Appointee and deputyship services for receiving pensions and benefits
If someone you know is unable to manage their own pension or benefits, you can have an appointee manage their benefits for them.
An appointee is someone who signs the paperwork for the person they are an appointee for, receives the benefit and/or pension money and spends this on the person’s behalf and in their best interests.
You may become an appointee for someone you know if the person is unable to manage their own pension and/or benefits. This might be because they’re incapable mentally of doing so or because they’re severely disabled and cannot manage their benefits themselves. A person can only have one appointee who can manage their pension and/or benefits on their behalf.
Who can be an appointee?
You may choose to become an appointee for someone you know who is receiving a pension and/or benefits. For example, if you are their relative or friend.
Or you may choose for an organisation to become the person’s appointee, like a solicitor or the local authority.
What does an appointee do?
As someone’s appointee, you’ll be responsible for making and maintaining any pension and/or benefit claims on the person’s behalf.
This means that you’ll be:
- signing benefit claim forms
- telling the benefit office about any changes which would affect the claim
- spending the benefit money (which is paid directly to you) in the person’s best interests
- telling the benefit office as soon as you stop being the person’s appointee
How to apply to become an appointee
If you’d like to become an appointee for someone, you can apply to the Department of Work and Pensions and request to become their appointee.
There are various helplines you will need to phone in order to apply to become an appointee. The helpline you phone will depend on the benefit or pension you are applying to manage.
The helplines are as follows:
- 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
There’s a different process for tax credits.
Having the council as your appointee
If you’re unable to manage your own pension and/or benefits, and don’t have any relatives or friends who can help, your local authority may become your appointee or deputy.
A deputy is when the local authority manages not only your pension and/or benefits, but your other finances if you don’t have the capacity to do so yourself. Read more about the Mental Capacity Act. A deputy is overseen and held accountable for their actions by the Office of the Public Guardian.
Your local authority can become your appointee if someone doesn’t have the capacity to manage their own finances. You do not need to be receiving social care services for the local authority to become your appointee, such as home care, day care or if you live in a residential or nursing care home.
If the local authority is your appointee, they will manage, using your own money:
- your state benefits
- your bills
- the set up of a bank account in your name
- your finances, by ensuring that you get the correct benefits
- your daily living bills
How much will it cost
There is no charge to you if the local authority is your appointee, but there is if the local authority is appointed by the Court of Protection to become your deputy.
If the local authority is appointed as your deputy, the following charges will apply:
- application fee to the Court of Protection to become an appointee of £400
- appointment fee of the local authority becoming a deputy of £670
- providing a report to the Office of the Public Guardian fee of £195
- one year from appointment date fee of £700 or if assets are below £16,000, the fee will be 3% of the capital value
- in subsequent years, there will be a fee of £585 or if assets are below £16,000, the fee will be 3% of the capital value
- if there is a property owned, there will be a fee of £270
- if a report is required by the Office of the Public Guardian, a fee of £195 will apply
- a set up fee from the Office of the Public Guardian of £100, followed by annual supervision fees depending on the level of supervision required
How to be referred
If you or someone you know thinks they might be eligible to have the local authority as an appointee or deputy for them, you will need to contact the local authority and request that a social worker looks into your situation.
How to stop being someone’s appointee
If you would like to stop being an appointee for someone, you will need to contact the Department of Work and Pensions immediately. You will need to phone the benefit office that deals with the claim. You can find this number on any letters they’ve sent you.
If you are an appointee for someone, this can be withdrawn if:
- you don’t act properly under the terms of the appointment
- the claimant is clearly able to manage their own pension and/or benefits
- you become incapable yourself of managing someone’s pension and/or benefits