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Short Breaks Prepaid Card

The Short Breaks Prepaid Card is one way that Portsmouth City Council provides access to short break leisure activities and social opportunities for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) and for those families to enjoy short breaks, trips and visits to UK-based venues.

 

A young person at a bowling alley throwing a bowling bowl towards the pins.

A young girl looking at a giraffe over a fence.

Tell me about the Short Breaks Prepaid Card

What is the Short Breaks Prepaid Card?

The card is a payment top-up card that works in the same way as a debit card and can be used in person at venues, by phone, or for online bookings. Parent/Carers apply once per year for an allocation of funds on behalf of their child/young person. If successful, their short breaks card will be topped up with that annual allocation and they can then use that money towards short breaks in the UK for their family. The money has to be spent by 31st March the following year and any money remaining after that point will be recovered back from the card.

 

What are the eligibility criteria?

To be eligible to receive funding via the Short Breaks Prepaid Card, the following should apply:

  • Parent/Carer should be resident in Portsmouth (generally post codes PO1-PO6), and
  • Child/young person is of school/college age and under 18 years old, and
  • Child/young person attends either
    • a special school for children and young people with SEND or
    • a mainstream school/college/post-16 provision and have an EHCP that specifies a level of  support of Exceptional banding or higher

Those attending residential schools do not qualify for this card.

Note: Foster Carers living in Hampshire (outside PO1-PO6) who care for Portsmouth young people are eligible to apply for the short breaks card for those young people but should also notify their social worker who will contact us directly to confirm the application.

What can it be used for?

We are pleased to be supporting families of children and young people with SEND to take UK-based short breaks, trips and visits and we recommend that you check Suggested Uses for the Short Breaks Prepaid Card for ideas about where you can use your card.

Please note that purchases of fuel should be limited to a £50 spend to access a planned trip or visit, not just for general use. This use will be monitored.

 

How do I apply for the Short Breaks Prepaid Card?

Applications should be made via the online application form during the annual application period (see timelines below). If you are not comfortable completing an online application, please contact the Short Breaks Officer to request a paper application.

Contact the Short Breaks Officer on:

Tel: 023 9268 8842 or email: shortbreaks@portsmouthcc.gov.uk

 

 

What happens next? What is the timeline?

The application window is open from 14th March 2024 to 14th April 2024. Applications outside of that period will not be considered. You must apply between these dates even if you have had a Prepaid Card in the past year.

Applications will be checked for current eligibility and applicants will be advised once that has been completed and, if successful, what their total allocation of funds will be for the coming year.

Successful applicants will need a card to be ordered, this will be done by 26th April 2024 and those cards should reach people within 10-14 days after ordering. Cards are valid for two years, so should be retained until the expiry date on the front of the card as they can be used (and topped up) for the following year if needed.

As soon as cards are received by applicants, they should be activated as no money can be added to cards unless they are active. Any cards not activated within 2 months of ordering may be cancelled. You will find instructions about how to activate your card on the letter accompanying it, or in our Activation Guide. Funds will be added to the cards from mid-May, subject to the card being activated. Please note that if the card is not active when checked, it will not be checked again for a further 2 weeks, so it is very important to activate it as soon as you receive it.

 

I have been approved for a Short Breaks Prepaid Card

What happens next? What is the timeline?

Successful applicants will need a card to be ordered, this will be done by 26th April 2024 and those cards should reach people within 10-14 days after ordering. Cards are valid for two years, so should be retained until the expiry date on the front of the card as they can be used (and topped up) for the following year if needed.

As soon as cards are received by applicants, they should be activated as no money can be added to cards unless they are active. Any cards not activated within 2 months of ordering may be cancelled. You will find instructions about how to activate your card on the letter accompanying it, or in our Activation Guide. Funds will be added to the cards from mid-May, subject to the card being activated. Please note that if the card is not active when checked, it will not be checked again for a further 2 weeks, so it is very important to activate it as soon as you receive it.

 

What can it be used for?

Please be aware that this year, with increasing numbers applying for funding via the Prepaid Card, the focus will be very much about supporting families to take UK-based short breaks, trips and visits and a number of changes have been made in terms of where you can use the card to reflect this and so previous users of the card as well as new users should check the list of suggested uses as a guide to where their card will be accepted.

Check the Suggested Uses for the Short Breaks Prepaid Card document.

Please note that purchases of fuel should be limited to a £50 spend to access a planned trip or visit, not just for general use. This particular use will be monitored.

 

How can I monitor my spending and update my email address?

How can I monitor my spending and update my email address?

Cardholders are encouraged to set up an online account so that they can check the balance on their card, monitor transactions and update their email address.

In order to access the Cardholder Control Panel, please go to the website at:

https://adultdp.portsmouth.gov.uk

Once you have typed the above web address at your Internet home page and pressed enter, the following will be displayed on your screen:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Enter your prepaid card number (16 digits) and pin number and click Login.

When you have logged in you will be able to view your available balance, card number, card expiry date and details registered to the card.

On the left-hand side of the screen you will see all the various options available to you. If you click on the Edit Account Details option you can enter your email address here if you wish to add/update it.

 

To amend your postal address or phone number, you should contact either:

Short Breaks Officer on Tel: 023 9268 8842 or Email: shortbreaks@portsmouthcc.gov.uk

or

Children’s Services Finance Team on Tel: 023 9283 4750 or Email: csprepaidcards@portsmouthcc.gov.uk

 

 

How can I update my personal details?

If you need to update your email address, postal address or telephone number, please contact either:

Short Breaks Officer on Tel: 023 9268 8842 or Email: shortbreaks@portsmouthcc.gov.uk

or

Children’s Services Finance Team on Tel: 023 9283 4750 or Email: csprepaidcards@portsmouthcc.gov.uk

Please note that is very important to keep these details updated as it could impact your use of the card, e.g. when making card payments, verification codes may be sent to the phone number we have on record, so it needs to be correct.

If you have  set up an online account, you can update your email address (only) using that facility. When you log into the Cardholder Control Panel, on the left-hand side of the screen you will see all the various options available to you. If you click on the Edit Account Details option you can enter your email address here if you wish to add/update it.

 

 

Are there any restrictions to what I can use my card for?

The card can only be used with organisations/companies providing what is considered to be a short break. The card can be used for transport services connected to those short breaks. This includes fuel however, you should ensure you pay at the kiosk as there is a block on payments made at the pump. There is a nominal limit of £50 on fuel transactions and it should be used to facilitate transport for a short break.

You cannot transfer cash to your own bank account and there will not be the facility to refund money to your personal account from your card.

If the amount of your purchase is more that the available balance on your Prepaid card, it will be declined. However, you have the facility online to load your own contributions onto the card – see Internet Access User Guide.

The card does not have the facility to withdraw cash from Cashpoints/ATMs or to check your balance there.

You cannot use the short breaks card to pay for alcohol, tobacco, drugs, gambling (including bingo) or for anything that is illegal.

 

 

Who to contact about my Short Breaks Prepaid Card

How do I activate my card?

Before you start using the card you must do the following:

  • Activate the prepaid card using the telephone via the Interactive Voice Response (IVR) as soon as you receive the card and obtain your PIN at the same time
  • Sign the signature strip on the reverse of the card
  • Check your balance after activating your card to ensure funds are transferred before using it

You can activate your card and get your PIN by phoning any of the following numbers :

020 3327 1991

020 3468 4112

020 7183 2248

You will be asked to enter the 16-digit card number on the front of your card and your date of birth. Once you have entered this information correctly your card will be activated and your PIN will be revealed. Please keep your PIN safe and do not share it with anyone. Once you have completed these steps your card is ready for use.

 

I cannot remember my pin

You can get your PIN by phoning any of the following numbers :

020 3327 1991

020 3468 4112

020 7183 2248

You will be asked to enter the 16-digit card number on the front of your card and your date of birth. Once you have entered this information correctly your card will be activated and your PIN will be revealed.

If you still have problems accessing your PIN, you should contact the Prepaid Card Customer Service Number:   Tel: 020 7127 6982

 

My card has been lost or stolen

If your card has been stolen or if you believe that someone knows your PIN number or has used your card, please contact PFS immediately by phoning: 020 7127 6982 so that they can block the card.

A replacement card will be ordered by the Short Breaks Officer.

If you have lost your card and need a replacement, please contact either:

Short Breaks Officer on Tel: 023 9268 8842 or Email: shortbreaks@portsmouthcc.gov.uk

or

Children’s Services Finance Team on Tel: 023 9283 4750 or Email: csprepaidcards@portsmouthcc.gov.uk

Please note that there is a charge of £5 for replacement cards.

 

I have a problem with my card or transaction

If you have a query about the card itself or you have an unknown transaction on your card account, or a transaction has been declined but you still have funds on your card account, then please contact:

PFS Customer Service Team   Tel: 020 7127 6982

If you are having problems with an online transaction failing, please check that you have advised us of any change to your contact details, especially mobile phone numbers. Many online retailers send verification codes which will not reach you if you have changed number and we are not aware, and that would result in a transaction failing.

 

 

What happens when my card expires?

The expiry date is displayed on the front of your card. Cards are valid for two years from when they are issued and you should hold onto that card until it expires even though you will be asked to apply every year for new funds, as any new funding will be added to the card you already have as long as it is still in date.

In the month in which cards are due to expire, a replacement card will be ordered for you as long as there is still a balance of funds on your account. If the money on your account has all been spent, a card will not be ordered at that stage, but if you apply for further funding for the coming year a new card will be ordered for you if the application is successful.

Please ensure you advise any change of address to ensure that any replacement card is sent directly to you.

You will need to activate any replacement card as soon as you receive it, and any remaining funds from your previous card will have been automatically transferred across.

In the unlikely event that you do not receive a replacement card by the card’s expiry date, please contact the Short Breaks Officer on:

Tel: 023 9268 8842 or Email: shortbreaks@portsmouthcc.gov.uk

 

I wish to cancel my Prepaid Card

If you wish to cancel your Prepaid Card or no longer wish to use it then please do not destroy the card but please contact:

Children’s Services Finance Team:

Email: csPrepaidcards@portsmouthcc.gov.uk or Tel: 023 9283 4750

 

Applications are now closed until 25 March 2025

Short Breaks further information

Useful Documents

Short Breaks Prepaid Card

Prepaid Card Application Information Booklet 2024-25

Download

Short Breaks Prepaid Card Activation Leaflet

Download

Short Breaks Prepaid Card Internet Access User Guide

Download

Suggested uses for Short Breaks Prepaid Card

Download

Short Breaks Statement

Download

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