Find out what help you can get from the Post Office and banks if you can’t leave your home

Extracts taken from an article by Which? Written by Kim Kaveh 12 May 2020

The Post Office cash delivery service

The Post Office has launched a cash delivery service to help vulnerable customers, with the help of the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). 

Thousands of vulnerable people in England who are shielding at home and receive benefits such as pensions will be able to have cash payments delivered directly to them. This includes state benefits such as the state pension, which it can deposit directly into Post Office accounts.
Some banks are also offering cash delivery services.  Contact your provider to see what options are available.

How the delivery service works

The Post Office is the channel for delivering cash, while the DWP sets the parameters for those who are offered the service.  To use the service, you must be a Post Office Card Account holder. If your request is approved, you can receive up to £2,500 and the payment will be delivered to you via the Royal Mail Special Delivery service by 9pm the following day. If you’re a Post Office Card Account holder and think you need your cash delivered, you should contact the DWP.  Only existing account holders can use the service. If you receive your payment into another bank account, you will still be able to withdraw cash from any Post Office branch, but the delivery service won’t be available to you. The Post Office says you should contact your bank, building society or credit union to see how they can help.

Post Office account customers can also set up a ‘permanent agent’, which allows a third-party to access your account for you. If you’re a Post Office Card Account holder, you should contact its helpline on 0345 722 3344 to set this up.

The Post Office Payout Now and Fast Pace

Before the cash delivery initiative, the Post Office had made two of its services available to all UK banks, building societies and credit unions, to make it easier for people who are self-isolating to access cash. One is Payout Now, a service which sends a voucher by text, email or post to a customer who can share it with a trusted person to withdraw cash at any Post Office branch. The other is Fast Pace, a scheme that allows a customer to arrange for a trusted person (such as a carer or family member) to collect a pre-authorised cheque and cash it in at a Post Office branch. To use either scheme, you need to contact your financial institution to see if it has signed up. Then you can arrange to withdraw cash quickly from your normal accounts through any local Post Office branch, with the help of a friend, family member, carer or local support worker.

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