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Card account: no new benefit or pension claimants will be able to use the Post Office card account from May 11.

This has been on the way for a long time, but it’s still going to cause a lot of aggravation – particularly for pensioners.

The Department for Work and Pensions is ending a contract that allows it to pay benefits into accounts at the Post Office.

The Tory government reckons it is easier and cheaper to pay benefits directly into bank accounts – if claimants have them.

And of course this makes it easier to monitor the amount of money kept in those bank accounts and penalise benefit claimants, should it exceed the legal limit.

There is always a sly little trap in these Tory changes.

But people can usually find a loophole: those without bank accounts can use the payment exception service, in which they are supplied with a card they can use at any PayPoint outlet to pick up their benefits.

Current users may continue to receive payments into their Post Office accounts until the contract ends in November 2021.

But no new users will be added to that system from May 11 this year.

The Post Office Card Account (POCA) was set up in 2003 to provide a “simple” banking facility for those without regular bank accounts.

But the government’s contract with the Post Office ends in November 2021 and several services are being phased out.

A massive 900,000 people use POCA to collect their payments, but for the past three years the DWP has been telling people to have their payments paid into a bank account instead.

Source: DWP stops paying benefits and state pension into Post Office Accounts – Liverpool Echo

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