People claiming state pensions, universal credit and other benefits could lose access to payments in December
People receiving benefits from the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) or HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) risk losing access to their money from December, if it is currently transferred to a Post Office account. Card (POCa).
The POCa has been a way for benefit seekers to get their money back since 2003 and was introduced to provide a âsimpleâ bank facility for those who do not have access to regular bank accounts.
However, the UK Government’s contract with the Post for this service will end on November 30, 2021 and a phase-out of services is nearing completion, meaning the option will no longer be available from December 1, 2021.
At its peak, around 900,000 people across the UK were using the Post Office to collect payments, but over the past three years, the DWP and HMRC have written to applicants and urged them to charge for the benefits. and pensions directly to a bank account.
HMRC recently warned tax credit applicants that the POCa deadline is approaching and urged its customers to use the renewal pack to enter updated payment information, including an account change, such as bank details.
The POCa service was closed to new applicants for DWP benefits, including those who had reached state retirement age and were eligible to apply, on May 11, 2021.
The POCa service will end on November 30, 2021.
What will happen to my benefits or state pension payments after November 2021?
Your benefits or state pension payments will not stop and your payment dates will not change.
The only change is that you will no longer be able to use a postcard account to withdraw your money.
If you still use a postal account to collect Universal Credit, Tax Credits, Jobseeker’s Allowance, Personal Independence Payment (PIP), Disability Living Allowance (DLA), Employment Support Allowance (ESA), Family Allowance, or any other DWP or HMRC benefit, you should open a bank account as soon as possible and notify the relevant department of the change in payment details.
You can find out more about the letter you will receive and the steps to follow to Post site here.
You can also contact the post office contact center on 0345 722 3344.
What must I do now ?
You will have three options for receiving pension and benefit payments after November 30:
1. Use an existing account you have with a bank, building society, or credit union
2. Open an account with a bank, a building society or a credit union
3. Payment Exceptions Service – If you are unable to use or register for a bank, building society or credit union account, the UK government will contact you regarding this option.
How to close a postcard account
Finally, you will also have to tell the Post Office e to close your Card account.
You can do this by filling out an account closure form at your local post office or by calling 0345 722 33 44.
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