Guide to claiming rural payments online

Farmers, crofters, foresters, food producers and other rural groups qualify for a very wide range of grants and incentives to help them manage the countryside. Rural payments can now be claimed online and this article shows you what you can do to secure your rural payments. 


What rural schemes are there?

There are at least a dozen different rural payment schemes available to farmers and other rural producers. The most important schemes include:

In addition, there are a range of EU schemes such as Environmental Co-operation Action Fund and European Innovation Partnership (EIP) as well as regional schemes such as Scotland’s Crofter House Grant, Suckler Beef and Upland Sheep Support Schemes.

How do I apply for rural payments online?

Step 1: Verify your identity with CitizenSafe

Your first step to claiming your rural payment is to verify your identity online with GOV.UK Verify and a certified identity provider such as CitizenSafe. Once verified, you’ll gain direct access to the online resources that will help you through the process and access the vital forms and proofs you need.

Don’t panic! These are just some necessary checks that will prove you are who you say you are and stop anyone from trying to impersonate you. You’ll just need to confirm some personal details with GOV.UK Verify before selecting CitizenSafe as your certified company so we can quickly run some background checks. 

You'll need at least one identity document :

Passport and /or driving licence.

You’ll also need to answer questions about your financial history so will need an active credit history. You may be asked questions about:

Once you’ve completed the verification process once, you’ll be able to log into many different government services in seconds! To get started, simply click the link below:

Rural Payments service on GOV.UK


Step 2: Register personal and business details

 Next you’ll need to log in to your rural payments account and if you’re using the service for the first time, you’ll need to submit both your personal and business details.


Step 3: Retrieve unique reference numbers

Once registered, the Rural Payments Agency will provide you with a customer registration number (CRN). You’ll also be provided with one or more of the unique reference numbers below:

  1. Single business identifier (SBI)
  2. Vendor registration number (VRN)
  3. Trader registration number (TRN)


Step 4: Claim your rural payments online

You now have all the accounts and details you need to claim your rural payments online. Simply follow the instructions provided on the GOV.UK website and you’ll be on your way.


What else should I know?

You can apply for the majority of rural payments by using the Rural Land Entitlements (RLE1) form or its Scottish equivalent, the Single Access Form (SAF). This form can be accessed and completed online, once you have your GOV.UK Verify user login and password.

You can also use the RLE1/SAF to register or map new land parcels, transfer BPS entitlements or land between holdings and register business structure changes.

The absolute deadline to submit RLE1 forms is 30 September, but BPS applications need to be completed by 15 June to avoid a penalty.

You can also use online services to obtain the other key proofs you will need, the SBI (Single Business Identifier) and CPH (County Parish Holding) number. 

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