Access to benefits during the COVID-19 pandemic

The Department for Communities has put additional support in place to assist Post Office card account and HM Government Payment Exception Service customers who are unable to access their benefit or pension payments during the Coronavirus pandemic. 

A single point of contact has been established within the Department’s ‘Make the Call’ team to receive referrals from the NI COVID19 Helpline or Post Office Ltd for immediate action.

The Department will offer a range of options including,
  • Switching customers to a bank account to allow the purchase of items over the phone or online,
  • Setting up a permanent agent or appointee to collect their money on their behalf, or
  • Issuing a voucher payment via SMS/email to a trusted friend to collect their money for them.
The Make the Call team can be contacted by emailing or phoning 0800 232 1271.

The COVID-19 Community Helpline can be contacted by 0808 802 0020.

You can find out more information on COVID-19 and benefits in Northern Ireland in our Coronavirus section.