How benefits and pensions are paid
Benefits are usually paid straight into your bank, building society or credit union account.
How often you’re paid
|Benefit||How often it's paid|
|Attendance Allowance||Usually every four weeks|
|Carer’s Allowance||Weekly in advance, or every four or 13 weeks|
|Child Benefit||Usually every four weeks, or weekly if you’re a single parent or you or your partner are getting certain benefits|
|Disability Living Allowance||Usually every four weeks|
|Employment and Support Allowance||Usually every two weeks|
|Income Support||Usually every two weeks|
|Jobseeker's Allowance||Usually every two weeks|
|Pension Credit||Usually every four weeks|
|Personal Independence Payment||Usually every four weeks|
|State Pension||Usually every four weeks|
|Tax credits, for example, Working Tax Credits||Every four weeks or weekly - check your payment dates for tax credits or Child Benefit if you’re paid every four weeks.|
|Universal Credit||Twice monthly|
If your payment is due on a bank holiday, you will usually be paid on the last working day before the holiday.
How your benefits are paid
You’ll be asked for your bank, building society or credit union account details when you claim. You can normally only get paid in a different way if you have problems opening or managing an account.
If you cannot open or manage a bank, building society or credit union account
Contact the office that pays your benefit to find out how to get it paid.
Changes to payments to Post Office card accounts
If your benefits are currently paid to a Post Office card account, you must arrange for your payments to be transferred to your bank, building society or suitable credit union account as the Post Office card account service is closing.
You should withdraw any money you have in your Post Office card account and contact the Department for Work and Pensions on freephone number 0800 085 7133 to update your account details.
You will need to arrange to withdraw any remaining balance with the Post Office directly. To do this, you can contact the Post Office on freephone number 0345 722 3344.
The Payment Exception Service
From 2 August 2021, a new payment exception service was introduced for customers who cannot open or manage a bank, building society or credit union account. It is intended as a short-term method of payment only which must be replaced as soon as you are able to open a bank/ building society, credit union account.
The new service replaces both Post Office card accounts (POcas) and Her Majesty’s Government Payment Exception Service (HMGPES). It is a voucher based service which can be paid by Payment Card, SMS text or Pdf via email.
To cash the voucher, customers can currently present their card, phone or printed voucher with the appropriate proof of identity to any PayPoint outlet and exchange the vouchers for cash.
- Vouchers will be issued up to the value of £100 and the full value of the voucher must be withdrawn.
- Cashing vouchers is dependent on the payment outlet having available cash. You may need to visit more than one payment outlet to retrieve the full value of all vouchers as cash availability cannot be guaranteed at all payment outlets
- Vouchers must be cashed within 90 days, if the vouchers expire, you will be contacted to arrange for the payment to be reissued
Further information can be found on the Payment Exception Service website or via the PES telephony helpline number 0800 015 2902
Choosing a payment method
If you do not have a bank, building society or credit union account you can set up a new one to have your benefit or pension payments paid into.
To help you choose a payment method that is right for your circumstances,support services are available via:
- A dedicated helpline 0800 085 7133
- Advice NI on 0800 915 4604
- MoneyHelper (previously Money Advice Service) on 0800 138 7777
- The Make the Call Wraparound Service is available for support and benefits advice.
Guardian’s Allowance and Tax Credits
You can get the money paid into any account, apart from a Nationwide Building Society account in someone else’s name.
You can get the money paid into any account, apart from a Nationwide cash builder account (sort code 070030) in someone else’s name.
Paying back benefits
You can repay any benefits and allowances you get but feel you don’t need.
Write to the department that paid the benefit. Their address will be on any letter you’ve received from them.
Include a cheque made payable to the department, along with your National Insurance number and details of the payment, for example, the date and the amount.