Our Impact 2019/20
Today we published our impact report that demonstrates measurable social impact as a result of our work. Click on the image below to find our more and download the full report.
Advice Services – We’re Open
In order to meet the needs of those who cannot obtain advice by remote means we have now opened for limited face to face appointments. It is essential during the ongoing pandemic that we keep numbers to a minimum so please telephone our helplines first, we will only see people by pre-arranged appointment .
Advice Trends and data:
As the economy continues to show signs of a significant slowing we are noticing recognisable trends in the problems people ask for help with. There are detectable uplifts in request for help with all welfare benefits but especially advice on Universal Credit. Housing problems also seem to be on an upward trend and Employment problems have been higher than average throughout the pandemic.
Research and Campaigns – Post Office Card Accounts
Nearly 900,000 people across the UK have POC accounts due to close
Post Office Card Accounts (POC) were set up as a simple bank account into which Pension, Benefits or Tax Credit payments would be paid direct from Government. Account holders could then use the card to get cash from their account in the Post Office or through ATMs. Nearly 900,000 people across the UK have a POC account.
However, the contract with the Post Office to manage the POC accounts will end in November 2021 and the government has currently no plans to extend it. The government has been writing to existing POC account holders since 2017 to advise them to open an ordinary bank account instead, and have said they will also set up a new scheme for people who can’t get a bank or Building Society account.
Meanwhile, the government has now stopped any new benefit and pension claimants from opening a POC account and they will have to set up a bank account instead to receive their payments. .This may present a problem for people who do not already have a bank account, especially if they are not able to apply on-line and would have problems getting to a bank branch. They may need to use the payment exception service.
If you’re struggling to open a basic bank account call Citizens Advice for help and information.
0300 456 8369