claimants as they can before Christmas and for us all here at PFK Land Agency to wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year – whatever 2020 may bring!