Can You Receive Benefits Payments In A Post Office Account?

If you are concerned about being able to receive benefits payments through a post office account, you will find detailed guidance in the following blog post about whether or not you can continue to do so. In addition to this, we will also suggest alternatives for receiving benefits payments and take you through the next steps to follow.

Can You Receive Benefits Payments In A Post Office Account?

No, you can no longer receive benefits payments through a post office account anymore. While the Government had been sending out notices since 2021 to post office account holders to arrange for alternate accounts for benefits payments, the decision to formally shut down post office accounts came into effect in November 2022.

As a result of this, claimants of the following benefits can no longer receive payments through a post office account:

  • Child Benefit
  • Tax Credits
  • Guardian’s Allowance

If you claim any of these benefits and have not made alternate arrangements so far, you would have missed out on your benefits payments.

Therefore, it is advisable to open up an alternate account, either through a bank, credit union or building society so that you can continue receiving your benefits payments.

How Can You Receive Benefits Payments Without A Post Office Account?

If you don’t have a Post Office account, there are other ways to receive benefit payments. The most common way to receive benefit payments is by having the payments paid directly into a bank account.

To set up a bank account for benefit payments, you will need to contact a bank or building society and provide them with proof of identity and address. You can then arrange for your benefit payments to be paid directly into your bank account.

If you are not eligible for a standard bank account, you may be able to apply for a basic bank account. Basic bank accounts are designed for people who have difficulty opening a standard bank account, and they do not require a credit check. However, they may have some limitations, such as not offering an overdraft facility.

It’s important to note that the method of receiving benefit payments may vary depending on the type of benefit you are claiming. Therefore, it’s best to check with your benefits agency or local Jobcentre Plus office to find out which options are available to you.

Can I Use The Payment Exception Service To Receive Benefits Payments?

The Payment Exception Service is a system designed for people who are unable to receive benefit payments through a bank account or other usual payment methods. It allows eligible individuals to receive their benefits in cash at designated PayPoint outlets.

To use the Payment Exception Service, you will need to meet certain criteria. You must be unable to open or manage a bank or building society account, and you must be unable to use an alternative payment method, such as a Post Office account or a prepaid card. You will also need to be receiving certain benefits, such as Income Support, Jobseeker’s Allowance, or Employment and Support Allowance.

If you meet the eligibility criteria, you can contact your benefits agency or Jobcentre Plus to apply for the Payment Exception Service. You will need to provide evidence of your circumstances, such as medical or social care reports, to support your application.

However, HMRC will not pay benefits payments for Child Benefit, Tax Credits or Guardian’s Allowance through cards or vouchers; claimants will need to open a bank, credit union or building society account if they haven’t done so already.

How Do I Close My Post Office Account?

To close your Post Office account, you will need to follow these steps:

  • Visit your local Post Office branch or call the Post Office customer service helpline to inform them that you want to close your account.
  • Verify your identity by providing your account details and proof of identity, such as a passport or driver’s license.
  • Withdraw any remaining funds in your account, either by transferring the funds to another account or by withdrawing cash at the Post Office branch.
  • Pay any outstanding fees or charges that may be due on your account.
  • Confirm in writing that you want to close your account. You can do this by sending a letter to the Post Office customer service team or completing an account closure form (P6703), which can be obtained from your local Post Office branch.
  • Return your debit card, cash card, or any other payment card associated with your account to the Post Office.
  • Wait for confirmation that your account has been closed. The Post Office will send you a confirmation letter to confirm that your account has been closed.


The above discussion helps to conclude that if you’ve been receiving benefits payments in a post office account, you will not be able to do so anymore. In fact, the option was shut down by the Government in November 2022 with advice to claimants to open up an alternate account to continue receiving their payments.


Post Office card accounts: switch now, says HMRC – GOV.UK

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