Sponsor payments – common questions and answers

How are Thank You payments calculated?

As a Sponsor, you are eligible for an optional Thank You payment per month, for as long as the guest remains in your accommodation, for up to 3 years from March 2022.

The payment will be made on the last working day of the month for that month. You will be eligible for the monthly payment if the guest has lived in your accommodation for at least half of the month.

For example, if the confirmed arrival date of your guest was on or before 16 May you will be entitled to the monthly payment from end of May, subject to completion of all relevant checks and verifications. You will be paid for May on the last working day of May i.e 31 May.

Payments can only be issued to a bank account held in the name of the Lead Sponsor.

How much is the Thank You payment?

Please refer to the table below for the Thank You payment amounts:

Timeframe Thank You payment amount
From March 2022 until September 2022 £350 per month
From October 2022 to February 2023 £550 per month (£350 plus £200 winter payment)
From March 2023 £500 per month
From October 2023 to March 2024 £700 per month
From April 2024 to March 2025 £500 per month

When will you receive your first payment?

The following conditions must be met before your payments can start:

  • You are hosting a guest and all safeguarding checks have been undertaken (including the final confirmation visit when the guest has arrived and is in your home)
  • You have provided your bank details to us via the form which will be emailed to you
  • We have verified your bank details (see ‘Confirmation of Bank Details’ for further information) and completed all other necessary fraud checks

If these conditions are not met ahead of the first month you are due payment, your next payment will be backdated to reflect the confirmed arrival date of your guest. You will receive a two months’ payment.

Thereafter, while you are still hosting a guest, you will receive the Thank You payment on the last working day of each month.

You were expecting to be paid at the end of this month. Why have you not received your first payment?

The following conditions must be met before your payments can commence:

  • You are hosting a guest and all safeguarding checks have been undertaken (including the final confirmation visit when the guest has arrived and is in your home)
  • You have provided your bank details to us via the form which will be emailed to you
  • We have verified your bank details (see below) and completed all other necessary fraud checks

When you receive the form, please ensure you return this to us as quickly as possible, checking the information you provide for accuracy. If we are unable to verify your details, we may need you to provide further evidence (see ‘Confirmation of Bank Details’). This could cause delays in your first payment.

When completing the form, you must provide bank account and address details for the Lead Sponsor. We are unable to make payments to a bank account registered to any other individual. If you have submitted details for a different name, you will not receive payment, and will need to resubmit the form with details from the Lead Sponsor.

Once all conditions have been met, your first month’s payment will be backdated to reflect the confirmed arrival date of your guest.

You have been paid more or less than you were expecting – how was the amount calculated?

You will be eligible for the monthly payment if the guest has lived in your accommodation for at least half of the month. For example, if the confirmed arrival date of your guest was on or before 16 May you will be entitled to the monthly payment from end of May, subject to completion of all relevant checks and verifications. If the guest has lived in your accommodation for less than half of the month, you will not be eligible for the monthly payment.

How do you provide us with your bank details for payment?

You will receive an email from [email protected] which will include a secure form for you to complete to provide your bank details.

Hampshire County Council will never ‘cold call’ you, by telephone or in person, asking you for your bank details or any other financial information.

Please check any communications you receive carefully to ensure they have been sent from us and if in doubt contact us at [email protected] to confirm. We will never ask you to enter your card details or any bank security information (e.g. PIN or passwords for online banking).

We will be contacting Sponsors in batches, based on when guests arrive.

Why do we need to verify your bank details?

Making sure we can verify your bank details allows us to uphold our responsibility to protect public funds against fraud and is a requirement of the Government guidance.

What will we do to verify your bank details?

We use third-party credit check agencies to verify your payment details – however this is not a credit check and will not impact your credit score or rating.

In some cases, we are unable to verify bank details through this method. This can be due to:

  • The bank account, address or Sponsor name details provided being inaccurate
  • The third-party credit check agency database not holding your account details

When this occurs, we will need to contact you for further evidence, including a copy of your bank statement. This will be requested from [email protected].

Hampshire County Council will never ‘cold call’ you, by telephone or in person, asking you for your bank details or any other financial information.

Please check any communications you receive carefully to ensure they have been sent from us and if in doubt contact us at [email protected] to confirm. We will only ask for your bank account details – we will never ask you to enter your card details or to provide any additional bank security information (e.g. PIN or passwords for online banking).

Can you arrange for the payments to be made into someone else’s bank account?

No, we are only able to make payments into a bank account registered in the Lead Sponsor’s name.

If you have submitted details for a different name, you will not receive payment, and will need to resubmit the form with details from the Lead Sponsor.

What do you need to do if your guests are temporarily absent?

It is your responsibility to inform the County Council if your guests are absent for more than 4 weeks. Your payments will then be paused until you inform us that the guests have returned.

Email: [email protected] as soon as possible to inform us of any temporary absences or guest returns.

What do you need to do if your guests leave?

It is your responsibility to inform the County Council when your sponsorship arrangement has ended, or if circumstances change.

Email: [email protected] as soon as possible.

If your guest has lived in your accommodation for at least half a month you will receive full month payment on the last working day of the month.

If your guest has lived in your accommodation for less than half a month you will receive no payment.

If you have been overpaid we will notify you of the amount to be repaid and arrange an invoice for you to pay.

Can you charge rent?

No, Sponsors must not charge guests rent for the duration of the scheme and should not request monetary contributions towards utilities, food etc. which would be deemed excessive and constitute rent in practise.

Can Sponsor payments be made by cheque?

Payments can only be made directly into a bank account registered to the Lead Sponsor.

Can you be sent a remittance notice for the payment you receive?

Yes. A remittance notice will be automatically issued to the email address you provided when you submitted your payment details.

When are payments made?

All payments are made one month in arrears on the last working day of the month once all relevant conditions have been met (see ‘Receipt of Payment’ for more information).

Do the payments constitute taxable income?

The payments are tax free and does not affect your entitlement to benefits or council tax status.

Are the payments means tested?

The Sponsor Thank You payments are not means tested.