DAERA officially launches the 2019 Single Application process

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The 2019 Single Application window is now open, the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) has announced.

From 1 March 2019 farm businesses can access DAERA’s online Single Application and Map Service and Entitlement Transfer Service. The Entitlement Transfer Service will close on 2 May. Single Applications must be submitted online by 15 May to avoid a late claim penalty.

Direct Payments for the 2019 scheme year will be made on the same basis as before. Rules derived from current EU legislation for the Basic Payment Scheme, Greening and Young Farmers’ Payment will apply throughout the whole of 2019.

The Single Application is the method for claiming any of the following schemes:

l Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) and Greening Payment

l Young Farmers’ Payment (YFP)

l Regional Reserve Entitlement allocation or top up (as a Young Farmer or New Entrant)

l Environmental Farming Scheme (EFS)

l Northern Ireland Countryside Management Scheme (NICMS)

l Farm Woodland Premium Scheme (FWPS)

l Farm Woodland Scheme (FWS)

l Forest Expansion Scheme (Annual Premia)

You should also use the Single Application and Map Service to notify DAERA of any changes to your land.

Get ready, start early, complete on time!

Before you start your application you are advised to read the information and guidance and view the helpful ‘how to’ videos that are available on the DAERA website at: https://www.daera-ni.gov.uk/topics/grants-and-funding/area-based-schemes-2019

Check your information

Allow yourself adequate time to check all your information to ensure it is correct and to avoid unnecessary penalties.

Check: Make sure that you meet the eligibility criteria for Basic Payment and are actively farming the land you are claiming. You may be asked to provide evidence to demonstrate that you are actively farming the land.

Check: The Entitlements Register is now available online enabling Farm Businesses to view the number, type and value of BPS entitlements. Entitlements that are not claimed in two consecutive years will be confiscated and returned to the Regional Reserve. The Entitlement Transfer Service will be available until 2 May if you wish to transfer entitlements to another farm business.

Check: If you need to make changes to your land, do this using the online Single Application and Map Service. The most common error is where applicants do not remove areas of ineligible vegetation such as scrub, bracken or rush.

Check: If you are setting up a new farm business or need to make changes to an existing farm business make sure you start this process early to avoid any delays to your application or payments.

Check: If you have an EFS agreement you are required to submit a claim for each year of the agreement even if no payment is due. Check that you comply fully with the Terms and Conditions of the Scheme before you claim for your EFS Options and Non Productive Items.

Check: If you need to submit additional forms or evidence to support your application do so within the application deadlines, or your application (or the part to which the supporting evidence relates) may be rejected.

Key Dates

Note the important dates below and bear these in mind when planning to complete your application.

1 March to 2 May

Entitlement Transfer Service opens on 1 March and closes on 2 May.

1 March to 15 May

Single Application and Map Service opens on 1 March and applications must be submitted by 15 May to avoid a late claim penalty.

8 April to 15 May

The facility to claim Environmental Farming Scheme payments will be available from 8 April and must be submitted by 15 May to avoid a late claim penalty.

16 May to 31 May

Applications submitted by 15 May can be amended to increase or decrease the area you have claimed between these dates without penalty.

16 May to 10 June

Applications received on or between these dates will be penalised by 1% reduction on your payment for each working day it is late. For applications to the Regional Reserve the reduction increases to 4% for each working day it is late.

1 June to 10 June

Applications already received can also be amended between these dates to increase the area you have claimed by adding fields, but you will be penalised on the amended fields by a 1% reduction on your payment for each working day it is late. For applications to the Regional Reserve, the reduction increases to 4% for each working day it is late.

You can reduce fields/areas during this period without penalty.

10 June

This is the final date for receiving applications or increasing the area you have claimed on your Single Application. You can still reduce the area you have claimed after this date without penalty, for example, by removing a field but only if we have not already notified you of a penalty or a planned inspection.

How do I apply?

Log on to DAERA Online Services at: www.daera-ni.gov.uk/daera-online-services

The Government Gateway Service to access DAERA Online Services was updated in November 2018. Farm Businesses have been successfully accessing DAERA Online Services since the update. However if you have not accessed DAERA Online Services recently, it is recommended that you do so as soon as possible to ensure your credentials are still valid.

Help Options

If you need some help, you have plenty of options:

Online Help: The Single Application and Map Service has built in help buttons and warning messages to help you get it right.

‘How to Complete your Single Application’ Workshops

DAERA will be running a series of free workshops in Enniskillen, Cookstown and Antrim where you can learn how to complete your application. Over 300 people attended in 2018 and many chose to complete their application on the night. These are aimed at farmers with limited or no previous IT experience. You can book a place by contacting 02871 319955. This is an appointment only service so call us early to secure your place.

Single Application Advisory Service

During the application period, you can call the Single Application Advisory Service on 0300 200 7848 (Monday to Friday 9.00 am to 5.00 pm) or use the convenient webchat facility within the application. You can also email on areabasedschemes@daera-ni.gov.uk. Advisors will be ready to help you to complete your online application.

If the Single Application Advisor considers that you need further assistance, they may be able to arrange an appointment for you in your local DAERA Direct Office where staff can help as you complete your application online. This is a limited appointment only service so you should first ring the Single Application Advisory Service.

Agents/Authorised Person

Alternatively, you can use the services of an agent or trusted person that you know such as a relative or friend, who can be given online access to complete the application on your behalf. You will need to complete a form to nominate an authorised person if you have not previously done so. You can download this form from the DAERA website, request one from a DAERA Direct Office or your agent may provide this for you.

Whichever help service you choose to use, DAERA recommend that you take action early to secure the help that you need as demand may be high throughout the application period. Don’t risk any delay that could affect your payment.

Further guidance and forms are available on the DAERA website at: https://www.daera-ni.gov.uk/topics/grants-and-funding/area-based-schemes-2019