What is an Appointee?

An appointee is an individual or organisation allowed to receive someone’s benefits when they are unable to manage their own money due to disability, illness or special needs.

Why Would Someone Need an Appointee?

If a person is incapable of managing their own finances due to physical or mental health incapacity and cannot cope with claiming benefits, paying bills or managing money, they may need an appointee to provide help. An appointee may be required on a temporary or permanent basis.

Appointeeship is a term used by the DWP when they authorise an organisation such as Salisbury Support 4 autism or an individual to take on the legal responsibilities of receiving and managing a person’s welfare benefit entitlements.

Specialist organisations such as Salisbury Support 4 Autism, a local authority or other statutory body, or an individual such as a family member or family friend can be authorised by the DWP to act as an appointee.

Ideally the appointee should be someone who is familiar with the client but it is recognised that this is not always possible and must be 18 years old and above.

An appointee will initially meet with the client and their social worker to review the circumstances and together they will agree a budget plan to make sure that all the person’s benefits are being claimed and all their living expenses are covered. This budget will then be managed by the appointee who will be responsible in managing the benefits claim, receiving benefit payments, receiving and paying bills, and managing funds on behalf of the client. The appointee is also responsible for repaying any overpayment in benefits. The appointee is responsible for maintaining adequate financial records on behalf of the client.

How to Become an Appointee

To become an appointee, Form BF56 must be completed and submitted to the relevant DWP department. In the case of new appointeeships, a DWP representative will typically wish to visit the person in need of an appointee and the person wishing to apply.

Corporate appointees such as Salisbury Support 4 Autism are also able to become an appointee and are usually asked to become an appointee when there are no friends or family that are willing, able or suitable to be able to act as an appointee for an individual that requires this support service.

Does an Enduring Power of Attorney Affect an Appointee?

Once someone starts to act for the person under a registered enduring power of attorney or is made a receiver by the Court of Protection, they will automatically take over from the appointee in dealing with benefits.

If the person does not have any friends or relatives to act as an appointee and it has been recommended by a local authority that the individual needs an appointee as part of their care package, then often a corporate appointee may be sought to undertake this role.

What is the Difference between a Deputy and an Appointee?

A deputy undertakes responsibility for the management of all of a person’s financial affairs if they become incapable of doing so themselves including savings, pensions and all sources of income or assets including property and valuables.

An appointee is only responsible for managing a person’s benefits and a small and limited amount of savings in case of unforeseen circumstances and paying bills and managing money if the client has smaller assets. However all the duties of an appointee is also the responsibility of a deputy if one is appointed.