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Appointeeship and Deputyship FAQs

Welfare benefits, carer cards and money
management for vulnerable people FAQ’s

Appointeeship - FAQ's

Appointeeship, Deputyship, Carer Cards, Power of Attorney Appointeeship - FAQ's

A DWP appointee is someone who is appointed to manage the welfare benefits and money management matters of a person who is unable to do so themselves.

This could be because the person has a mental or physical disability, or they are unable to manage their affairs for other reasons.

The appointee is responsible for making sure that the person’s welfare benefits are applied for accurately, received in a separate bank account and used for the benefit of the person they are appointed to represent.

They are also responsible for managing the person’s finances, paying bills and making decisions about how the person’s money is spent.

To become a DWP appointee, a person must apply to the Department for Work and Pensions by completing a BF56 application form and then meet with a DWP visiting officer.

Once appointed, the appointee has legal responsibilities and must act in the best interests of the person they represent and understand the 5 underpinning principles of the Mental Capacity Act 2005.

 

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Appointeeship, Deputyship, Carer Cards, Power of Attorney Appointeeship - FAQ's

A corporate appointee is an organisation appointed by the DWP to manage the welfare benefit responsibilities of a claimant. For example, corporate appointees are organisations such as The Money Carer Foundation or local authorities.

For example, corporate appointees are organisations such as The Money Carer Foundation or local authorities.

For further information about becoming a DWP appointee, please download our appointee guide for family members.

 

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Appointeeship, Deputyship, Carer Cards, Power of Attorney Appointeeship - FAQ's

A Deputy is put in place by the Court of Protection and undertakes the responsibility for managing all of a person’s financial affairs if they become incapable of doing so themselves.

This may include managing savings, pensions and all other sources of income or assets, including property and valuables. The exact level of responsibility and authority granted by the Court of Protection varies as it depends on the individual court order granted.

A Deputy is supervised and regulated by the Office of the Public Guardian, or the OPG, whilst appointees are regulated by the Department of Work and Pensions or the DWP. An Appointee has the responsibility to act in the individual’s best interest by managing a person’s welfare benefits to ensure that everyday bills are paid and to report any changes in circumstances to the DWP.

Hence, an appointee has a much smaller legal authority over someone’s finances as it is restricted to their welfare benefit payments.

Becoming an Appointee – A Family Guide – from Money Carer

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Appointeeship, Deputyship, Carer Cards, Power of Attorney Appointeeship - FAQ's

No, DWP appointees do not have the legal authority to access a person’s private bank account unless they have been specifically granted that authority by the person or by a court order.

Where the person has consented for their appointee to access their personal bank account, then it must be clear, that the person has the ‘decision specific’ capacity to be able to weigh up and understand this decision.

It may be appropriate to have this decision-specific understanding documented in a separate mental capacity assessment as best practice to avoid any challenges about the persons ability to consent to someone accessing their personal bank account by banks or other organisations.

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Appointeeship, Deputyship, Carer Cards, Power of Attorney Appointeeship - FAQ's

Yes.

Uniquely, we have our own banking platform with Cashplus Bank and this service is used by hundreds of law firms and local authorities to manage the finances of their own clients.

We are also able to open bank accounts for family members who are appointees, deputies, or have a lasting power of attorney.

The dedicated site for our banking platform is here.

 

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Appointeeship, Deputyship, Carer Cards, Power of Attorney Appointeeship - FAQ's

The Appointee Security Bond was introduced by Security Bonds Ltd and Aviva Insurance by working with The Money Carer Foundation in 2015.

Purchasing a security bond represents best practice for any organisation or person looking to become an appointee, as it follows the requirement by the Court of Protection for court-appointed deputies to take out a surety bond to protect the property and finances of the vulnerable person under their charge.

The bond costs £35 per year and protects the vulnerable person under appointeeship up to £16,000 in the event of theft or fraud by the appointee.

For non-professional appointees (such as family members or friends) the bond will recompense the vulnerable person in respect of honest mistakes made by the appointee without seeking financial redress from the appointee.

Local authority safeguarding teams, or other responsible parties, can inform Deputy Bond Services of a concern to enable them to start the claim process for the vulnerable person that has suffered financial loss. The appointee bond will aim to compensate the vulnerable person within 7 working days.

Purchasing a security bond represents best practice for any organisation or person looking to become an appointee as it follows the requirement by the Court of Protection for court-appointed deputies to take out a security bond to protect the property and finances of the vulnerable person under their charge in most cases.

 

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Appointeeship, Deputyship, Carer Cards, Power of Attorney Appointeeship - FAQ's

Form BF56 must be completed and submitted to the relevant DWP department to become an appointee. An appointment with a DWP Visiting Officer must be made so that the DWP can assess the suitability of a person or organisation that is applying to take on the legal role.

Background checks against the individual or organisation may be made also with consent.

For further information about becoming a DWP appointee, please download our appointee guide for family members.

 

 

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Appointeeship, Deputyship, Carer Cards, Power of Attorney Appointeeship - FAQ's

If someone cannot handle their finances due to physical or mental incapacity and struggles with tasks such as claiming benefits, paying bills, or managing their money, they may require the assistance of an appointee. This can be a temporary or permanent arrangement.

The DWP uses the term ” appointeeship ” to refer to the legal authority given to an individual or organisation, such as The Money Carer Foundation, to manage another person’s welfare benefit entitlements.

For further information about becoming a DWP appointee, please download our appointee guide for family members.

 

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Appointeeship, Deputyship, Carer Cards, Power of Attorney Appointeeship - FAQ's

The primary power for appointeeship is in the Social Security Administration Act 1992, detailed in section 5. This forms the basis for how appointees are legally and procedurally administered.

This gives the power to make the appointee regulations. Regulation 33 of the  Social Security Claims and Payments Regulations 1987 is for older, legacy benefits. For the new style benefits, that is, Employment Support Allowance, Job Seekers Allowance, Personal Independence Payments, and Universal Credits, it is regulation 57 of the Claims and Payments Regulations 2013

Appointeeship is not governed by the Mental Capacity Act 2005. That was deliberate because the DWP wanted to retain control of the appointeeship process and detail. However, the Act’s five underpinning principles are built into the appointeeship process.

For further information about becoming a DWP appointee, please download our appointee guide for family members.

 

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Appointeeship, Deputyship, Carer Cards, Power of Attorney Appointeeship - FAQ's

If a person is living in supported housing, a care or nursing home and is receiving welfare benefits and a social care package and the are incapable of managing their own finances, they may need a corporate appointee to help to manage their welfare benefit payments and legal responsibilities.

A Corporate Appointee is an organisation, such as The Money Carer Foundation, that is authorised by the Department of Work and Pensions to manage a vulnerable person’s benefits and to act in their best interest and free from any conflict of interest.

A Corporate Appointee is usually appropriate when no identifiable, or suitable, relatives or close friends can be approached.

 

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Appointeeship, Deputyship, Carer Cards, Power of Attorney Appointeeship - FAQ's

An appointee has to be aged 18 plus and can be a family member or trusted friend or a specialist organisation whom the DWP can authorise to become the person’s corporate appointee.

The local council can also act as the appointee, although there can be conflicts of interest when local authorities become appointees. As such, many local authorities are choosing to partner with organisations such as Money Carer. Many local authorities do not have enough resources to provide an appointeeship service, which is another reason they cannot take on the role.

Some care providers also still act as appointees however, again, due to the conflicts of interest, these arrangements are increasingly being discouraged by local authorities and the care services regulator as not reflecting best practice.

For further information about becoming a DWP appointee, please download our appointee guide for family members.

 

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Appointeeship, Deputyship, Carer Cards, Power of Attorney Appointeeship - FAQ's

The rationale behind making someone an appointee is that they will have regular contact with the service user and their circle of care. This may become problematic when the appointee lives overseas.

If a client with an existing appointee moves overseas and the appointee who is staying in the UK indicates that they wish to retain the role, the DWP will discuss the position with the appointee.  Unless there is someone near to where the client is moving or an organisation that is able to take on the role, then it is possible for the existing appointee can remain in place.

If the appointee wishes to remain the appointee but moves abroad with the customer remaining in the UK then it may be more suitable to consider involving a new appointee or a Corporate Appointee service such as The Money Carer Foundation to resume responsibility for the required appointeeship.

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Appointeeship, Deputyship, Carer Cards, Power of Attorney Appointeeship - FAQ's

Yes, but possibly with some difficulty.

The reality is that it can be quite difficult for a DWP appointee to open a bank account with a high-street bank.

This is because an appointee does not have the same level of authority that a court of protection deputy or lasting power of attorney has. Although some banks do offer a very basic bank account for DWP appointees the process of opening an account can be long-winded and quite involved.

Some bank accounts that are available to appointees also have restrictions such as balance limitations as low as £3000 in some cases. This means that for many appointees, these restrictions don’t make the bank account practical or fit for purpose.

If you are an appointee or deputy for a loved one, you can open an FSCS-protected bank account easily on our banking platform in the same way that many solicitors and local authorities do. Just contact us and our banking services team will be happy to help. Open an appointee bank account here.

 

 

For further information about becoming a DWP appointee, please download our appointee guide for family members.

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Appointeeship, Deputyship, Carer Cards, Power of Attorney Appointeeship - FAQ's

If the current appointee no longer wishes to act and nominates another person or organisation, or if the individual is unhappy with their appointee, and has the capacity to choose an alternative appointee, they can request this.

The existing appointee would, however, need to agree to relinquish their appointeeship with the DWP, and the new appointee would need to apply by completing a BF56 document and sending it to the DWP.

Before any change of appointeeship, the DWP will need to be assured that the request to change the legal appointee is actually in the best interest of the benefit claimant.

Oftentimes, appointeeship change requests can be simple expressions of unhappiness relating to access to additional money requests by the individual. The appointee, however, may have valid reasons, or wider safeguarding concerns, that form the basis of their decisions around access to funds that could otherwise put the individual at risk.

It is important to acknowledge, that whilst the Mental Capacity Act (2005) and its 5 underpinning principles, allow for the ability of individuals to make ‘unwise decisions’, the Act was not designed to avoid difficult decision-making by practitioners in order to safeguard vulnerable people.

For further information about becoming a DWP appointee, please download our appointee guide for family members.

 

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Appointeeship, Deputyship, Carer Cards, Power of Attorney Appointeeship - FAQ's

An appointee must inform the DWP if there is any change in a person’s circumstances that may affect their welfare benefits, including changes of address or bank account details.

The amount of benefits an individual can claim can be affected by the amount of savings they have. For example, means-tested benefits will typically be stopped if a benefit recipient has savings of £16,000 or above. Welfare benefit payments for means-tested benefits are reduced when a person’s capital breached £6000, however.

The appointee will check the balance of savings for their client regularly and inform the DWP, by letter, when the total amount of savings reaches the levels that may affect a benefit claim.

An appointee does not have the authority to deal directly with banks or with capital or other income belonging to the incapacitated person. An appointee does, however, have the authority to deal with an incapacitated person’s Post Office account.

For further information about becoming a DWP appointee, please download our appointee guide for family members.

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Appointeeship, Deputyship, Carer Cards, Power of Attorney Appointeeship - FAQ's

If the person does not have any friends or relatives to act as an appointee, then The Money Carer Foundation or another suitably experienced organisation can apply to become the DWP appointee.

 

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Appointeeship, Deputyship, Carer Cards, Power of Attorney Appointeeship - FAQ's

When a person with an appointee passes away, the appointee must notify the Department for Work & Pensions to inform them of the passing at the earliest opportunity. The DWP may require a copy of the official death certificate also.

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Appointeeship, Deputyship, Carer Cards, Power of Attorney Appointeeship - FAQ's

The minimum age to act as an appointee is 18 years old.

For further information about becoming a DWP appointee, please download our appointee guide for family members.

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Appointeeship, Deputyship, Carer Cards, Power of Attorney Appointeeship - FAQ's

Yes.

A social worker should look at this aspect of care as part of the overall assessment and, if a client cannot manage their benefits or finances, an appointee service such as that provided by The Money Carer Foundation should be sought if there are no willing or suitable family members to take on the legal role and responsibilities.

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Appointeeship, Deputyship, Carer Cards, Power of Attorney Appointeeship - FAQ's

No. Unlike Lasting Power of Attorney agreements or Court of Protection deputyship orders, there can be only one legal appointee.

For further information about becoming a DWP appointee, please download our appointee guide for family members.

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Appointeeship, Deputyship, Carer Cards, Power of Attorney Appointeeship - FAQ's

Yes.

Social services can request an appointee as part of the best interest or safeguarding decisions. Social workers regularly request appointeeships when undertaking care plan assessments.

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Appointeeship, Deputyship, Carer Cards, Power of Attorney Appointeeship - FAQ's

An appointee may resign if they are no longer able to carry out the role by giving one month’s written notice to the DWP

The DWP also has the power to revoke the appointeeship.  If there is evidence of an appointee not acting in the best interests of the claimant, the DWP must be informed and they will investigate such claims.

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Appointeeship, Deputyship, Carer Cards, Power of Attorney Appointeeship - FAQ's

Yes.

If the DWP are satisfied that the family member is suitable to undertake the duties of an appointee they can be appointed to undertake the legal responsibilities. Family members should actually be the first people approached to take on the role where possible as they are most likely to know the person requiring an appointee best.

For further information about becoming a DWP appointee, please download our appointee guide for family members.

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Appointeeship, Deputyship, Carer Cards, Power of Attorney Appointeeship - FAQ's

The appointee can be nominated for a temporary period, for example following an accident or a short-term illness. In fact, many appointeeships are temporary in so much as the service user may simply need assistance for an interim period.

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Appointeeship, Deputyship, Carer Cards, Power of Attorney Appointeeship - FAQ's

Yes.

A GP can make a referral to social services and ask that an assessment is made to determine if the client requires an appointee.

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Appointeeship, Deputyship, Carer Cards, Power of Attorney Appointeeship - FAQ's

Yes.

If the client is in receipt of care and contributes a payment towards their care package, then the cost of our services, such as our appointeeship service or carers card service, could be deducted from the care contribution. This is because our service is a disability service and as such could be eligible to be deducted from care contribution costs.  Although this is at the discretion of each individual council, most of the local authorities that we work with already allow for this.

Money Carer will make a request to the local authority to recalculate the care contribution amount in order to take into account our monthly fee and to deduct this from the amount paid to the local authority.

This, essentially, offsets our monthly service fee for the client.

 

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Appointeeship, Deputyship, Carer Cards, Power of Attorney Appointeeship - FAQ's

An appointee will need to be provided with the online login details for the claimant’s universal credit journal or, online account, with the DWP.

The appointee is then responsible for keeping the DWP up to date with the claimant’s financial situation and communicating any changes in their circumstances.

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Appointeeship, Deputyship, Carer Cards, Power of Attorney Appointeeship - FAQ's, Power of Attorney - FAQ's

The decision to have an appointee or a general power of attorney depends on the individual’s specific needs and circumstances.

An appointee is someone authorised by the DWP to manage an individual’s welfare benefit responsibilities when they are deemed incapable of managing their own affairs due to a mental or physical disability. If the individual has the capacity to choose their own representative, an appointee may not be necessary.

On the other hand, a general power of attorney is a legal document that allows an individual to appoint someone they trust to manage their affairs on their behalf. This could include managing finances or handling legal matters.

If the individual has the capacity to choose their own representative and wants someone they trust to manage their affairs, an general power of attorney may be more suitable.

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Appointeeship, Deputyship, Carer Cards, Power of Attorney Appointeeship - FAQ's, Carer Cards - FAQ's

The Money Carer card is a designated bank card that is used by tens of thousands of carers across the UK to buy shopping and other items for clients or loved ones in a safe and secure way. The Money Carer Foundation was the organisation that came up with the concept and then launched the service in 2010 to support our own clients and their carers.

These days, hundreds of solicitors, local authorities, care providers, charities and families, trust our carer card service to support their own clients, carers and loved ones.

The success of the Money Carer card was one of the reasons why The Money Carer Foundation was selected by The Parliamentary Review in 2018 to represent best practice and innovation in the finance category.

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Appointeeship, Deputyship, Carer Cards, Power of Attorney Appointeeship - FAQ's

DWP Visiting Officers work for the Department for Work and Pensions.

They are responsible for conducting home visits to verify a claimant’s eligibility for certain benefits, such as disability benefits or attendance allowance and also to verify the suitability of a prospective appointee as someone who wishes to act on behalf of the claimant.

During the visit, the DWP Visiting Officer may ask questions about the claimant’s health condition or disability, review any medical evidence or documentation provided by the claimant, and may observe the claimant carrying out specific tasks to determine their level of functional ability and also ask the prospective appointee about their relationship with the claimant amongst other questions to assess their perceived suitability.

For further information about becoming a DWP appointee, please download our appointee guide for family members.

 

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Appointeeship, Deputyship, Carer Cards, Power of Attorney Appointeeship - FAQ's, Deputyship - FAQ's

The Mental Capacity Act 2005 (MCA) and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) are both legal frameworks that address issues related to decision-making and the rights of individuals with impaired or diminished capacity. However, they have key differences in scope, principles, and approach. Here are the main differences between the two:

  1. International vs. National:
    • CRPD: The CRPD is an international treaty adopted by the United Nations in 2006. It sets out a comprehensive framework for protecting the rights of persons with disabilities globally. It is not specific to any country and serves as a guideline for countries to develop their disability rights laws and policies.
    • MCA 2005: The Mental Capacity Act 2005 is a national law enacted in England and Wales. It is specific to these two jurisdictions and provides a legal framework for decision-making for individuals who lack the capacity to make decisions about their affairs.
  2. Scope:
    • CRPD: The CRPD is a broad human rights treaty that covers a wide range of rights and issues related to persons with disabilities, including but not limited to decision-making capacity. It addresses accessibility, education, employment, and social inclusion.
    • MCA 2005: The MCA 2005 is primarily focused on issues related to mental capacity and decision-making. It provides a legal framework for making decisions on behalf of individuals who lack capacity, including decisions about healthcare, finances, and living arrangements.
  3. Principles:
    • CRPD: The CRPD is based on a social model of disability, which emphasizes the importance of inclusion, equality, and non-discrimination. It promotes the idea that disability results from societal barriers and attitudes, rather than inherent limitations of individuals.
    • MCA 2005: The MCA 2005 is more focused on a functional assessment of capacity. It provides a legal framework for making decisions in the best interests of individuals who lack capacity, with a primary emphasis on their welfare and protection.
  4. Decision-Making Process:
    • CRPD: The CRPD encourages supported decision-making, where individuals with disabilities are provided with the necessary support to make decisions to the fullest extent possible. It also recognizes the right to legal capacity for all persons with disabilities, meaning that their will and preferences should be respected in all matters, and any substitute decision-making should be a last resort.
    • MCA 2005: The MCA 2005 allows for substituted decision-making, where others make decisions on behalf of individuals who lack capacity when it is in their best interests. It emphasizes a process of assessing capacity and determining what is in the individual’s best interests, often with input from family members, healthcare professionals, or legal representatives.

In summary, the CRPD is an international human rights treaty that covers a wide range of disability rights, including decision-making, and promotes a social model of disability and supported decision-making. In contrast, the MCA 2005 is a specific national law focused on decision-making for individuals lacking capacity in England and Wales, with an emphasis on functional capacity assessment and substituted decision-making in the individual’s best interests. The two frameworks have different scopes, principles, and approaches, reflecting their different purposes and contexts.

Tags: CRPD, mca 2005
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Appointeeship, Deputyship, Carer Cards, Power of Attorney Appointeeship - FAQ's, Deputyship - FAQ's, Welfare Benefit - FAQ's

Does the Court of Protection set Up Appointeeships?

No, an appointeeship is not made in the Court of Protection. Instead, appointeeships are managed by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) or the Social Security Agency in Northern Ireland.

An appointeeship is a legal arrangement that allows someone to manage the financial affairs and benefits of an individual who cannot do so themselves due to incapacity or mental health issues.

Here’s how the process typically works:

  1. Application: A family member, friend, or relevant authority, such as a social worker, can apply to become an appointee on behalf of the vulnerable individual. This application is typically made to the DWP.
  2. Assessment: The DWP will assess the proposed appointee’s suitability and review the vulnerable person’s circumstances to determine if an appointeeship is necessary. This assessment is typically done by a visiting officer and is to ensure that the vulnerable individual’s best interests are protected.
  3. Appointment: If the DWP determines that an appointeeship is appropriate, they will appoint the chosen individual as the appointee. The appointee is responsible for managing the vulnerable person’s benefits, paying bills, and making financial decisions on their behalf.
  4. Ongoing Responsibilities: The appointee has a legal duty to act in the best interests of the person they are representing. They are required to keep accurate records of financial transactions and report regularly to the DWP.
  5. Court of Protection: The Court of Protection in the UK is primarily concerned with making decisions on behalf of individuals who lack mental capacity to make decisions about their finances, health, or welfare. It can also make decisions about Lasting Powers of Attorney and Deputyship orders. If there is a dispute or concern about the appointment of an appointee, it may be brought before the Court of Protection for resolution.

It’s essential to note that the specific process and terminology may vary between different parts of the UK, as Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland have their own systems for managing these matters. Therefore, if you are dealing with appointeeships or similar issues, it’s advisable to seek legal advice or guidance from relevant government agencies or local authorities to ensure compliance with the applicable laws and regulations in your area.

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Cards and Managed Bank Accounts

Appointeeship, Deputyship, Carer Cards, Power of Attorney Cards and Managed Bank Accounts, Carer Cards - FAQ's

Money Carer is a long established organisation (15 years) and is the largest provider of appointeeships in the UK and as such, support thousands of clients with their daily money management needs. We understand the sector in which we operate implicitly.

We work with over 125 local authorities to provide services for vulnerable people and, uniquely, we have our own banking and payments platform which we have developed over 10 years to enable us to deliver our services much more efficiently. Our banking engine (named Monika) is absolutely cutting edge and combines our banking partnership with Cashplus Bank, with our proprietary money management software.

This enables us avoid many of the operational costs that other firms occur which is reflected in their higher charges to our local authority partners. We made the decision to open up access to Monika in 2017 with a select few partners and now more than 250 court of protection teams in law firms around the UK use its technology along with many large care providers and local authorities.

Money Carers partners and their users benefit not only from the advanced technology that we make available but also by the fact that the accounts we provide are proper FSCS protected bank accounts. This is different from providers of e-money regulated prepaid card or virtual wallet providers who do not have access to the FSCS scheme.

In a time when many local authorities are questioning the solvency, financial stability and sustainability of the business plans of organisations that predominantly rely on income from prepaid card or virtual wallet programs, our partners have the assurance that Money Carer is a financially robust, debt free, long established, market leading organisation with multiple income streams and a solid history of delivering trusted money management services for vulnerable folk.

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Appointeeship, Deputyship, Carer Cards, Power of Attorney Cards and Managed Bank Accounts

Money Carer has invested significantly in its banking and payments platform over many years resulting in substantial efficiency savings for the organisation. Additionally, as we are a large partner to our banking provider, Cashplus Bank, we enjoy a strong commercial relationship.

These reasons, coupled with our economies of scale and multiple income streams, allow the organisation to take a different approach to costs when supporting our local authority partners with whom Money Carer has long-standing relationships in many cases in supporting vulnerable mutual clients with their money management needs.

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Carer Cards - FAQ's

Appointeeship, Deputyship, Carer Cards, Power of Attorney Appointeeship - FAQ's, Carer Cards - FAQ's

The Money Carer card is a designated bank card that is used by tens of thousands of carers across the UK to buy shopping and other items for clients or loved ones in a safe and secure way. The Money Carer Foundation was the organisation that came up with the concept and then launched the service in 2010 to support our own clients and their carers.

These days, hundreds of solicitors, local authorities, care providers, charities and families, trust our carer card service to support their own clients, carers and loved ones.

The success of the Money Carer card was one of the reasons why The Money Carer Foundation was selected by The Parliamentary Review in 2018 to represent best practice and innovation in the finance category.

View this video in the Money Carer YouTube channel

 

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Appointeeship, Deputyship, Carer Cards, Power of Attorney Carer Cards - FAQ's

The Money Carer card is a unique Mastercard that is linked to a bank account that is protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme. The account cannot go overdrawn.

The bank account is opened in the name of the vulnerable client on Money Carers’ own banking platform, and the contactless cards can be used in exactly the same way as any other Mastercard, that is, in-store, or online, however, they are not credit facilities so can not go overdrawn.

Uniquely, Money Carer has its own dedicated banking platform with Cashplus Bank which the organisation has worked in partnership with for over 10 years. Over 250 law firms and local authorities use the Money Carer banking platform to open bank accounts and support their own vulnerable clients.

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Appointeeship, Deputyship, Carer Cards, Power of Attorney Carer Cards - FAQ's

Money Carer cards are contactless and can be used in any retail outlet that accepts Mastercard in-store, or online, anywhere in the world.

This means that the cards can be used in the vast majority of retail outlets as nearly all retailers accepting card payments accept payments via Mastercard.

The cards can also be used to withdraw cash from ATM machines importantly, with no fees charged for this, due to Money Carers’ unique banking partnership with Cashplus Bank.

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Appointeeship, Deputyship, Carer Cards, Power of Attorney Carer Cards - FAQ's

The Money Carer cards and smartphone app, have been designed to support and protect carers, and the vulnerable people under their charge. As such, Money Carer cards and the linked Money Carer app, have a number of unique features built in.

Here are just a few of these helpful features:

  • The ability to set maximum and minimum balances on the cards.
  • A ‘sweep’ system to transfer excess funds from the cards and back into the funding account.
  • Payment requests can be made directly from the Money Carer smartphone app.
  • Instant payment notifications sent to carers via the app and by email.
  • Carers and clients can make money requests directly from the Money Carer app.
  • Carers can send in shopping receipts and other documents directly from the app.
  • Carers and clients can send and receive secure messages on the app.
  • Helpful information such as welfare benefit letters and client budgets can be viewed in the app.
  • Emergency money vouchers can be requested and received in the app if a card has been lost.

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Appointeeship, Deputyship, Carer Cards, Power of Attorney Carer Cards - FAQ's

The concept of the carers shopping card was developed and introduced by The Money Carer Foundation in 2010, over 13 years ago. Monies held in Money Carer card accounts are protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) as the funds are held in properly regulated bank accounts with Cashplus Bank.

Very quickly, the Money Carer card became the preferred choice of thousands of carers and care providers to be able to support the vulnerable people under their charge with a secure and protected way of obtaining client funds to perform everyday shopping tasks. Today, hundreds of law firms, local authorities and national learning disability charities choose the Money Carer card to support their own clients as Money Carer is a secure, and financially robust organisation that is entrusted to manage the finances of some of society’s most needy people.

In recent years, a number of start-up companies have launched carer card products, however, these organisations either became insolvent and failed, or were unsuccessful and moved on to new ventures leaving disappointed customers behind. Money Carer, in many cases, then assisted these individuals who are now the safe clients of our organisation.

It is always worth checking out the history and heritage of any new companies offering a prepaid card-type solution to this important client group without having any real experience in the sector.

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Appointeeship, Deputyship, Carer Cards, Power of Attorney Carer Cards - FAQ's

The person or organisation managing a Money Carer card can set a balance limit on each account to avoid excessive funds accruing.

This means that if you are the appointee, attorney, or deputy of a vulnerable person and our using a Money Carer card to provide their carers with shopping funds, you can control the limits.

So for example, if the money that you manage for a loved one is held in a high street bank such as Barclays, Lloyds, or HSBC, you can set up a standing order to add funds to the Money Carer card account for nominated carers to use. However, if you wanted to set a limit on the amount of money that could be held in the account at any time then you can do that.

You would simply log on to your Money Carer account, set a balance limit, say two hundred pounds for example, and then if the balance on the Money Carer card goes above that our sweep system can automatically transfer the funds over the two hundred limit back to the bank account of your choice automatically.

This helps to provide greater protection for your loved one and demonstrates that you are acting responsibly and shows that you have financial control measures.

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Appointeeship, Deputyship, Carer Cards, Power of Attorney Carer Cards - FAQ's

Yes, we can.

In fact, our ability to do this is a very helpful service as it enables us to assist family members who may have the legal responsibility for managing their loved ones’ finances however, they themselves may struggle with online banking or getting to a bank branch to set up a standing order to top up their Money Carer card.

We can take care of this by setting up a variable direct debit instruction via our banking platform. This also enables us to be able to take additional funds, one-off funds for larger purchases from time to time such as buying a new TV or enabling carers to have access to money to organise a holiday for example.

This card funding option is protected by the Direct Debit Guarantee which always means the person or organisation that is managing the finances of a loved one or client is in control.

 

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Appointeeship, Deputyship, Carer Cards, Power of Attorney Cards and Managed Bank Accounts, Carer Cards - FAQ's

Money Carer is a long established organisation (15 years) and is the largest provider of appointeeships in the UK and as such, support thousands of clients with their daily money management needs. We understand the sector in which we operate implicitly.

We work with over 125 local authorities to provide services for vulnerable people and, uniquely, we have our own banking and payments platform which we have developed over 10 years to enable us to deliver our services much more efficiently. Our banking engine (named Monika) is absolutely cutting edge and combines our banking partnership with Cashplus Bank, with our proprietary money management software.

This enables us avoid many of the operational costs that other firms occur which is reflected in their higher charges to our local authority partners. We made the decision to open up access to Monika in 2017 with a select few partners and now more than 250 court of protection teams in law firms around the UK use its technology along with many large care providers and local authorities.

Money Carers partners and their users benefit not only from the advanced technology that we make available but also by the fact that the accounts we provide are proper FSCS protected bank accounts. This is different from providers of e-money regulated prepaid card or virtual wallet providers who do not have access to the FSCS scheme.

In a time when many local authorities are questioning the solvency, financial stability and sustainability of the business plans of organisations that predominantly rely on income from prepaid card or virtual wallet programs, our partners have the assurance that Money Carer is a financially robust, debt free, long established, market leading organisation with multiple income streams and a solid history of delivering trusted money management services for vulnerable folk.

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Deputyship - FAQ's

Appointeeship, Deputyship, Carer Cards, Power of Attorney Deputyship - FAQ's

A deputy for property and finances may be needed for individuals who are unable to manage their financial and property affairs due to various reasons such as age-related mental decline, illness, or disability. This could include:

  1. Elderly individuals who may have difficulty managing their finances and property due to declining mental and physical health.
  2. Individuals who have suffered a brain injury, stroke or other cognitive impairment which has affected their ability to make decisions about their financial and property matters.
  3. People with mental illnesses or disabilities which prevent them from managing their finances and property.
  4. Individuals with developmental disabilities who may require assistance in managing their finances and property.

In these situations, a deputy may be appointed by the court of protection to make decisions on behalf of the individual in relation to their property and finances.

View this video on the Money Carer YouTube channel

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Appointeeship, Deputyship, Carer Cards, Power of Attorney Deputyship - FAQ's

In general, anyone who is over the age of 18 and has the capacity to manage financial and property affairs can be appointed as a deputy for property and finances. However, it is important to note that being a deputy is a significant responsibility and requires a high level of trust and competence.

Here are some common types of individuals who may be appointed as a deputy for property and finances:

  1. Family members or close friends: Often, family members or close friends of the person who needs assistance are appointed as deputies. They may have a good understanding of the person’s wishes and preferences and can act in their best interests.
  2. Professional deputies: If there are no suitable family members or friends, a professional deputy may be appointed. This could be a solicitor, accountant or other professional with experience in managing financial and property affairs.
  3. Local authorities: In some cases, a local authority may be appointed as a deputy for property and finances, particularly if there are concerns about abuse or neglect.

It is important to note that being a deputy for property and finances is a serious responsibility and requires a high level of trust and competence. Therefore, anyone who is appointed as a deputy should be able to demonstrate that they have the necessary skills and experience to manage the person’s affairs effectively and in their best interests.

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Appointeeship, Deputyship, Carer Cards, Power of Attorney Deputyship - FAQ's

Yes, the Court of Protection can recommend a deputy for property and finances.

When an application is made to the Court of Protection to appoint a deputy, the court will consider whether it is necessary to appoint a deputy and who is best placed to act in the person’s best interests.

In some cases, the court may recommend a particular person or professional as a suitable deputy for property and finances. However, the final decision on who to appoint as a deputy will be made by the court after considering all the evidence and taking into account the person’s best interests.

It is important to note that the Court of Protection is a specialist court that deals with issues related to mental capacity and decision-making. It has the power to make decisions and appoint deputies on behalf of individuals who lack the capacity to make decisions for themselves.

The court’s overriding concern is always the best interests of the person who is the subject of the proceedings.

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Appointeeship, Deputyship, Carer Cards, Power of Attorney Deputyship - FAQ's

Yes, a social worker can recommend a deputy for property and finances in certain circumstances. Social services may become involved in a person’s affairs if they are vulnerable or at risk of harm and do not have anyone to act on their behalf.

If social services identify that a person is unable to manage their own finances and property, they may make an application to the Court of Protection for the appointment of a deputy. Social services can also provide information to the court about suitable individuals or professionals who may be suitable to act as a deputy for property and finances.

However, it is important to note that the final decision on who to appoint as a deputy will be made by the court after considering all the evidence and taking into account the person’s best interests. The court will also consider any recommendations made by social services and other relevant parties before making a decision on who to appoint as a deputy.

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Appointeeship, Deputyship, Carer Cards, Power of Attorney Deputyship - FAQ's

When appointed as a deputy for property and finances, the deputy has a range of responsibilities that they must fulfil in order to act in the best interests of the person they are representing. These responsibilities include:

  1. Managing finances: The deputy is responsible for managing the person’s finances, which includes paying bills, managing bank accounts, investing funds, and ensuring that the person’s financial affairs are in order.
  2. Making decisions: The deputy must make decisions on behalf of the person in relation to their finances and property, taking into account the person’s wishes, beliefs, and values. The deputy must act in the person’s best interests and ensure that any decisions made are in line with the principles of the Mental Capacity Act 2005.
  3. Keeping records: The deputy must keep accurate and up-to-date records of all financial transactions and decisions made on behalf of the person. This includes keeping receipts, invoices, bank statements, and other financial documents.
  4. Reporting to the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG): The deputy must submit an annual report to the OPG, which provides details of all financial transactions and decisions made on behalf of the person. The report must be reviewed by a solicitor or other professional, and any discrepancies or concerns must be addressed.
  5. Consulting with others: The deputy should consult with the person’s family, friends, and carers to ensure that decisions made are in line with the person’s wishes and preferences.
  6. Seeking professional advice: The deputy should seek professional advice when needed, such as from a solicitor or accountant, to ensure that they are fulfilling their responsibilities effectively.

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Appointeeship, Deputyship, Carer Cards, Power of Attorney Deputyship - FAQ's

Yes, a deputyship can be temporary. In the UK, the Court of Protection can appoint a deputy for a fixed period of time if it is deemed necessary. This is known as a “limited deputyship” and may be appropriate in situations where the person is expected to regain capacity in the near future.

For example, if an individual is undergoing medical treatment or therapy that is expected to improve their mental capacity within a set period of time, a limited deputyship may be appropriate. In this case, the deputy would be appointed for a fixed period of time and would have the authority to make decisions on behalf of the person during that period.

It is important to note that a limited deputyship may not be appropriate in all cases, and the court will consider all the evidence before making a decision on whether to grant a limited deputyship or a permanent deputyship.

In general, a permanent deputyship is more commonly granted when the person’s capacity is unlikely to improve, or if there are ongoing concerns about their ability to manage their financial and property affairs.

View this video in the Money Carer YouTube channel

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Appointeeship, Deputyship, Carer Cards, Power of Attorney Deputyship - FAQ's

If you are applying to be a Deputy for Property and Affairs for someone who lacks the capacity to manage their own finances, there are several costs involved, which may include:

The Application fee:
There is a one-time application fee to become a deputy, which is currently £371 in England and Wales. This fee covers the cost of processing your application.

An Assessment fee:
In addition to the application fee, you may also need to pay an assessment fee for a medical professional to assess the capacity of the person you wish to become a deputy for. This fee can vary depending on the healthcare professional you choose.

The Security Bond fee:
If you are appointed as a deputy, you may be required to pay a bond fee. The bond fee is a type of insurance that ensures the person’s finances are protected from any misuse or mishandling by the deputy. The cost of the bond fee can vary depending on the size of the person’s estate and the level of risk involved.

Ongoing fees:
Once appointed as a deputy, there may be ongoing fees to pay for things like annual supervision and filing annual reports with the Court of Protection. These fees can vary depending on the complexity of the person’s estate and the level of supervision required.

It’s worth noting that if the person you wish to become a deputy for is on a low income, they may be eligible for help with the application fee and assessment fee.

View this video on the Money Carer YouTube channel

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Appointeeship, Deputyship, Carer Cards, Power of Attorney Deputyship - FAQ's

According to the OPG Annual Report 2021-2022, there were 56,862 active deputyships under their supervision.

 

 

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Appointeeship, Deputyship, Carer Cards, Power of Attorney Deputyship - FAQ's

A mental capacity assessment to ascertain if a deputyship application to the court of protection will be needed, is a formal evaluation conducted to determine an individual’s ability to make decisions for themselves and understand the implications and consequences of those decisions.

A capacity assessment for deputyship is typically carried out when there are concerns about a person’s capacity to make decisions about their financial affairs and understanding of everyday money management.

The assessment is usually conducted by health or social care professionals, such as doctors, psychologists, or psychiatrists, or social workers who are trained in assessing mental capacity.

They will assess the individual’s cognitive abilities, understanding, memory, reasoning, and communication skills to determine whether they have the capacity to make informed decisions.

The assessment process may involve interviews, discussions, and standardised tests, such as the Montreal Cognitive Assessment.

The professionals conducting the assessment will consider various factors, such as the person’s ability to understand and retain information, weigh the pros and cons of different options, and communicate their decisions clearly.

The purpose of a mental capacity assessment is to determine whether an individual has the capacity to make decisions independently or whether they require assistance or support provided by a deputy, appointee or advocate, to make decisions in their best interests.

The assessment aims to respect and uphold the person’s autonomy while ensuring their well-being and protection when they lack the capacity to make decisions that may significantly impact their life.

 

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Appointeeship, Deputyship, Carer Cards, Power of Attorney Deputyship - FAQ's

The Montreal Cognitive Assessment is a widely used cognitive screening tool designed to assess various cognitive domains, including attention and concentration, executive functions, memory, language, visuo-constructional skills, conceptual thinking, calculations, and orientation. It was created by Dr. Ziad Nasreddine in 1996 and is commonly used to detect mild cognitive impairment and early signs of dementia, such as Alzheimer’s disease.

The Montreal Cognitive Assessment consists of a series of tasks and questions that evaluate different aspects of cognitive function. It takes approximately 10-15 minutes to administer and has a maximum score of 30 points.

The assessment covers a range of cognitive abilities, including short-term memory recall, visuospatial abilities, naming objects, attention and concentration, abstraction, and orientation to time and place.

The test is typically administered by a health or social care professional, such as a doctor, nurse, social worker or psychologist. The professional reads the instructions and presents the tasks to the individual being assessed. The person taking the test responds orally or by writing down their answers, depending on the task.

The Montreal Cognitive Assessment has gained popularity due to its ability to detect mild cognitive impairment that might not be captured by other screening tests like the Mini-Mental State Examination. It is considered to be more sensitive in detecting cognitive changes associated with early stages of dementia.

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Appointeeship, Deputyship, Carer Cards, Power of Attorney Deputyship - FAQ's

When applying for a financial affairs deputyship, the gathering of evidence process typically involves collecting relevant information and documentation to support the application.

The purpose of gathering evidence is to demonstrate to the court of protection that the individual applying for deputyship is suitable and capable of making decisions regarding the financial affairs of the person who lacks capacity.

Here are the key steps involved in the process:

  1. Understanding the Requirements: Begin by familiarising yourself with the specific requirements and guidelines set by the court for a financial affairs deputyship application. These requirements may vary depending on the jurisdiction, so it’s essential to gather information from the relevant court or legal resources.
  2. Assessing the Person’s Capacity: Before gathering evidence, it’s important to assess the person’s mental capacity and determine whether they truly lack the capacity to make financial decisions. This assessment can be done by a qualified medical professional or an independent mental capacity assessor.
  3. Documentation: Collect important documents related to the person’s financial affairs, including bank statements, investment portfolios, property deeds, insurance policies, tax returns, bills, and any relevant legal documents such as power of attorney, wills, or trusts. These documents help provide a comprehensive overview of the person’s financial situation.
  4. Supporting Statements: Gather supporting statements from relevant parties who can provide insight into the person’s capacity and the need for a deputyship. This may include statements from family members, healthcare professionals, social workers, or any other individuals involved in the person’s care.
  5. Financial Assessment: Conduct a detailed financial assessment that outlines the person’s income, expenses, assets, and liabilities. This assessment should provide a clear picture of the person’s financial situation and any areas where decision-making support is needed.
  6. Professional Reports: In some cases, it may be necessary to obtain professional reports to support the deputyship application. These reports can be obtained from accountants, financial advisors, or solicitors who can provide an expert opinion on the person’s financial affairs and the need for deputyship.
  7. Application Forms: Complete the necessary application forms provided by the court. These forms typically require you to provide detailed information about the person lacking capacity, their financial situation, your relationship with them, and the reasons why you believe you are suitable to be appointed as a deputy.
  8. Submitting the Application: Once you have gathered all the necessary evidence, submit the completed application forms and supporting documents to the appropriate court. Pay attention to any deadlines or specific submission requirements outlined by the court.

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Appointeeship, Deputyship, Carer Cards, Power of Attorney Appointeeship - FAQ's, Deputyship - FAQ's

The Mental Capacity Act 2005 (MCA) and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) are both legal frameworks that address issues related to decision-making and the rights of individuals with impaired or diminished capacity. However, they have key differences in scope, principles, and approach. Here are the main differences between the two:

  1. International vs. National:
    • CRPD: The CRPD is an international treaty adopted by the United Nations in 2006. It sets out a comprehensive framework for protecting the rights of persons with disabilities globally. It is not specific to any country and serves as a guideline for countries to develop their disability rights laws and policies.
    • MCA 2005: The Mental Capacity Act 2005 is a national law enacted in England and Wales. It is specific to these two jurisdictions and provides a legal framework for decision-making for individuals who lack the capacity to make decisions about their affairs.
  2. Scope:
    • CRPD: The CRPD is a broad human rights treaty that covers a wide range of rights and issues related to persons with disabilities, including but not limited to decision-making capacity. It addresses accessibility, education, employment, and social inclusion.
    • MCA 2005: The MCA 2005 is primarily focused on issues related to mental capacity and decision-making. It provides a legal framework for making decisions on behalf of individuals who lack capacity, including decisions about healthcare, finances, and living arrangements.
  3. Principles:
    • CRPD: The CRPD is based on a social model of disability, which emphasizes the importance of inclusion, equality, and non-discrimination. It promotes the idea that disability results from societal barriers and attitudes, rather than inherent limitations of individuals.
    • MCA 2005: The MCA 2005 is more focused on a functional assessment of capacity. It provides a legal framework for making decisions in the best interests of individuals who lack capacity, with a primary emphasis on their welfare and protection.
  4. Decision-Making Process:
    • CRPD: The CRPD encourages supported decision-making, where individuals with disabilities are provided with the necessary support to make decisions to the fullest extent possible. It also recognizes the right to legal capacity for all persons with disabilities, meaning that their will and preferences should be respected in all matters, and any substitute decision-making should be a last resort.
    • MCA 2005: The MCA 2005 allows for substituted decision-making, where others make decisions on behalf of individuals who lack capacity when it is in their best interests. It emphasizes a process of assessing capacity and determining what is in the individual’s best interests, often with input from family members, healthcare professionals, or legal representatives.

In summary, the CRPD is an international human rights treaty that covers a wide range of disability rights, including decision-making, and promotes a social model of disability and supported decision-making. In contrast, the MCA 2005 is a specific national law focused on decision-making for individuals lacking capacity in England and Wales, with an emphasis on functional capacity assessment and substituted decision-making in the individual’s best interests. The two frameworks have different scopes, principles, and approaches, reflecting their different purposes and contexts.

Tags: CRPD, mca 2005
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Appointeeship, Deputyship, Carer Cards, Power of Attorney Appointeeship - FAQ's, Deputyship - FAQ's, Welfare Benefit - FAQ's

Does the Court of Protection set Up Appointeeships?

No, an appointeeship is not made in the Court of Protection. Instead, appointeeships are managed by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) or the Social Security Agency in Northern Ireland.

An appointeeship is a legal arrangement that allows someone to manage the financial affairs and benefits of an individual who cannot do so themselves due to incapacity or mental health issues.

Here’s how the process typically works:

  1. Application: A family member, friend, or relevant authority, such as a social worker, can apply to become an appointee on behalf of the vulnerable individual. This application is typically made to the DWP.
  2. Assessment: The DWP will assess the proposed appointee’s suitability and review the vulnerable person’s circumstances to determine if an appointeeship is necessary. This assessment is typically done by a visiting officer and is to ensure that the vulnerable individual’s best interests are protected.
  3. Appointment: If the DWP determines that an appointeeship is appropriate, they will appoint the chosen individual as the appointee. The appointee is responsible for managing the vulnerable person’s benefits, paying bills, and making financial decisions on their behalf.
  4. Ongoing Responsibilities: The appointee has a legal duty to act in the best interests of the person they are representing. They are required to keep accurate records of financial transactions and report regularly to the DWP.
  5. Court of Protection: The Court of Protection in the UK is primarily concerned with making decisions on behalf of individuals who lack mental capacity to make decisions about their finances, health, or welfare. It can also make decisions about Lasting Powers of Attorney and Deputyship orders. If there is a dispute or concern about the appointment of an appointee, it may be brought before the Court of Protection for resolution.

It’s essential to note that the specific process and terminology may vary between different parts of the UK, as Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland have their own systems for managing these matters. Therefore, if you are dealing with appointeeships or similar issues, it’s advisable to seek legal advice or guidance from relevant government agencies or local authorities to ensure compliance with the applicable laws and regulations in your area.

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Operational & Policy - FAQ's

Appointeeship, Deputyship, Carer Cards, Power of Attorney Operational & Policy - FAQ's

Money Carer have a legal and fiduciary requirement to safeguard our clients personal financial information and adhere to principle (F) of GDPR compliance law, the ‘integrity and confidentiality’ or ‘security’ principle. Equally, we have a Duty of Confidentiality as specified in the Mental Capacity Act 2005 Code of Practice (Section 7.64).

Therefore, it is not our policy as a standard process, to provide care providers or family members with our clients private bank statements or financial information when the individual lacks capacity or we do not feel that a request is necessary. Our policy is aligned with solicitors who act as the court of protection deputy for vulnerable individuals.

We do, however, provide access to our clients bank statements relating to the bank accounts that we manage for carer spending funds or accounts that we manage for our clients personal allowance, as this is information that assists carers with everyday shopping trips and for care company reconciliation requirements.

These statements can be accessed and downloaded 24 hours per day via our secure online portal or smartphone app.

Often, when a support worker or care provider requests our clients bank account statements or total account balance, they are really trying to understand if our client has enough money to pay for a larger purchase such a summer holiday for example.

To assist with these requests whilst adhering to safeguarding and GDPR requirements, Money Carer has introduced our Savings Envelope feature.

Our savings envelopes allow us to share how much money, over and above funds required for monthly bills and allowances, is available to be used for larger purchases. Client savings envelope information can be viewed in our secure portal or smartphone app and requests for larger purchases using the funds available in a clients savings envelope can be made there also.

Related FAQ’s

Family Member Access Requests

 

 

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Appointeeship, Deputyship, Carer Cards, Power of Attorney Operational & Policy - FAQ's

Money Carer recognises the importance of working alongside family members in our role as appointee when this is clearly in the best interest of our client.

However, it is very important that family members respect, accept, and fully understand, that as the legal appointee we do not have any responsibilities to ‘report’ to, or share our clients private financial information to family members.

This is reflected in our Duty of Confidentiality specified in the Mental Capacity Act 2005 Code of Practice (Section 7.64). Equally, principle (f) of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) requires compliance to the ‘integrity and confidentiality’ or ‘security’ principle.

It is very easy for the role and legal responsibilities of an appointee to become misunderstood by family members which can lead to confusion and conflicts of interest if clear and transparent lines of communication are not set out from the outset of the commencement of the appointeeship.

If family members feel that they require a higher level of involvement around everyday decision making regarding the management of a loved ones financial affairs then they should really consider taking on the legal responsibilities as the appointee, or court of protection deputy if necessary.

Unfortunately, many of the clients referred to Money Carer have been subject to financial abuse from family members or carers in the past and, as such, we are correct in our approach to set out clear boundaries regarding our role and and at what level we are able to involve family members within that role.

Where there are no apparent reasons for concern however, Money Carer has developed a process for us to be able to share client information to trusted family members. This is called our ‘Family Access Agreement’ and we simply require a family member requesting access to a clients financial information to complete and sign the agreement which sets out our reasonable conditions as way of a Memorandum of Understanding.

Once read, signed and returned, the family member is able to create a Money Carer account on our secure portal in order to access the shared information we can provide access to. This information is also available via our smartphone app.

Our Family Access Agreement form is available here.

Related FAQ’s

Care Provider Requests for Client Financial Information

 

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Power of Attorney - FAQ's

Appointeeship, Deputyship, Carer Cards, Power of Attorney Appointeeship - FAQ's, Power of Attorney - FAQ's

The decision to have an appointee or a general power of attorney depends on the individual’s specific needs and circumstances.

An appointee is someone authorised by the DWP to manage an individual’s welfare benefit responsibilities when they are deemed incapable of managing their own affairs due to a mental or physical disability. If the individual has the capacity to choose their own representative, an appointee may not be necessary.

On the other hand, a general power of attorney is a legal document that allows an individual to appoint someone they trust to manage their affairs on their behalf. This could include managing finances or handling legal matters.

If the individual has the capacity to choose their own representative and wants someone they trust to manage their affairs, an general power of attorney may be more suitable.

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Appointeeship, Deputyship, Carer Cards, Power of Attorney Power of Attorney - FAQ's

In the UK, LPA stands for Lasting Power of Attorney, and GPA stands for General Power of Attorney.

The main difference between the two is that an LPA is a legal document that allows an individual (the donor) to appoint one or more people (the attorneys) to make decisions on their behalf in case they lose mental capacity. An LPA can cover decisions about health and welfare, as well as property and financial affairs.

On the other hand, a GPA is a legal document that allows an individual (the donor) to appoint an attorney to make decisions on their behalf for a specific period of time, such as when they are out of the country or physically unable to manage their affairs. An GPA only covers decisions about property and financial affairs.

Another difference is that an LPA must be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian before it can be used, while an GPA does not need to be registered.

 

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Appointeeship, Deputyship, Carer Cards, Power of Attorney Power of Attorney - FAQ's

The costs involved in setting up a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) for property and affairs can vary depending on several factors, including where you live and whether you choose to use a solicitor or complete the process yourself. Here are some of the potential costs you may incur:

  1. LPA application fee: In England and Wales, there is a fee of £82 per application to register an LPA for property and affairs.
  2. Solicitor fees: If you choose to use a solicitor to set up your LPA, you will need to pay their fees. The cost of using a solicitor can vary, but it’s usually several hundred pounds.
  3. Certificate provider fees: You will need to have someone sign your LPA to confirm that you understand what you are doing and that you are not being pressured into it. This person is called a certificate provider, and they may charge a fee for their services.
  4. Copying and postage fees: You may need to pay for photocopying and postage costs to send your LPA application to the Office of the Public Guardian.

It’s worth noting that if you receive certain means-tested benefits, you may be eligible for a reduced or waived application fee.

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Appointeeship, Deputyship, Carer Cards, Power of Attorney Power of Attorney - FAQ's

According to the OPG Annual Report 2021-2022 from the OPG, there was just over 6 million registered power of attorneys in the UK.

 

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Welfare Benefit - FAQ's

Appointeeship, Deputyship, Carer Cards, Power of Attorney Welfare Benefit - FAQ's

What is the Difference between PIP and DLA

Personal Independence Payment (PIP) and Disability Living Allowance (DLA) are welfare benefits provided to individuals in the United Kingdom to help with the extra costs associated with a long-term health condition or disability. However, there are some critical differences between PIP and DLA:

  1. Eligibility Criteria:
    • DLA: Disability Living Allowance was available to individuals under 16 and those aged 65 or older with care or mobility needs due to a disability or health condition.
    • PIP: Personal Independence Payment is available to individuals aged 16 to 64 (although there are some exceptions for those already receiving DLA before turning 16) and is based on a person’s ability to carry out specific daily living and mobility activities.
  2. Assessment Process:
    • DLA: DLA was primarily based on the care and mobility components, with different rates available for each, depending on the level of assistance required.
    • PIP: PIP uses a points-based assessment system to determine eligibility. It assesses an individual’s ability to carry out a range of activities related to daily living (e.g., preparing food, bathing, managing medication) and mobility (e.g., moving around, planning journeys). Points are awarded based on the level of difficulty an individual has in these activities, and the total points determine the PIP award.
  3. Medical Assessments:
    • DLA: DLA did not usually require a face-to-face medical assessment. Eligibility was determined based on the information provided in the application form and any supporting medical evidence.
    • PIP: Most PIP applicants are required to undergo a face-to-face assessment conducted by a healthcare professional contracted by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). The assessment is used to gather additional information about the applicant’s condition and how it affects their daily life.
  4. Payment Structure:
    • DLA: DLA was paid in two components: the care component and the mobility component. The amount of the benefit depended on the level of care or mobility needs.
    • PIP: PIP is also paid in two components: the daily living component and the mobility component. Each component has two rates: standard and enhanced. The amount received depends on the number of points scored in the assessment.
  5. Recipient Age:
    • DLA: DLA was available to individuals both below and above the age of 16, with different rules and rates for each group.
    • PIP: PIP is primarily available to individuals aged 16 to 64, although there are exceptions for some who were receiving DLA before turning 16.

It’s important to note that DLA has been largely phased out for new claimants, and PIP has replaced it for individuals aged 16 to 64. Existing DLA recipients may still receive their payments, but they may be reassessed for PIP when their circumstances change or when they reach a specific age. The specific rules and rates for PIP can change over time, so it’s essential to refer to the latest information and guidelines provided by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) when making a claim or seeking updates.

Tags: dla, pip
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Appointeeship, Deputyship, Carer Cards, Power of Attorney Welfare Benefit - FAQ's

What is ESA?

ESA, or Employment and Support Allowance, is a welfare benefit provided in the UK to individuals with limited work capability due to a disability or health condition. It is designed to provide financial support to people who cannot work or have difficulty finding and maintaining employment because of their physical or mental health.

Here are some key features of ESA in the UK:

  1. Eligibility: To be eligible for ESA, you must meet certain criteria related to your health and work capability. You must typically undergo a Work Capability Assessment (WCA) to determine your eligibility. The assessment evaluates your ability to work and perform various activities, considering your health condition or disability.
  2. Types of ESA:
    • There are two main types of ESA: a. Contributory ESA: This type is based on your National Insurance contributions. It is available to individuals who have paid enough National Insurance contributions within a specific period. b. Income-related ESA: This type is means-tested and considers your income and savings, along with your health condition or disability.
  3. Assessment Phase: During the assessment phase, you may receive a reduced rate of ESA while your eligibility is being determined. The length of this phase can vary depending on your circumstances and the outcome of your assessment.
  4. Support Group and Work-Related Activity Group: If you are deemed eligible for ESA, you will be placed in one of two groups:
    • Support Group: This group is for individuals with the most severe health conditions or disabilities. People in this group do not have work-related requirements and receive a higher rate of ESA.
    • Work-Related Activity Group: This group is for individuals who are considered capable of doing some work-related activities but may need additional support. They receive a lower rate of ESA and may be required to take part in work-related activities, such as training or job-seeking support.
  5. Assessment and Reviews: ESA recipients may be periodically reassessed to determine if their health condition or disability has changed and if they remain eligible for the benefit.
  6. Housing Costs: If you are eligible for income-related ESA, you may also receive help with housing costs, such as rent.
  7. Work-Related Support: ESA provides access to work-related support and services to help individuals move towards employment when and if they are deemed capable.

It’s important to note that eligibility criteria, rates, and regulations regarding ESA can change, so it’s advisable to check with the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) or a relevant government website for the most up-to-date information and guidance if you are considering applying for or are currently receiving ESA.

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Appointeeship, Deputyship, Carer Cards, Power of Attorney Welfare Benefit - FAQ's

What is Pension Credit?

Pension Credit is a means-tested welfare benefit in the United Kingdom designed to provide financial support to pensioners who have a low income and meet certain eligibility criteria. It consists of two parts: Guarantee Credit and Savings Credit.

  1. Guarantee Credit:
    • Guarantee Credit tops up the weekly income of pensioners to a minimum level set by the government. The minimum level depends on your age, whether you are single or in a couple, and whether you have additional caring responsibilities.
    • To be eligible for Guarantee Credit, you must have reached the minimum qualifying age for Pension Credit. The qualifying age for Pension Credit is gradually increasing in line with the state pension age for women (currently set at 66 for both men and women).
  2. Savings Credit (phasing out):
    • Savings Credit is an additional payment for pensioners who have saved for their retirement, for example, through a private pension scheme or savings accounts. However, Savings Credit is being phased out, and it is no longer available to people who reach their state pension age on or after April 6, 2016. If you reached state pension age before this date and are eligible, you may still receive Savings Credit.

Key points about Pension Credit:

  • Pension Credit is a means-tested benefit, which means eligibility is determined based on your income, savings, and other financial circumstances.
  • It is intended to provide financial support to ensure that pensioners have a minimum income level to cover their basic living expenses.
  • The application process typically involves providing details about your income, savings, and other financial assets, as well as information about your living situation.
  • If you’re eligible for Pension Credit, you may also be entitled to other means-tested benefits, such as Housing Benefit and Council Tax Reduction.
  • Pension Credit is administered by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) in the UK.

It’s important to note that eligibility criteria and benefit rates may change over time, so it’s a good idea to check with the DWP or a relevant government website for the most up-to-date information and guidance if you are considering applying for Pension Credit or are currently receiving it.

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Appointeeship, Deputyship, Carer Cards, Power of Attorney Welfare Benefit - FAQ's

What is Attendance Allowance?

Attendance Allowance is a non-means-tested welfare benefit in the United Kingdom that provides financial assistance to individuals aged 65 or over who have a physical or mental disability or illness that requires them to have help or supervision with their personal care needs or mobility. It is designed to help cover the extra costs of having a disability or health condition.

Key features of Attendance Allowance:

  1. Eligibility:
    • To be eligible for Attendance Allowance, you must meet the following criteria:
      • Be aged 65 or over.
      • Have a physical or mental disability or illness that requires assistance with personal care or mobility.
      • Have needed help or supervision for at least six months due to your disability or illness.
  2. Non-Means-Tested:
    • Attendance Allowance is non-means-tested, which means it is not based on your income, savings, or other financial circumstances. Your eligibility depends solely on your disability or health condition and the level of care or supervision you require.
  3. Two Rate Levels:
    • Attendance Allowance has two rate levels:
      • Lower Rate: If you require help or supervision during the day or night.
      • Higher Rate: If you require help or supervision during both the day and night.
  4. Application Process:
    • To apply for Attendance Allowance, you need to complete an application form, which can be obtained from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) or downloaded from their website.
    • You will need to provide details about your disability or health condition, the assistance you require, and any medical evidence or supporting information.
  5. Duration:
    • Attendance Allowance is an ongoing benefit, and you can continue to receive it for as long as you meet the eligibility criteria.
  6. Effect on Other Benefits:
    • If you receive Attendance Allowance, it may have implications for other benefits you receive. For example, it can increase the amount of Housing Benefit or Council Tax Reduction you are entitled to, and it may also help you qualify for the Carer’s Allowance if someone is providing care for you.

It’s important to note that the specific rules and eligibility criteria for Attendance Allowance can change over time, so it’s advisable to check with the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) or a relevant government website for the most up-to-date information and guidance if you are considering applying for Attendance Allowance or are currently receiving it.

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Appointeeship, Deputyship, Carer Cards, Power of Attorney Welfare Benefit - FAQ's

What is Universal Credit?

Universal Credit is a welfare benefit system in the United Kingdom that was introduced to simplify and streamline the process of receiving financial support for living expenses, housing costs, and childcare. It is designed to replace several existing means-tested benefits and tax credits, including income support, income-based job seekers’ allowance, income-related employment and support allowance, housing benefit, child tax credit, and working tax credit.

Here are key features and aspects of Universal Credit:

  1. Means-Tested Benefit: Universal Credit is a means-tested benefit, meaning eligibility is determined based on income, savings, and other financial circumstances. It is designed to provide financial support to individuals and families who have a low income or are out of work.
  2. Online Application: You must apply online through the government’s Universal Credit portal to apply for Universal Credit. The application process involves providing details about your income, housing costs, and personal circumstances.
  3. Monthly Payments: Universal Credit is usually paid monthly, and the amount you receive is calculated based on your household’s income and circumstances in the previous month. This is a significant change from some of the previous benefits, which were paid weekly or every two weeks.
  4. Components: Universal Credit consists of several components, including:
    • Standard Allowance: This is the basic amount of Universal Credit you receive, and it varies depending on your age and whether you are single or part of a couple.
    • Housing Costs: If you are eligible, Universal Credit can help with your housing costs, including rent or mortgage interest payments.
    • Child Element: Additional support is provided for children, with different rates based on the number of children in your household.
    • Limited Capability for Work Element: If you have a health condition or disability that limits your ability to work, you may receive an extra element.
    • Carer Element: If you are a carer for a severely disabled person, you may be eligible for this additional element.
  5. Work Allowance: Universal Credit includes a work allowance that allows you to earn a certain amount of money before your Universal Credit payment starts to decrease. The work allowance varies depending on your circumstances.
  6. Conditionality and Work Requirements: Universal Credit often includes conditionality requirements, which may involve attending job-related appointments, looking for work, or engaging in training or work-related activities. Failure to meet these requirements can result in sanctions, which may lead to a reduction in your Universal Credit payments.
  7. Digital by Default: Universal Credit is designed to be a digital-first system, meaning that most interactions and communications with the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) are done online or by phone. Claimants are encouraged to manage their claims and report changes in circumstances through the online portal.

It’s important to note that Universal Credit rules and rates can change over time, so it’s advisable to check with the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) or a relevant government website for the most up-to-date information and guidance if you are considering applying for Universal Credit or are currently receiving it.

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Appointeeship, Deputyship, Carer Cards, Power of Attorney Welfare Benefit - FAQ's

What is Housing Benefit?

Housing Benefit is a welfare benefit in the United Kingdom designed to help people on low incomes or certain welfare benefits with the cost of their rent. It is intended to provide financial assistance to individuals and families who may struggle to afford their housing costs. Housing Benefit is administered by local authorities (councils) in the UK.

Here are some key points about Housing Benefit:

  1. Eligibility: To be eligible for Housing Benefit, you typically need to meet certain criteria, including having a low income and paying rent for your accommodation. Eligibility is means-tested, which means it is based on your income, savings, and other financial circumstances. The specific eligibility criteria can vary depending on your age, household composition, and other factors.
  2. Rental Costs: Housing Benefit can cover a portion or all of your rental costs, including rent for private or social housing (council or housing association properties). The amount of benefit you receive is determined by factors such as your income, the size of your household, and the local housing market.
  3. Local Housing Allowance (LHA): In the private rented sector, Housing Benefit is often calculated based on the Local Housing Allowance (LHA) rates. LHA rates are set by the government and vary by location, taking into account local rental market conditions.
  4. Claim Process: To apply for Housing Benefit, you need to contact your local council and submit an application. The application process typically involves providing details about your income, savings, housing costs, and personal circumstances. Your local council will assess your eligibility and calculate the amount of benefit you are entitled to.
  5. Changes in Circumstances: It’s important to report any changes in your circumstances promptly to your local council, as they can affect your Housing Benefit entitlement. Changes may include changes in income, household composition, or housing costs.
  6. Non-Dependent Deductions: Housing Benefit may be reduced if you have non-dependent adults (e.g., adult children or friends) living with you. These deductions are made to account for the financial contribution these non-dependents may make toward household expenses.
  7. Bedroom Tax: The “bedroom tax” is a policy that reduces Housing Benefit for social housing tenants who are deemed to have more bedrooms than they need. This policy is officially known as the “Under-Occupancy Penalty.”
  8. Universal Credit: Housing Benefit is gradually being replaced by Universal Credit for new claimants in most areas of the UK. If you live in an area where Universal Credit has been fully rolled out, you will need to apply for housing costs within your Universal Credit claim instead of applying separately for Housing Benefit.

It’s important to keep in mind that Housing Benefit rules and rates can change over time, so it’s advisable to check with your local council or a relevant government website for the most up-to-date information and guidance if you are considering applying for Housing Benefit or are currently receiving it.

 

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Appointeeship, Deputyship, Carer Cards, Power of Attorney Welfare Benefit - FAQ's

What is Personal Independence Payment (PIP)?

“PIP” typically refers to “Personal Independence Payment.” It is a non-means-tested government benefit aimed at helping people with disabilities and long-term health conditions maintain their independence and quality of life. Personal Independence Payment is designed to provide financial assistance to individuals aged 16 to 64 who may face difficulties with daily living and mobility due to a disability or health condition.

The key benefits of Personal Independence Payment (PIP) in the UK include:

  1. Financial Support: PIP provides financial assistance to eligible individuals, which can help cover the extra costs associated with living with a disability or long-term health condition.
  2. Non-Means-Tested: Unlike some other benefits, PIP is not means-tested, meaning that your income, savings, or employment status do not affect your eligibility for PIP.
  3. Regular Payments: PIP is typically paid every four weeks and can be used as the recipient sees fit to address their specific needs and challenges.
  4. Support with Daily Living and Mobility: PIP is divided into two components: one focused on daily living needs and the other on mobility. The amount a person receives depends on their level of disability or health condition in these areas.
  5. Assessments: To qualify for PIP, individuals must undergo a medical assessment to determine their eligibility and the level of support they require.

It’s important to note that the PIP benefit and its eligibility criteria may evolve over time, and the details can vary depending on government policies and regulations. Therefore, it’s advisable to visit the official government website or consult with relevant authorities in the UK to get the most up-to-date and accurate information regarding Personal Independence Payment and its benefits.

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Appointeeship, Deputyship, Carer Cards, Power of Attorney Welfare Benefit - FAQ's

What is the Process of Applying for PIP?

To apply for Personal Independence Payment (PIP) in the United Kingdom, you will need to follow these steps:

  1. Check Eligibility: Before starting the application process, ensure you are eligible for PIP. PIP is available to individuals aged 16 to 64 who have a long-term health condition or disability that affects their ability to live independently and perform daily living or mobility tasks. You can check the eligibility criteria on the official government website or contact the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) for guidance.
  2. Request an Application Form: You can request an application form for PIP by calling the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) at the PIP helpline. The helpline number is available on the official government website. They will send you the necessary forms to complete.
  3. Fill Out the Application Form: Complete the PIP application form carefully and thoroughly. It will ask about your health condition, how it affects your daily life, and any relevant medical information. Be honest and provide as much detail as possible to support your application.
  4. Gather Supporting Evidence: To strengthen your application, gather any supporting evidence you have, such as medical reports, letters from healthcare professionals, and information about your condition and treatment. Include any relevant documentation demonstrating the impact of your disability or health condition on your daily life.
  5. Attend an Assessment: After you submit your application, you may be invited to attend an assessment. During the assessment, a healthcare professional will evaluate your condition and how it affects your daily living and mobility. The assessment is used to determine the level of PIP you are eligible for.
  6. Await Decision: After your assessment, you will receive a decision letter from the DWP, stating whether you have been awarded PIP, and if so, at what rate. The decision letter will also provide information about how and when you will receive your payments.
  7. Appeal If Necessary: If your application for PIP is denied or you disagree with the decision, you have the right to appeal. The decision letter will explain how to appeal the decision, and you can seek assistance from organizations that specialize in helping with PIP appeals if needed.
  8. It’s important to remember that the PIP application process can take some time, so it’s advisable to apply as soon as you believe you are eligible. Also, be sure to keep copies of all documents related to your application for reference. For the most up-to-date information and guidance on applying for PIP, visit the official government website or contact the DWP.
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Appointeeship, Deputyship, Carer Cards, Power of Attorney Welfare Benefit - FAQ's

Does an Appointee have to report changes in a person’s circumstances?

Yes, in the United Kingdom, an appointee is typically required to report changes in the circumstances of the person they represent to the relevant government authorities. This reporting responsibility is an important aspect of managing benefits and ensuring that the individual receives the appropriate level of support. Here are some key points regarding reporting changes in circumstances:

  1. Reporting Requirements: When acting as an appointee, you must report any changes in the beneficiary’s circumstances that could affect their eligibility for benefits or the amount of welfare benefits they receive. This includes changes in income, housing, health conditions, or any other factors that might impact their benefits.
  2. Timely Reporting: Changes should be reported promptly to the appropriate government department, such as the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). Delaying or failing to report changes promptly can result in overpayments or underpayments of benefits.
  3. Types of Changes: Common changes that should be reported include changes in income (such as new sources of income or changes in employment status), changes in living arrangements, changes in health conditions, and changes in financial circumstances.
  4. Forms and Documentation: The reporting process often involves filling out specific forms provided by the government department responsible for the benefits program. You may also need supporting documentation or evidence to substantiate the reported changes.
  5. Ongoing Responsibility: Reporting changes is not a one-time event. It is an ongoing responsibility of the appointee to ensure that the government has accurate and up-to-date information about the beneficiary’s circumstances.
  6. Penalties for Non-Compliance: Failure to report changes in circumstances as required can lead to various consequences, including overpayments that may need to be repaid or reductions in benefits. In some cases, there may also be legal repercussions.

It’s important to be aware of and fulfil your reporting responsibilities as an appointee to ensure that the individual receives the appropriate level of support and to avoid any potential issues related to benefits. Additionally, staying informed about the specific regulations and guidelines related to the benefits program you are managing is essential to fulfil your role effectively.

For further information about becoming a DWP appointee, please download our appointee guide for family members.

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Appointeeship, Deputyship, Carer Cards, Power of Attorney Welfare Benefit - FAQ's

What is the minimum age at which someone can claim welfare benefits?

In the UK, the minimum age at which someone can claim certain welfare benefits can vary depending on the specific benefit and circumstances. Here are some general guidelines regarding the minimum age for claiming welfare benefits in the UK:

  1. Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA): To claim Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA), an unemployment benefit, you generally need to be at least 18 years old. However, some exceptions exist for individuals aged 16 or 17 in specific situations, such as those estranged from their parents or guardians.
  2. Universal Credit: Universal Credit is a means-tested benefit that replaces several other welfare benefits, and the eligibility age can vary. In most cases, you must be at least 18 to claim Universal Credit. However, there are exceptions, such as individuals aged 16 or 17, but they may be subject to different rules and requirements.
  3. Disability Benefits: Some disability-related benefits, like Personal Independence Payment (PIP), can be claimed by individuals as young as 16, provided they meet the eligibility criteria for their disability or health condition.
  4. Child Benefits: Child Benefit is a benefit paid to individuals responsible for raising a child. It can be claimed from the birth of the child.
  5. State Pension: The State Pension age in the UK is not a welfare benefit in the traditional sense, but it is a form of government financial support for retirees. The State Pension age has been undergoing changes and is gradually increasing. The exact age at which you can claim the State Pension depends on your date of birth and other factors. You can check your State Pension age on the official government website.

It’s important to note that eligibility for welfare benefits in the UK can be influenced by various factors, including your age, income, employment status, disability, and other circumstances. The rules and requirements for each benefit program may change over time, so it’s advisable to check with the relevant government department or consult official sources for the most up-to-date information on eligibility and minimum age requirements for specific benefits.

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Appointeeship, Deputyship, Carer Cards, Power of Attorney Welfare Benefit - FAQ's

What is a Mandatory Reconsideration?

A mandatory reconsideration is a process that allows individuals to request a review of a decision made by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) or another government department regarding certain benefits and financial support programs. It allows claimants to challenge or appeal decisions with which they disagree before proceeding to a formal appeal tribunal.

Here’s an overview of how the mandatory reconsideration process works:

  1. Initial Decision: The process begins when a claimant receives a decision letter from the DWP or another government department regarding their benefit claim. This decision could relate to Personal Independence Payment (PIP), Universal Credit, Employment and Support Allowance (ESA), or other welfare benefits.
  2. Disagreement with the Decision: If the claimant disagrees with the decision, they can request a mandatory reconsideration. This should be done in writing, and the request must generally be made within one month of receiving the decision letter.
  3. Mandatory Reconsideration Review: The request triggers a review of the initial decision by a different DWP decision-maker. During the mandatory reconsideration process, the decision-maker will re-examine all the evidence provided, including any new information or additional documentation submitted by the claimant.
  4. Outcome of the Reconsideration: After the reconsideration review is completed, the claimant will receive a mandatory reconsideration notice, which informs them of the outcome. The notice will state whether the decision has been changed, upheld, or changed in part.
  5. Further Appeal: If the claimant remains dissatisfied with the outcome of the mandatory reconsideration, they have the option to proceed to the next stage, which is an appeal to an independent tribunal. This is typically known as the “First-tier Tribunal” or the “Social Security and Child Support Tribunal.” The appeal tribunal will conduct a formal hearing and make a final decision.

It’s important to note that the mandatory reconsideration process is a prerequisite for most benefit-related appeals in the UK. In other words, claimants generally need to request and complete the mandatory reconsideration process before they can move on to an appeal tribunal. However, some benefits, like Child Benefit or Tax Credits, have different appeal processes.

Claimants seeking a mandatory reconsideration should carefully follow the instructions provided in the decision letter they receive, and they may also consider seeking advice and assistance from organizations that specialize in welfare benefits and appeals.

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Appointeeship, Deputyship, Carer Cards, Power of Attorney Welfare Benefit - FAQ's

What Benefits Can Vulnerable Adults Claim?

In the UK, various benefits and support programs are in place to assist vulnerable people or adults facing specific challenges. These benefits and support programs aim to provide financial assistance and resources to those most in need. Some of the key benefits and programs that may be available to vulnerable people in the UK include:

  1. Universal Credit: Universal Credit is a means-tested benefit financially supporting low-income people, including those unemployed or underemployed. It replaces several benefits, including income support, jobseeker’s allowance, and housing benefits.
  2. Disability Benefits: There are several disability-related benefits in the UK, such as Personal Independence Payment (PIP) and Disability Living Allowance (DLA). These benefits are designed to provide financial support to individuals with disabilities to help cover the extra costs associated with their condition.
  3. Carer’s Allowance: Carer’s Allowance is available to individuals who provide regular care and support to someone with a disability. It provides financial support to unpaid carers.
  4. Housing Benefit: Housing Benefit can help individuals with low incomes, including vulnerable people, to cover their housing costs, such as rent. However, Housing Benefit is gradually being replaced by Universal Credit for most people.
  5. Income Support: Income Support is a means-tested benefit that may be available to individuals with low incomes, including those who are pregnant, lone parents, or unable to work due to illness or disability.
  6. Jobseeker’s Allowance: Jobseeker’s Allowance provides financial support to individuals who are actively seeking employment.
  7. Council Tax Reduction: Council Tax Reduction (formerly Council Tax Benefit) is a means-tested benefit that helps people on low incomes to pay their council tax.
  8. Free Prescriptions, Eye Tests, and Dental Care: In the UK, certain vulnerable groups, such as people receiving Income Support or Universal Credit, may be eligible for free prescriptions, eye tests, and dental care.

It’s important to note that eligibility criteria for these benefits and support programs can vary based on individual circumstances, such as income, disability status, caring responsibilities, and other factors. The government periodically reviews and updates these programs, so it’s essential to check with official government sources or seek advice from organizations that specialize in benefits and welfare rights to understand the most current eligibility criteria and application procedures.

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Appointeeship, Deputyship, Carer Cards, Power of Attorney Appointeeship - FAQ's, Deputyship - FAQ's, Welfare Benefit - FAQ's

Does the Court of Protection set Up Appointeeships?

No, an appointeeship is not made in the Court of Protection. Instead, appointeeships are managed by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) or the Social Security Agency in Northern Ireland.

An appointeeship is a legal arrangement that allows someone to manage the financial affairs and benefits of an individual who cannot do so themselves due to incapacity or mental health issues.

Here’s how the process typically works:

  1. Application: A family member, friend, or relevant authority, such as a social worker, can apply to become an appointee on behalf of the vulnerable individual. This application is typically made to the DWP.
  2. Assessment: The DWP will assess the proposed appointee’s suitability and review the vulnerable person’s circumstances to determine if an appointeeship is necessary. This assessment is typically done by a visiting officer and is to ensure that the vulnerable individual’s best interests are protected.
  3. Appointment: If the DWP determines that an appointeeship is appropriate, they will appoint the chosen individual as the appointee. The appointee is responsible for managing the vulnerable person’s benefits, paying bills, and making financial decisions on their behalf.
  4. Ongoing Responsibilities: The appointee has a legal duty to act in the best interests of the person they are representing. They are required to keep accurate records of financial transactions and report regularly to the DWP.
  5. Court of Protection: The Court of Protection in the UK is primarily concerned with making decisions on behalf of individuals who lack mental capacity to make decisions about their finances, health, or welfare. It can also make decisions about Lasting Powers of Attorney and Deputyship orders. If there is a dispute or concern about the appointment of an appointee, it may be brought before the Court of Protection for resolution.

It’s essential to note that the specific process and terminology may vary between different parts of the UK, as Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland have their own systems for managing these matters. Therefore, if you are dealing with appointeeships or similar issues, it’s advisable to seek legal advice or guidance from relevant government agencies or local authorities to ensure compliance with the applicable laws and regulations in your area.

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Appointeeship - FAQ's

Appointeeship, Deputyship, Carer Cards, Power of Attorney Appointeeship - FAQ's

A DWP appointee is someone who is appointed to manage the welfare benefits and money management matters of a person who is unable to do so themselves.

This could be because the person has a mental or physical disability, or they are unable to manage their affairs for other reasons.

The appointee is responsible for making sure that the person’s welfare benefits are applied for accurately, received in a separate bank account and used for the benefit of the person they are appointed to represent.

They are also responsible for managing the person’s finances, paying bills and making decisions about how the person’s money is spent.

To become a DWP appointee, a person must apply to the Department for Work and Pensions by completing a BF56 application form and then meet with a DWP visiting officer.

Once appointed, the appointee has legal responsibilities and must act in the best interests of the person they represent and understand the 5 underpinning principles of the Mental Capacity Act 2005.

 

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A corporate appointee is an organisation appointed by the DWP to manage the welfare benefit responsibilities of a claimant. For example, corporate appointees are organisations such as The Money Carer Foundation or local authorities.

For example, corporate appointees are organisations such as The Money Carer Foundation or local authorities.

For further information about becoming a DWP appointee, please download our appointee guide for family members.

 

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Appointeeship, Deputyship, Carer Cards, Power of Attorney Appointeeship - FAQ's

A Deputy is put in place by the Court of Protection and undertakes the responsibility for managing all of a person’s financial affairs if they become incapable of doing so themselves.

This may include managing savings, pensions and all other sources of income or assets, including property and valuables. The exact level of responsibility and authority granted by the Court of Protection varies as it depends on the individual court order granted.

A Deputy is supervised and regulated by the Office of the Public Guardian, or the OPG, whilst appointees are regulated by the Department of Work and Pensions or the DWP. An Appointee has the responsibility to act in the individual’s best interest by managing a person’s welfare benefits to ensure that everyday bills are paid and to report any changes in circumstances to the DWP.

Hence, an appointee has a much smaller legal authority over someone’s finances as it is restricted to their welfare benefit payments.

Becoming an Appointee – A Family Guide – from Money Carer

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No, DWP appointees do not have the legal authority to access a person’s private bank account unless they have been specifically granted that authority by the person or by a court order.

Where the person has consented for their appointee to access their personal bank account, then it must be clear, that the person has the ‘decision specific’ capacity to be able to weigh up and understand this decision.

It may be appropriate to have this decision-specific understanding documented in a separate mental capacity assessment as best practice to avoid any challenges about the persons ability to consent to someone accessing their personal bank account by banks or other organisations.

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Yes.

Uniquely, we have our own banking platform with Cashplus Bank and this service is used by hundreds of law firms and local authorities to manage the finances of their own clients.

We are also able to open bank accounts for family members who are appointees, deputies, or have a lasting power of attorney.

The dedicated site for our banking platform is here.

 

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The Appointee Security Bond was introduced by Security Bonds Ltd and Aviva Insurance by working with The Money Carer Foundation in 2015.

Purchasing a security bond represents best practice for any organisation or person looking to become an appointee, as it follows the requirement by the Court of Protection for court-appointed deputies to take out a surety bond to protect the property and finances of the vulnerable person under their charge.

The bond costs £35 per year and protects the vulnerable person under appointeeship up to £16,000 in the event of theft or fraud by the appointee.

For non-professional appointees (such as family members or friends) the bond will recompense the vulnerable person in respect of honest mistakes made by the appointee without seeking financial redress from the appointee.

Local authority safeguarding teams, or other responsible parties, can inform Deputy Bond Services of a concern to enable them to start the claim process for the vulnerable person that has suffered financial loss. The appointee bond will aim to compensate the vulnerable person within 7 working days.

Purchasing a security bond represents best practice for any organisation or person looking to become an appointee as it follows the requirement by the Court of Protection for court-appointed deputies to take out a security bond to protect the property and finances of the vulnerable person under their charge in most cases.

 

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Form BF56 must be completed and submitted to the relevant DWP department to become an appointee. An appointment with a DWP Visiting Officer must be made so that the DWP can assess the suitability of a person or organisation that is applying to take on the legal role.

Background checks against the individual or organisation may be made also with consent.

For further information about becoming a DWP appointee, please download our appointee guide for family members.

 

 

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If someone cannot handle their finances due to physical or mental incapacity and struggles with tasks such as claiming benefits, paying bills, or managing their money, they may require the assistance of an appointee. This can be a temporary or permanent arrangement.

The DWP uses the term ” appointeeship ” to refer to the legal authority given to an individual or organisation, such as The Money Carer Foundation, to manage another person’s welfare benefit entitlements.

For further information about becoming a DWP appointee, please download our appointee guide for family members.

 

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The primary power for appointeeship is in the Social Security Administration Act 1992, detailed in section 5. This forms the basis for how appointees are legally and procedurally administered.

This gives the power to make the appointee regulations. Regulation 33 of the  Social Security Claims and Payments Regulations 1987 is for older, legacy benefits. For the new style benefits, that is, Employment Support Allowance, Job Seekers Allowance, Personal Independence Payments, and Universal Credits, it is regulation 57 of the Claims and Payments Regulations 2013

Appointeeship is not governed by the Mental Capacity Act 2005. That was deliberate because the DWP wanted to retain control of the appointeeship process and detail. However, the Act’s five underpinning principles are built into the appointeeship process.

For further information about becoming a DWP appointee, please download our appointee guide for family members.

 

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If a person is living in supported housing, a care or nursing home and is receiving welfare benefits and a social care package and the are incapable of managing their own finances, they may need a corporate appointee to help to manage their welfare benefit payments and legal responsibilities.

A Corporate Appointee is an organisation, such as The Money Carer Foundation, that is authorised by the Department of Work and Pensions to manage a vulnerable person’s benefits and to act in their best interest and free from any conflict of interest.

A Corporate Appointee is usually appropriate when no identifiable, or suitable, relatives or close friends can be approached.

 

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An appointee has to be aged 18 plus and can be a family member or trusted friend or a specialist organisation whom the DWP can authorise to become the person’s corporate appointee.

The local council can also act as the appointee, although there can be conflicts of interest when local authorities become appointees. As such, many local authorities are choosing to partner with organisations such as Money Carer. Many local authorities do not have enough resources to provide an appointeeship service, which is another reason they cannot take on the role.

Some care providers also still act as appointees however, again, due to the conflicts of interest, these arrangements are increasingly being discouraged by local authorities and the care services regulator as not reflecting best practice.

For further information about becoming a DWP appointee, please download our appointee guide for family members.

 

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The rationale behind making someone an appointee is that they will have regular contact with the service user and their circle of care. This may become problematic when the appointee lives overseas.

If a client with an existing appointee moves overseas and the appointee who is staying in the UK indicates that they wish to retain the role, the DWP will discuss the position with the appointee.  Unless there is someone near to where the client is moving or an organisation that is able to take on the role, then it is possible for the existing appointee can remain in place.

If the appointee wishes to remain the appointee but moves abroad with the customer remaining in the UK then it may be more suitable to consider involving a new appointee or a Corporate Appointee service such as The Money Carer Foundation to resume responsibility for the required appointeeship.

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Yes, but possibly with some difficulty.

The reality is that it can be quite difficult for a DWP appointee to open a bank account with a high-street bank.

This is because an appointee does not have the same level of authority that a court of protection deputy or lasting power of attorney has. Although some banks do offer a very basic bank account for DWP appointees the process of opening an account can be long-winded and quite involved.

Some bank accounts that are available to appointees also have restrictions such as balance limitations as low as £3000 in some cases. This means that for many appointees, these restrictions don’t make the bank account practical or fit for purpose.

If you are an appointee or deputy for a loved one, you can open an FSCS-protected bank account easily on our banking platform in the same way that many solicitors and local authorities do. Just contact us and our banking services team will be happy to help. Open an appointee bank account here.

 

 

For further information about becoming a DWP appointee, please download our appointee guide for family members.

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