Appointee factsheet - Managing benefits on somebody else's behalf
Staffordshire County Council manage the finances of people who are unable to do this for themselves and have no one else who is willing or able to do this for them. The Council offers Appointeeship for people living in residential care, or in the community under certain conditions.
Appointeeship may be the best course of action if the person has a low level of financial assets, is in receipt of benefits and does not have any other sources of income.
Depending on the person’s financial circumstances, it may be that Deputyship is a better option
What is an appointeeship?
An Appointee is someone who manages a person’s benefits.
When someone is no longer able to manage their finances, an application from a social work practitioner can be made to the Staffordshire County Council Appointee Service.
Appointeeship is granted by the Department for Work & Pensions (DWP) upon application by the Council.
Staffordshire County Council will then act as Corporate Appointee by collecting a persons state benefits and making payments from these monies for care charges, personal allowance or other items considered to be in the person’s best interests.
Appointees only manage a person’s benefits - any other sources of income or substantial savings, the Council, as Appointee, cannot control.
In these circumstances an application to the Staffordshire County Council Deputyship team may be more appropriate.
Who can have an appointee?
Appointeeship can be granted for people in long term residential care or for people living in the community – including Shared Lives accommodation.
The Council will apply for Appointeeship only in the following situations:
- There are allegations of financial abuse and a Safeguarding referral has been made in relation to these allegations.
- The person has been assessed as no longer having capacity to manage their finances by a social work practitioner via completion of a Mental Capacity Assessment.
- The person is severely physically disabled & unable to access the community.
- There must be no one else who is willing or suitable to act for the person.
- The person has only state benefits, little or no other income, savings or assets
Before an application for appointeeship can be accepted by the Appointee Service the social work practitioner has to ensure there is a mechanism in place whereby the person can access money, such as support to go to a cash machine from family members, support providers or their social care worker.
The Appointee Service does not include the provision of cash, all transactions are carried out electronically. The person will be issued with a cash card which will be loaded on a daily/weekly basis by the Appointee Service.
What are the main responsibilities of an appointee?
To notify changes in circumstances to social work practitioner & DWP, such as:
- Savings levels – over £6,000 for people of working age and over £10,000 for people of retirement age.
- Inform DWP if savings are approaching £16,000.
Keep Social Work Practitioners informed of account balance on a monthly basis and respond to requests from the Social Work Practitioner to purchase goods or increase weekly personal allowance in the person’s best interest.
Ensure incomings and outgoings are updated every 12 months and signed off by Social Work Practitioner.
What can't the appointee service do?
- Spend money without the authority from a social work practitioner.
- Manage other sources of income or savings.
- Settle legacy debt accrued prior to Appointeeship being authorised unless in exceptional circumstances where back payments from DWP are due and the debt was incurred whilst waiting for the correct benefits to be paid.
- Act as the financial representative or nominated person for someone in receipt of a direct payment.
- Being Appointee for a person’s benefits does not give the Council any rights to make any other financial, medical or care decisions on their behalf.
On average the process takes 8 – 12 weeks for Appointeeship to be granted by the DWP.
A charge of £10 per week will be made where a service user has in excess of £1,000 of savings and lives in residential care and £15 per week if living in the community.
Please find a printable version of the information below.
Appointee Factsheet - Managing benefits on somebody elses behalf
Phone: 0300 111 8010
Emails are screened throughout the day and prioritised according to urgency.
The team work Monday - Friday from 9am-5pm except for bank holidays.
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