If you cannot manage your ﬁnances, for example due to a learning disability or mental ill health – another person can become an appointee to look after your ﬁnancial affairs.
An appointee is responsible for managing a person’s beneﬁts, paying bills and managing a small and limited amount of savings in case of unforeseen circumstances. They must also spend the beneﬁt (which is paid directly to them) in your best interest. Appointeeship may be the best course of action if you have don’t have a lot of savings, you are in receipt of beneﬁts and do not have any other sources of income.
How does this work?
To become an appointee, it is necessary to complete an application. Who you contact to apply to depends on the beneﬁt.
- Attendance Allowance contact the attendance allowance helpline
- Disability Living Allowance – contact the disability beneﬁts helpline
- State Pension – contact your local pension centre
- Personal Independence Payment (PIP) – contact the PIP new claims line
- All other beneﬁts – contact Jobcentre Plus
The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) will then visit you to assess if an appointee is needed. They will also assess whether the appointee is suitable and will ﬁll out an application form with them. If DWP agrees with the application, the appointee will be informed that they have been formally appointed to act for you.
A social worker may also carry out a Mental Capacity Assessment to assess whether you have capacity to manage your own ﬁnances.
Who is involved?
Usually, a relative or friend will apply to become an appointee for you. If there is nobody available or suitable to become an appointee for you, the council’s ﬁnance team may take on this role. Or they’d apply to the Court of Protection for a professional person to be appointed.
When will this happen?
A parent/carer can claim their child’s beneﬁts until they turn 16. Once you reach 16, you may be able to claim certain beneﬁts in your own right. If you lack the capacity to manage your own ﬁnances, a parent/carer should become your appointee if possible. This should be discussed before your 16th birthday to make sure there is time to complete an application.