Appointeeships and Deputyships
There is a council run service to support people who are not able to manage their own finances. We can act on the person’s behalf, by collecting their state benefits, maximising their income, making payments for bills and care charges for them. We can also handle giving the person a personal allowance and handle payment of expenditure for other items considered to be in the person’s best interests.
If a social worker or assessor finds that someone requires support to manage their finances, and there is no appropriate person to manage this on their behalf (such as a relative), then the social worker or assessor will consider the available options which relate to different circumstances:
If the person doesn’t have any money other than state benefits we can apply to the Department for Work and Pensions to become their Appointee. Normally we do this when the person lacks mental capacity to manage their own finances, but we can in some cases do it when the person has capacity but is unable to manage their money due to a physical disability. If the person has money other than state benefits and does not have the mental capacity to manage their own money then they will require a Court appointed Financial Deputy. Due to the associated costs that come from having a Deputy, this is normally only considered for people who have over £16,000 or their own property.
Before we can apply to become either an Appointee or a Deputy for someone, the person’s social worker will need to assess their mental capacity to see if they can manage their own finances. If they are found to lack capacity to do this then the social worker will make a best interest decision to determine if an Appointee or Deputy is required, and if it should be the council who is appointed.
An Appointeeship is part of a person’s support plan, which they may pay a contribution towards. The cost is £13 a week maximum, but how much they pay depends on their financial assessment and ability to pay. A Deputyship costs £645 per year once the initial application charges have been paid. The application charges are set by the Court of Protection and are not included in the person’s support plan. These charges are paid by the individual. There are alternative providers who can act as Appointee or Deputy, but these tend to be more expensive.
The role of the Appointee or Deputy
Once we have been appointed as either an Appointee or Deputy, our Executor Services team will take on the duty of managing the person’s finances on their behalf. The team is aware of the legal obligations of acting in the best interests of its clients, making sure their assets are safeguarded and their needs met. This will involve ongoing consultation with the clients themselves, their related professional workers and interested parties to determine how a client's needs can be met in their best interests.
All Court appointed Deputies are overseen by the Office of Public Guardian (OPG) and we are required to provide annual accounts to the OPG to confirm that all financial decisions that we have taken on behalf of the person have been in the their best interests and in line with OPG guidance.
If you know someone that you think would benefit from an Appointee or Deputy managing their finances, please contact us for an assessment. Telephone our First Contact Team on (0114) 273 4908, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.