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Northern Ireland High Street Voucher Scheme 2021: How to apply when the portal opens and where you can spend it

With the launch date for the NI High Street Voucher Scheme looming, here’s everything you need to know about applying for your voucher, when the portal opens.
© Northern Ireland’s High Street Voucher Scheme applications open on Monday, September 27, 2…

With the launch date for the NI High Street Voucher Scheme looming, here's everything you need to know about applying for your voucher, when the portal opens.

(C) Northern Ireland's High Street Voucher Scheme applications open on Monday, September 27, 2021.

When does the portal to apply for a high street voucher open? Applications open on Monday, September 27, 2021. You can apply through NI Direct and the deadline to register is Monday, October 25, 2021.

Who is eligible for the voucher scheme? All adults in Northern Ireland over the age of 18 will be eligible to receive a GBP100 pre-paid voucher, in the form of a card. Details will be verified by using government databases such as the electoral register and DVLA database.

For more details see here: Coronavirus: How to book a Covid test in Northern IrelandHow to apply for the High Street Voucher Scheme To apply for the voucher you must go onto the NI Direct website. You will need to log onto the online portal using your email address for security purposes.

This will lead to an email being sent to your inbox which you then should click on to bring you back to the online portal. At this point you will be asked to input your national insurance number to bring you onto the application page. On the application page you will be asked to provide the following items of personal information:

name, address, date of birth, sex, disability status (specifying if you have a visual impairment), email address (this will be pre-populated), telephone number Driving licence number (this is optional but will help speed up the checking process) Including a driving licence number will enable checking to take place with the Driver and Vehicle Agency (DVA).

What if you can't apply online? People who do not have access to a computer, the internet or an email address can register via phone from Monday, October 11, 2021. This method will involve you declaring the same personal information outlined above over the phone to a call handler.

More information on the telephone option will be made available closer to the opening time. When will I receive my high street voucher? Your card will be sent out to you in the post once your details have been verified.

This could take up to several weeks, but it's anticipated that the first cards could be sent out in early October. What if I am denied? If your information cannot be verified, then you will be rejected.

If this happens you will be able to submit an appeal, the details for this will be provided to you at this stage of the process. How do I activate my card? Once you receive your card you will be required to verify it by SMS, phone or online before you are able to use it.

You will need to use a PIN for your first transaction, which will be provided for you. Afterwards the card can be used by contactless payments. Where can I use my GBP100 Pre-Paid Card?

A pre-paid card with GBP100 can be used at any retail business including shops and services such as hairdressers, restaurants and even for home heating oil. Are there any restrictions? The card cannot be used to withdraw cash from an ATM or for getting cashback.

It cannot be used online or to pay for financial, legal services or gambling. Is there a deadline to use the voucher? The card must be used in full by Tuesday, November 30, 2021.

If you have any further questions or concerns, the Department for Economy have put together a handy guide you can access here.

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