To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 9 September 2021 to Question 43541 on Post Office Card Accounts, what assessment her Department has made of the potential merits of the Payment Exception Service for benefit claimants unable to use Post Office card accounts from November 2021 for payment of (a) pensions, (b) benefits and (c) tax credits; and if she will make a statement.
The Department recognises that not everyone is able to open and operate a standard account. The new Payment Exception Service has been designed to enable customers who cannot open or manage a standard account to access cash payments via the PayPoint network or from a Post Office.
The Post Office card account (POca) contract that the Department holds has been extended to November 2022. The Department has begun to move customers from POca accounts to the new Payment Exception Service.
Tax credits are administered by HMRC and they are making alternative payment arrangements for tax credit customers.