How benefits and pensions are paid

Benefits are usually paid straight into your bank, building society or credit union account. If you don’t have one, you can also get paid using a Post Office card account.

How often you’re paid

Benefit How often it's paid
Attendance Allowance Usually every four weeks
Basic State Pension Usually every four weeks
Carer’s Allowance Weekly in advance, or every four or 13 weeks
Child Benefit Every four weeks, or weekly if you’re a single parent or getting certain benefits
Disability Living Allowance Usually every four weeks
Employment and Support Allowance Usually every two weeks

Jobseeker’s Allowance 

Usually every two weeks
Income Support Usually every two 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.

Bank holidays

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.

For Child Benefit, Guardian’s Allowance and Tax Credits the money can’t be paid into:

  • Child Trust Fund accounts
  • children’s accounts
  • business and building society accounts that use a passbook
  • National Savings and Investments (NS&I) accounts (apart from NS&I Investment Accounts and Direct Saver Accounts)
  • some mortgage accounts

ISAs (Individual Savings Accounts) have limits on the amount of money that can be paid into them. It’s recommended you don’t use these for Child Benefit.

Post Office card account

This account is specifically designed for you to receive benefits, state pension and tax credits.

No other income can be paid into your Post Office card account, for example, your salary.

To open a Post Office card account you’ll need:

  • to contact the office that pays your benefit
  • proof of identity, for example, a passport
  • proof of where you’re living, for example, a recent bill with your name and address on it

If you don’t have a bank or Post Office card account, contact the office that pays your benefit to find out how to get your benefits paid.

Payment Exception Service

Payment Exception Service has replaced Simple Payment Service. For information, visit the following page:

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.

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