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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 replaces 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.


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 benefits, and the same person will always collect the payments for you, they can get their own Simple Payment card. To collect your money, they’ll need to show their own card, confirm their memorable date and show their own proof of identity.

If different people collect payments for you, you’ll have to give them your Simple Payment card to use each time. You’ll also need to give them your memorable date. They’ll have to show your proof of identity and their own.

Further information

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


March 2018

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