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Money Management Procedure

This procedure should be used by social care practitioners when a person has been identified as potentially lacking the capacity to manage their financial affairs independently.

1. Identifying Support Needs

A person can need support to manage their property or affairs because they are lacking capacity to do so or they have a physical disability that prevents them from being able to do so.

Determinations about mental capacity must be made through a process of mental capacity assessment.

2. Existing Support

You must explore whether the person is already receiving the support they need before taking any further action.

If you conclude that support is required, this may be in the form of either an Appointeeship, Deputyship or Lasting Power of Attorney.

You should identify if there are any family or friends who are able to take on this role before making a referral to the Local Authority. The Local Authority is an option of last resort.

If appropriate support is in place and there are no Safeguarding concerns there is no need for the Local Authority to take any further action.

3. Appointeeship

An Appointeeship is a delegation from the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) authorising an individual, firm or Local Authority to manage welfare benefits only on behalf of an individual who lacks capacity to do so themselves. Authorisation of this delegation will be received by the Appointee once a successful application has been approved by the DWP.

Only 1 person can be an Appointee for another and this role is non-delegable.

As an Appointee you are responsible for signing their claim form, ensuring that any changes in circumstances are reported to the DWP in a timely fashion so that the correct level of benefit is paid out. In turn you must then spend this benefit in the best interest of the client to ensure their needs are met.

The Appointee should arrange a designated bank account for all benefits to be paid into. They are responsible for making and maintaining any benefit claims on behalf of the individual and reporting any changes in their circumstances accordingly.

The Appointee must always act in the best interest of the person who lacks capacity.

When the Local Authority becomes Appointee they will charge £5 per week to the client for the provision of this service if their funds are over £1000.

4. Deputyship

Unlike an Appointeeship, a Deputyship is appointed by the Court of Protection (COP) and monitored by the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG). A Deputyship can be granted to an individual, firm or Local Authority. This responsibility is similar to that of the Appointeeship, however takes into account a much wider control of finances and not just welfare benefit. You should ensure that such authority has not already been granted to someone before making an application and this can be done by completing an OPG 100 and submitting it to the OPG who will make the relevant checks on their register.

The Local Authority will make an application for Property and Affairs. This will give the Local Authority permission from the court to manage (but not limited to) the individual's money, debt, benefits and private pensions, buy or sell property (depending on the conditions set out in the order), manage ISA's, Bonds and Injury Compensation.

A Deputyship is applied for by a Local Authority when there are no other family members of friends willing or able to assist or carry out the application. You cannot apply for a Deputyship if there is already one in place unless the COP withdraws this or a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) already in place and registered with the OPG.

Acting in the best interest of the person you are apply for, once Deputyship has been granted, you are able to make decisions on their behalf, such as closing bank accounts and selling property, provided the direction from the COP allows it. However consideration must be taken into account that just because the individual lacks capacity to manage property and finances, they may still have the capacity to decide where they want to live. Limits may be set by the COP and you should always familiarise yourself with the conditions set out in your Court Order.

The court suggests that where a matter or decision is too complex, independent legal advice is sought by you as the Deputy on behalf of the individual you are acting for.

The Local Authority does not handle Deputyships for Health and Welfare. For further information on this type of appointment visit www.gov.uk.

The local authority will make charges for the provision of a deputy service. These charges are set by the OPG. The current fees can be found here.

5. Safeguarding

In all cases where the level of risk to the person or their property and financial affairs a safeguarding concern should be raised immediately. Where the property and affairs are managed by the ASC Money Management Team they should also be consulted about the concern so that they can undertake an investigation and attend any follow up meetings.

You should also address all concerns with your line manager in the first instance.

If there is an Appointeeship in place with someone other than the Local Authority, you should where possible make every attempt to support that person to discharge their role correctly before taking any further action. If this is not achievable then the ASC Money Management Team should be contacted to consider the Local Authorities involvement going forward. The DWP should be notified of your concerns so that they may also investigate this further and as a result they may wish to withdraw the Appointeeship.

This also applies should there be a Deputyship in place. The role is only authorised to the individual named on the Court Order and therefore should you suspect that this person is not discharging their role correctly you should contact the Office of the Public Guardian immediately so that they can undertake an investigation into the concern.

You should be mindful that a Deputy can make a decision that you do not agree with so long as they have applied all of the 5 statutory principles of the Mental Capacity Act 2005, including the Best Interests principle. If you have any concerns with a specific decision you should also notify the Office of the Public Guardian.

6. Making a Referral

If you are considering making a referral to the ASC Money Management team you will have already explored all other available options of support. You may wish to contact the ASC Money Management Team prior to this to explore any other options that you may have not yet considered.

If a referral to the ASC Money Management Team has been deemed the most appropriate action to take, then this must be completed directly on Eclipse which will in turn be submitted to the ASC Money Management Team. All referrals should be accompanied with a mental capacity assessment for management of finances and this should be emailed to the ASC Money Management Team at moneymanagement@swindon.gov.uk.

Your referral will be reviewed and a decision will be made if the Local Authority will take on the role. You may be asked to provide additional supporting information where required and you must evidence in your referral that all other options have been explored.

Should the individual require Deputyship to effectively allow the management of their property and affairs, Appointeeship will be applied for in the meantime whilst the relevant paperwork is completed for the Deputyship application.

You will be provided with a COP1 Application, COP 1A Supporting Application and COP 3 Assessment of capacity to complete. Please note that most of the information required in these forms should have already been obtained by you at the point of making the referral. Once these forms have been reviewed you will be asked to sign the COP3 as the court does not accept electronic forms or signatures.

The ASC Money Management Team will complete a COP4 Deputy Declaration and this will be submitted along with the completed COP1, 1A and 3 with the relevant application fee which is currently £385.00. This fee will be chargeable to the client.

Once the application has been initially approved by the court you will be asked to serve the relevant paperwork to the individual concerned and those mentioned within the COP1. Further information on this part of the application will be provided by the ASC Money Management Team at this point in the process.

Whilst this application is being processed you should ensure that you have taken the appropriate steps to safeguard the person's financial affairs and property. This process can take up to 6 months to complete dependent on the Court of Protection.

When a Court Order is issued the ASC Money Management Team will begin to make contact with all relevant departments and businesses to bring the financial affairs and property with the control of the Local Authority. You may be asked to support elements of this work should it be required

7. Personal Allowance

You must ensure that the person has access to funds at all times before and during an application being made to the ASC Money Management Team and then that appropriate ongoing arrangements are agreed for the longer term once the application is up and running.

The Local Authority will support payments made to a third party or personal bank account via standing order or direct transfer.

The ASC Money Management Team cannot provide an allowance to the individual until it has access to their finances. If the client does not have access to their funds during this period you should contact your line manager to obtain permission from the Local Authority to provide an allowance until such time that access to funds has been achieved by the ASC Money Management Team. This money will then be repaid to the Local Authority by the client when possible.

8. Reviewing the ASC Money Management Service

Regular reviews should take place throughout the Appointeeship or Deputyship to ensure that it meets the needs of the person and that their best interests are being met and they are living a good quality of life that is affordable within their means. You should also review options for a less restrictive approach keeping in mind if there is anyone else available to take over the role of Appointee or Deputy.

You should review the care plan and the service users' capacity to make financial decisions and make any recommendations or required changes as you identify them. You might find it useful to speak with the ASC Money Management Team prior to the review to establish a plan for changes where required.

Where you become aware of any changes in the individuals circumstances you should report this back to the ASC Money Management Team so that these can be promptly reported to the relevant department. This should include but not limited to changes of address, illness and disability and marital status.

9. Ending Our Involvement

Unless a person has died, there may be other reasons why you wish to terminate the services that we are providing. This might be because you have identified that the individual has regained capacity or you have identified someone else willing to take on the role.

Firstly you should discuss this with the ASC Money Management Team and your line manager. Once everyone is agreement for the service to be terminated, an official request should be emailed to the team at moneymanagement@swindon.gov.uk for this to be authorised. If an Appointeeship is in place then the ASC Money Management Team will contact the Department for Work and Pensions and express a wish to terminate in favor of the individual themselves or the new Appointee. Similarly this will happen if there is a Deputyship in place, we will contact the Court of Protection and advise them of our intentions. Should there be any concerns with either of these we will be asked to investigate further or withdraw our intention to terminate.

The ASC Money Management Team will work closely with the new Appointee or Deputy to ensure that the transition is as smooth as possible and any issues are dealt with promptly.

10. If the Person Dies

When a the person dies, the ASC Money Management Team should be made aware as soon as possible so that the designated bank account can be frozen to avoid any overpayments occurring. We will stop all payments in and out of the account and ensure that the relevant departments/companies have been notified, this will include the Court, Benefits Office and Office of the Public Guardian.

ASC Money Management will ensure that any monies held in the person's name are released in line with an executor's request or solicitor's instructions provided that the Local Authority requirements have been met.

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