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Claiming Benefits - Payment Exception Service

Benefits and tax credits are payments from the government to certain people on low incomes, or to meet specific needs. Read our guide to find out more about them and how to claim.

Payment Exception Service

The Payment Exception Service is a way to pay benefits to people who cannot use bank, building society, credit union or Post Office card accounts. It replaced the Simple Payments system from March 2018.

How does the Payment Exception Service work?

You may be sent a payment card which you can use to collect your benefit payments at a PayPoint outlet.

These can be found in local newsagents, convenience stores or supermarkets. To find your nearest PayPoint outlet, visit the PayPoint website.

If you don't have a card you will be sent:

  • A voucher by email
  • A text message with a unique reference number

To collect a payment, you need to:

  • Show your card, voucher or text message at the PayPoint outlet

  • Show proof of your identity.

You must claim within 30 days of the card, voucher or text message being sent to you.

Identification

You’ll also need to show proof of your identity (ID). Copies are not acceptable. It must be the original document.

Examples of ID you can use:

  • Valid UK photo or paper driving licence

  • Current passport

  • A gas, electricity, water or landline phone bill (this must be less than three months old).

How much money can you collect?

You are only allowed to collect up to £100 for each payment collection. You might have to make more than one payment collection at a time to collect your full amount of benefit due.

Getting someone else to collect your money

If you want someone else to collect your money for you, they will need

  • your payment card or voucher
  • your ID
  • their own ID

If someone else is managing your benefits for you on a regular basis, you might like to arrange for them to be made your appointee. This means they can talk to the DWP on your behalf and make decisions about your benefits for you. 

Further information

Gov.UK has more information about the Payment Exception Service and a 'Find your nearest PayPoint outlet' tool.

Updated: February 2020

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