June 2020 – Covid-19 & Post Office Accounts
The Minister for Pensions has confirmed that the Department of Works & Pensions (DWP) is arranging for all claimants who are shielding due to COVID-19 and hold Post Office card accounts (POcas) to receive contact from a visiting officer or their local authority.
In April it was confirmed that Royal Mail Special Delivery cash payments were being arranged for benefit claimants who had a POca and had been advised to shield themselves due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Now benefit claimants who are shielded and who hold Post Office card accounts, will receive a call from the National Shielding Service. If there is a potential concern over access to payments, the individual will be transferred to the DWP. In most cases concerns can be resolved by use of processes such as changing method of payment. Where this does not happen the individual should be contacted by a DWP Visiting Officer, who would ensure the concern was resolved, in exceptional cases arranging for delivery of cash to the customer.
Where the Post Office was in conversation with a customer who fell into the above categories their details were passed directly to the DWP for a call. The Post Office can also arrange for delivery of cash to individuals via the Royal Mail Special Delivery Service.
The DWP is also arranging for all customers in the above categories who are living alone to receive contact from a Visiting Officer or their local authority.
Vulnerable claimants who have concerns about access to their benefits, but do not meet the criteria above, should contact the DWP helpline (0800 731 0469), or the Post Office helpline (0345 722 3344).
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