On the 4th January 2017 the Rural Payments Agency released the extremely good news that 91% of Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) claimants had received their 2016 payments. Whilst this is a step in the right direction, the devil could well be in the detail. The sheer volume of problems encountered with the processing of 2015 claims was staggering, with a number of the issues ultimately rolling on in to 2016, causing a snowball effect writes Tom Mellor Associate with Greenslade Taylor Hunt.

The real problem is that  there is no way of speaking to the RPA regarding specific problems, it is often a case of utilising a ‘best guess’ and e-mailing the RPA’s generic e-mail address box, then waiting indefinitely for a revised Claim Statement and additional payment to be made. In fairness, most issues flagged up to the RPA have been corrected, however others have not.

Ascertaining whether or not processing errors exist within a claim requires close scrutiny of the relevant claim statements and cross referencing the claim submitted as well as the land summary available within BPS online. The 2016 Claim Statements are due to be dispatched to claimants in February 2017 and it is vital that they are checked carefully.

As you can see, calculating whether the 2015 and 2016 payments that have been received are correct or not, you have to don the hat of a detective, in order to find the clues and solve the RPA’s riddles.

For assistance with checking your previous years payments and completing your 2017 BPS application, contact your local GTH office:  Somerset (01278 410250), Devon (01884 243000) or Dorset (01305 268786).