In May 2010 The Money Carer Foundation met with representatives from the Social Services department at Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council. The meeting was to discuss The Money Carer Foundation acting on behalf of vulnerable people in care within Barnsley MBC’s area. The problem facing Barnsley MBC, as with many Local Authorities, was the difficulty in providing a robust money management service to manage a vulnerable person’s welfare benefits.
One case referred from Barnsley MBC to The Money Carer Foundation was a client named Henry. Henry suffers from dementia and after a medical assessment, Henry resided in a local authority nursing home.
Due to the workload pressures placed upon the Social Services department of the local authority it was decided that The Money Carer Foundation would be best placed to manage Henry’s finances and welfare benefits. In order to manage Henry’s welfare benefits, The Money Carer Foundation applied to the Department of Work and Pensions to be appointed Corporate Appointee for Henry.
In becoming Corporate Appointee it allowed The Money Carer Foundation to not only effectively manage the receipt of Henry’s welfare benefits but also to check that Henry was in receipt of all the welfare benefits that he was entitled to.
As part of managing Henry’s daily money management needs, in order to pay his bills, access was needed by The Money Carer Foundation to Henry’s savings account at his bank. To do this however it was necessary for The Money Carer Foundation to apply to the Court of Protection to become a Deputy for Henry.
An application to the Court of Protection is required where a person lacks the necessary mental capacity to deal with his or her own affairs. The application is made by a person who will then be entrusted to manage a person’s affairs, including managing an individual’s bank account. As this is a trusted position and could be open to abuse if in the wrong hands, the Court of Protection must be satisfied that the appointment of a Deputy is in the best interests of the individual concerned.
The Money Carer Foundation in Henry’s case liased with Henry’s social worker, prepared the documentation and made the formal application to the Court of Protection to be appointed as his Deputy.
As part of the application process, a medical practitioner needed to assess Henry’s mental capacity and certify that Henry had indeed unfortunately lost the necessary mental capacity to manage his own affairs. The Money Carer Foundation liased with Henry’s GP practice, his social worker, his psychiatrist and a local hospital in order to locate the appropriate medical practitioner who could undertake such an assessment. Once the relevant medical practitioner had completed their medical assessment The Money Carer Foundation were able to apply to the Court of Protection.
The Court of Protection subsequently appointed The Money Carer Foundation as Henry’s Deputy a short period of time later. This appointment has enabled The Money Carer foundation to provide an effective service not only to Henry, but also to his overall support network including Barnsley MBC’s social services department.