Post Office card accounts are closing for these types of benefits, which are paid by HMRC, from November 30, 2021. This means you have until this date to inform HMRC of your new payment method
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Thousands of people who claim Child Benefit and tax credits via Post Office card accounts have just over one month left to set up a new payment method.
This means you have until this date to either set up a new bank account or inform HMRC of your existing details before this date.
If you don’t do this by December 1, your benefits will be suspended and held until you confirm your new details.
The date you get paid and the amount you get will not change – just the way you receive your payment.
This change affects anyone who claims Child Benefit, tax credits or Guardian’s Allowance from HMRC via a Post Office card account.
A notice on the Gov.uk website reads: “HMRC is urging customers who receive their payments via this method to act now so they still get their money on time.”
Post Office card accounts were also due to close next month for people who receive Universal Credit, State Pension and other payments issued by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).
However, the DWP has issued a 12-month extension on the closure, meaning these people have until November 2021 to use their Post Office card account.
The Post Office card account is a service linked to the benefits system that lets you receive your payments.
It is designed for people who don’t have a bank account to get their benefits.
In an update last year, it was estimated that 780,000 people used a Post Office card account.
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What happens next if my Post Office card account is closing
If you already have a bank account, you will need to let either HMRC or the DWP know that you need your benefits paid into this account instead of your Post Office card account.
For those who don’t have a bank account, you will either need to open a new one or use the Payment Exceptions Service.
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.
For payments made by HMRC – such as Child Benefit, tax credits or Guardian’s Allowance – you need to do update your details by November 30 this year.
You can do this by updating your Personal Tax Account or Child Benefit account online at gov.uk or by calling 0300 200 3100.
Anyone getting tax credits can change their account details online via gov.uk by calling the tax credits helpline on 0345 300 3900.
DWP payments – including Universal Credit and the state pension – have until next November to update their details.
If you get payments from the DWP and HMRC, you still need update HMRC with new account details.
You will also need to tell the Post Office to close your card account by either filling in a form in store, or calling the Post Office on 0345 722 33 44.