Trouble for pensioners and benefit claimants as DWP prepares to stop paying into Post Office accounts

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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  1. Jeffrey Davies May 8, 2020 at 11:52 am - Reply

    Well they sold po off now you not allowed to use it

    • Mike Sivier May 8, 2020 at 4:36 pm - Reply

      No, they sold the Royal Mail.

  2. trev May 8, 2020 at 12:40 pm - Reply

    Another problem with having Benefits paid into your Bank is that there are not enough ATMs in residential areas. There is an ATM situated inside my local newsagents but it charges £2 for withdrawals. The nearest free ATM to me is situated inside Aldi, about three-quarters of a mile away, other than that it’s a one mile walk into the town centre, all of which is ok but if it’s pouring down and I need some cash that morning then it means walking a couple of miles just so I can pay my landlady for electricity when she calls round every Friday at about 9.00am.

  3. TERRY ALDERMAN May 8, 2020 at 5:33 pm - Reply

    There’s a limit of £100 for each payment collection you make. You may have to make more than one collection at a time to get the full amount you’re owed.

    • Sandy May 9, 2020 at 12:56 pm - Reply

      @ Terry Alderman

      My 85 year old dad has a PO account for both his State Pension and Attendance Allowance. The limit you can draw out at one time is £600 not £100. I’ve regularly had to draw his pension/AA out for him when he’s not up to it, and the max is definitely £600. However, that’s at the counter. I don’t know about the cash machine; that could be £100 max in one day or at a time?
      My bank debit card has a max of £100 at cash machines per day, but unlimited (till money runs out!) for point of sale purchases or going into my bank itself for withdrawals.

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