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Benefit change postponed until next year as Post Office card system extended

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Benefit change postponed until next year as Post Office card system extended

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https://www.mirror.co.uk/money/benefit- ... t-24952884

Benefits claimants who get their cash from the Post Office can do so for one more year as the government has paused plans to scrap the service.

For years people without bank accounts have been able to use Post Office card accounts to get their state pension or other benefits.

Around 380,000 people get their benefits in this way.

These cards were due to be scrapped from November 30, with users being shifted to the Payment Exception service.

But now the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has given these claimants a grace period of one year.

Post Office cards accounts will stay open until November 2022.

The extension is because of the pandemic.

A DWP statement said: "Following the disruption caused by the pandemic, it has now been extended for 12 months to ensure everyone has the time to make alternative arrangements."

The DWP wants people using the service to open a bank account before the new deadline.

Otherwise they will be swapped over to the Payment Exception Service, which allows them to choose how they get their payments.

The Payment Exception service allows those who don’t have a bank account to access benefit payments via the PayPoint network.

You can withdraw your cash either by using a payment card, voucher by email, or text message containing a unique reference number.

Either of these methods must be presented at a PayPoint outlet, which are in shops and newsagents, in order to access your benefits.

Pensions minister Guy Opperman said: "While the vast majority of pensions and benefits are paid directly into peoples’ bank accounts, some people prefer to collect their payments over the counter at their local Post Office.

"This extra time means we can support our most vulnerable customers to move to the payment method that will suit them best – even if that means making sure they can still get cash via the Post Office using a card from the new Payment Exception Service."

What happens after November when Post Office accounts stop?

The Post Office card account is a service linked to the DWP that lets you receive your state pension, Universal Credit or other benefit payments.

It is designed for people who don't have a bank account to get their benefits.

Crucially, when the final Post Office card accounts do close, your benefits or state pension payments will not stop. Your payment dates will also not change.

The only change is that you will no longer be able to use a Post Office card account to withdraw your money.

This means you will need to keep using the Payment Exception service, or tell the DWP to pay your benefits into a bank account.


This can be a new one that you open ahead of the changes, or one you already have.

Customers can phone the DWP on 0800 085 7133 (opening hours are 8.30am to 4.00pm, Monday to Friday) to provide new account details for their benefit or State Pension payments.

Eventually, you will also need to tell the Post Office to close your card account.
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