Today was my day to make my claim. I had already checked to see if I was eligible for the grant, and had been given today as the date to make my claim.
The claim procedure was absolutely straightforward. Not a single hiccup along the way. The amount I was awarded was exactly what I’d calculated I would receive – around £3,500.
(Update: claim made Friday, payment made immediately after midnight Tuesday).
I note that quite a few instructors have been confused by the request for the ‘billing address’ of the account money is being paid into. Clearly, these people have never actually purchased anything on the internet before, since you’re asked for your billing address almost every time you make a purchase. Anyone still waiting to do their claim, the billing address is typically the address where the named person on the bank account you have specified lives (if you made it more complicated by living at a different address and using an account of someone else, you sort it out). In my case, it was straightforward – my billing address is always my home address – but it shouldn’t be that hard to work it out even if you’re one of those people who has a registered home address, a 2nd address, a business address, a holiday home, a caravan, a camper van, and a pony in a field somewhere. It isn’t the address of your bank, although from what I have heard, HMRC has turned off its stupid filter to allow for those who have decided – and even tried to argue – that it is.
Update: I am seeing lots of people making confusing statements about the way this payment is handled. To clarify.
You were given a date and time from which you could apply. Once you placed your claim – and assuming you entered the correct details in order to get paid – you were told it would take up to six days. That’s six working days, and most banks don’t include weekends as ‘working days’. Once your claim was made, the process was silent, and no emails relating to it’s progress through the system were sent out.
Once the payment was made to your nominated bank account, you may or may not have received a text, email, or other notification via your bank’s app. It would depend on the bank, the app, any settings you may or may not have set, or if you were still in the Dark Ages and insist on receiving paper statements through the post as if the internet didn’t exist. For example, my payment was made at one minute after midnight on Tuesday, and my banking app sent me a notification several hours later – as it does for any deposit into or payment from my account. This notification (or otherwise), in whatever form, is from your bank, and not HMRC.
Some banks are faster than others. It depends on whether they handle the ‘faster payments’ system, for one thing. Mine does, and deposits appear almost instantly. But it can take some time – sometimes a day or two – for other banks to process payments.
Amusingly, I did get an ‘update’ email from HMRC, addressed to me personally and containing my claim reference number, confirming I was eligible, and that my payment was ‘being processed’ and should be expected within ‘3 working days’. That arrived at 3am this morning – over a day after I’d been paid! It didn’t bother me in the slightest, nor do I feel the need to launch into an attack on anyone over it. However, it did add that you shouldn’t phone HMRC until the specified time period has elapsed – and I would point out that ‘six working days’ from a claim made last Friday potentially runs until next Monday.
Finally, bank account details and email addresses are very, very precise items. If someone asks for your email address, they have to have precisely your email address – not something ‘like’ what you seem to remember it might be, sort of. If you give the wrong one, you won’t get any emails. It’s that simple. And the same with a bank account and sort code numbers. If you entered them incorrectly when you made your claim, there’s a good chance the money has either gone to someone else (if the numbers matched) or the payment has failed. If you don’t get your payment after six working days, you’ll have to try and contact HMRC to sort it out. And don’t be surprised if you have to claim all over again.