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Thread: Advice changing payment into bank account from post office account re UC triggers

  1. #1
    New Member
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    Apr 2019

    Advice changing payment into bank account from post office account re UC triggers


    Tl;dr Would updating the payment account used to recieve legacy benefits trigger a claim for UC?

    I have recieved my benefit award through a post office card account (POA) for a number of years now.

    Sadly it is my understaning that due to the contract not being renewed all POA are being closed in the coming year or so. Added to this are the recent changes to my local post office, closing of PO cash machines and the current global situation I feel it is coming to the time to switch to payment in a bank account.

    This appears to be simple enough to do by filling in one of the frequent 'How we pay you is changing' forms I recieve.

    However I am mortified/paranoid at the thought that returning the simple banking details form could constitute a change in circumstances that would force me off legacy benefits and into Universal Credit. For a multitude of personal reasons I do not wish to trigger this and am glad to remain on legacy benefits until forced via managed migration.

    I believe it wouldnt be the case as the triggers are mostly due to changes to the specifics of your award or moving area etc. but the UC gov website clearly state a change in banking details as a change of circumstance they need to be made aware of.

    Please could anyone in the know kindly let me know if changing my payment method from POA to bank account would trigger a move from legacy benefits to UC or whether it is just a sinple admin task,

    Thank you,

  2. #2
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    West Cumbria (Lake District)
    Changing where your benefit is paid into will not cause a migration to UC.

    In fact there are no 'Triggers' that cause a move to UC - The only thing that does that is if you make a BRAND NEW CLAIM for an Income Related benefit, which now has to be UC.

    The two main reasons for that would be moving house to a different Local Authority and making a new claim for help with rent (or making a new claim if you aren't already claiming Housing Benefit with your current LA), or having a child and making an new claim for benefit for the new child.

    It can now also happen if you become a 'Mixed Age Couple' ie. where the older partner reaches state pension age. If the older partner was claiming HB, IR ESA, or IR JSA then that would stop and the younger partner would have to make a new claim for UC instead. (Again that's usually HB and the UC-Housing element that are involved).

    It is you making a new claim for UC that then means any existing IR benefits will get migrated to UC.
    If you don't make a claim for UC then migration cannot happen.

    Until Managed Migration starts it is only you yourself making a new claim for UC that will triger the migration of existing benefits.
    (And technically even with Managed Migration you will have to make a new claim for UC, just under slightly different rules).

    A change of circumstances that doesn't involve a making a new claim is simply a change to your existing benefit(s).

    The change from POAs to bank accounts has been on the cards for a while now and they have been pushing people to change for the last 5 years or so.
    It simply costs the DWP less to transfer your money into a bank than into a PO account.

    With most banks you can still access your new bank account from the Post Office counter if needed and withdraw money over the PO counter using your bank ATM card.
    They have card reader on the counter like you see in shops and supermarkets, in fact it's very similar to asking for 'cashback' from the shop/supermarket.
    Whether it's the PO or the shop/supermarket you tell them how much you want to take out, put your card in and enter your pin, they give you the money. - If you have enough in the account.
    If you don't have a local ATM then it can be handy to know that most shops/supermarkets (but not all) do that because they are open longer than PO counters or banks are. You usually have to buy something from the shop/supermarket to use the 'cashback' facility but you are probably wanting the money to buy something anyway so may not even need to take cashback and just pay with your card.
    Last edited by nukecad; 17-11-20 at 17:19.
    I don't know everything. - But I'm good at searching for, and finding, stuff.

    Migration from ESA to Universal Credit- Click here for information.

  3. #3
    New Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2019
    Thank you kindly nukecad for your thorough reply and helping to reassure me in making this decision.

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