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.

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.

Related links

Find your pension centre