Benefits are usually paid straight into your bank, building society or credit union current account - if you don’t have one you could get paid using a Post Office card account.

If your payment is due on a bank holiday, you’ll be paid on the last working day before the holiday.

How often you’re paid

Benefit How often it’s paid
Attendance Allowance Usually every 4 weeks
Basic State Pension Usually every 4 weeks
Carer’s Allowance Weekly in advance, or every 4 or 13 weeks
Child Benefit Usually every 4 weeks - or weekly if you’re a single parent or you or your partner get certain benefits. Bank holiday payment dates may be different.
Disability Living Allowance Usually every 4 weeks
Employment and Support Allowance Usually every 2 weeks
Jobseeker’s Allowance Usually every 2 weeks
Pension Credit Usually every 4 weeks
Personal Independence Payment Usually every 4 weeks
Tax credits, eg Working Tax Credits Every 4 weeks or weekly. Check your payment date if you’re paid every 4 weeks. Bank holiday payment dates may be different.
Universal Credit Every month

How your benefits are paid

You’ll be asked for your bank, building society or credit union current account details when you claim. You can only get paid in a different way if you have problems opening or managing an account.

Child Benefit, Guardian’s Allowance and Tax Credits

The money can’t be paid into:

  • Child Trust Fund accounts
  • children’s accounts
  • business and building society accounts that use a passbook
  • National Savings and Investments (NS&I) accounts (apart from NS&I Investment Accounts and Direct Saver Accounts)
  • some mortgage accounts
  • a Nationwide account in someone else’s name

ISAs (Individual Savings Accounts) have limits on the amount of money that can be paid into them. It’s recommended you don’t use these for Child Benefit.

Post Office card account

These accounts are specifically designed for you to receive benefits, state pension and tax credits.

No other income can be paid into your Post Office card account, eg your salary.

Open a Post Office card account

To open an account you’ll need:

  • to contact the office that pays your benefit
  • proof of identity, eg a passport
  • proof of where you’re living, eg a recent bill with your name and address on it

If you don’t have a bank or Post Office card account, contact the office that pays your benefit to find out how to get your benefits paid.

Paying back benefits

You can repay benefits and allowances you get but feel you don’t need.

Write to the department that paid the benefit. Their address will be on any letter you’ve received from them.

Include a cheque made payable to the department, along with your National Insurance number and details of the payment, eg the date and the amount.

You can only repay tax credits or Child Benefit if you’ve been overpaid.