Deadline for application is fast approaching

editorial image

With the 15 May deadline for submitting the Online Single Application for 2019 approaching, the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Development (DAERA) is urging farmers who have not yet taken any action, to act now and submit their Single Application without delay.

Head of Area Based Schemes Delivery, Teresa O’Neill said: “We expect to receive approximately 25,000 Single Applications and to date, we have received 12,000 (approximately 48%). Farmers should not take unnecessary risks by assuming their application could be straightforward.

“DAERA provides lots of different ways to assist you to complete your application and I would encourage you to avail of them.”

Don’t delay check your online access today

With the closing date of 15 May fast approaching, you should begin completing your online Single Application now as there may be additional actions you may need to take and this will only become clear once you begin the application process. The Government Gateway service that is used to access DAERA Online Services has recently been updated, and you may find you will need to take action to ensure your continued access to DAERA Online Services. If this is the case and you leave it until the last few days it increases the risk of your application being late and financial loss for your business.

Young Farmers’ Payment

If farmers are considering making applications for the first time for the young farmers’ payment, or for entitlements from the regional reserve, it’s particularly important to get started right away, there’s some documentary evidence that needs to be provided to demonstrate that the young farmer is head of the business.

Environmental Farming Scheme (EFS)

All Tranche 1 and Tranche 2 EFS participants, who started their agreements on 1 July 2017, 1 January 2018 or 1 January 2019, must make their claim for payment on the online Single Application. Some EFS Wider participants who started their agreement in July 2017 will already have done all the work and will have claimed most, if not all, of their payment during 2018. However, it is important that these EFS participants complete the online Single Application in each of the four remaining years of their EFS agreement to confirm they are continuing to maintain the options they established and were paid for.

Direct Help is available

Farmers are reminded that DAERA provides a number of options to help and support them with this important task:

Guidance booklets, further information and helpful videos are available at: https://www.daera-ni.gov.uk/topics/grants-and-funding/area-based-schemes-2019

Come to one of the “How to Complete Your Single Application” workshops.

The workshops are being held at CAFRE campuses in Enniskillen, Cookstown and Antrim and run until 14 May 2019. You don’t need any particular IT skills to attend – staff will be there to help and guide you through the process of completing your application. This is an appointment only service, so book a place now by contacting 028 7131 9955 and don’t miss out while appointments are still available. Details of workshops are available at: https://www.daera-ni.gov.uk/articles/daera-online-single-application-workshops

Extended Opening Hours

Call the Single Application Advisory Service on 0300 200 7848 (Monday to Friday 9.00 am to 5.00 pm). Extended opening hours are in place for the last two weekends from 9.00 am to 3.00 pm on 4 and 5 May and 11 and 12 May. You can also use the convenient webchat facility within the application. Advisors are ready to help you with any queries about your application or the schemes.

If the Single Application Advisor thinks that you would benefit from further help, you may be offered a ‘one to one’ appointment at your local DAERA Direct office where staff can help you complete your application. This is a limited and appointment only service so you must ring the Single Application Advisory Service. If you think you will require this help you should act now while appointments are still available.

Further Help

Alternatively, farmers 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 your application on your behalf. If you are planning to use the services of an agent it is also important that you contact them immediately. If you have not previously done so, you will need to complete a form to nominate an authorised person.