Basic Payment Scheme online clinics: where you can go for help
To help achieve the 100% online target, the Department is repeating a countrywide timetable of clinics commencing on 3 April 2018 while their dedicated helpline will also resume. The table lists the date and location of clinics and it is important to note that clinics in any one location will take place in the morning or evening. Morning clinics run from 9am-12.30pm while evening clinics will take place from 4pm-7.30pm.
The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine is required under EU legislation to have 100% of Basic Payment Scheme applications completed online in 2018. The Department have been actively encouraging online completion in recent years and in 2017 had in the region of 90% of all applications completed online. There is also a requirement in 2018 to complete transfer of entitlement applications online.
Help on hand
The Department explain that farmers will be able to submit their applications on the day of a clinic.
“In order to do this, farmers will be able to sit down on a one-to-one basis with a Department staff member. The staff member can bring the farmer through the process of registration, making their BPS (including Greening, National Reserve and Young Farmers Scheme) application or transferring their entitlements online,” said a Department spokeperson.
Having a pre-registered AgFood account is not essential. However, if a farmer is in a position to register for AgFood in advance the Department say this will speed up the process. Where a farmer is already registered for www.agfood.ie, the Department advice applicants to bring details of their AgFood online account (username, password & PAC) with them to the clinic.
Where an applicant has yet to register, they should bring valid photo identification and their PSSN. Photo ID will also be required if applicants have an AgFood account but cannot remember their details.
The Department also advise that farmers can bring their BPS information packs (includes statement of maps and land) which they received a few weeks ago in the post to the clinics as a useful reference.
As mentioned above the Department will also have telephone helplines in place to help applicants with any queries they may have. The Department is also compiling how-to guides and videos and state that they will continue to review the level of supports available to farmers throughout the application period.
The following helpline numbers can be contacted:
Pick up your copy of this week's Irish Farmers Journal on Thursday for our special Focus supplement on Basic Payment Scheme applications.