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Appointees

SarahSilcox
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Bridport & District Citizens Advice

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I support people with learning disabilities and their carers/parents to submit UC claims. In some cases, carers/parents are legal appointees and, therefore, are making the claim on behalf of claimants. I understand that carers/parents need to apply for appointee status in UC by contacting the enquiry line (as with other DWP-administered benefits) in order to do this (see guidance here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/universal-credit-consent-and-disclosure-of-information#appointees). However, once appointee status is obtained, how do advisers/support workers complete the online UC claim sections. For example, do you enter the appointee’s name, address and other personal details (rather than those of the claimant)? What about bank details? Thanks in advance for any insights/feedback.

[ Edited: 2 Aug 2019 at 04:12 pm by SarahSilcox ]
stevenmcavoy
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Welfare rights officer - Enable Scotland

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that guidance appears to have been changed since i last looked at it.

last time i covered this we werent even being told to get potential appointees to call, it was to make the online claim then put a note in the journal saying they had an appointee.

for your specific inquiry….id want the money going into an account held in the clients name (if the appointee has access thats fine).

sharing accounts just leads to problems if someone passes away/has capital/is accused of financial abuse….

having never got an appointee to call the line, can they not just make it a phone claim from there?  how else do they tie the call up with the digital claim?

Dan_Manville
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Mental health & welfare rights service - Wolverhampton City Council

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The appointee guidance was updated in February after anguished cries from corporate appointees. Currently it recommends making a telephone claim, that is a patch for the quandary of using a single email address for multiple claimants.

Telephone claims use a dummy email address, so it is difficult, later, to change contact details on the account, or, if you forget the password, you can’t reset it. Better to create an email address and do the claim digitally, in the recipient’s name with a note on the journal.

UC has a discrete process for approving appointees; you’ll need to be reapproved the first time you transfer a claim from legacy and often; if, for instance, a claim has been rebuilt, the appointeeship detail’s aren’t reapplied so they will refuse to accept you’re the appointee.

Edit, It’s advisable to check with legacy that the appointeeship is properly recorded before making the UC claim.

[ Edited: 14 Aug 2019 at 10:55 am by Dan_Manville ]
Susannah Fayers
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Generalist adviser - Camden CAB

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Hi all

Those of you acting as corporate appointees may be able to answer this one with ease. Lets just call this case hybrid hypothetical/asking for a friend….

Person of working age. Has an informal living arrangement where claim Carers Allowance and board and lodging provided at home of person cared for. Arrangement has run for 10 yrs. No licence or equivalent tenancy agreement.

All runs smoothly until carer has a stroke and unable to provide the care required ( long term situation). Hospitalised with some surgery after which capacity affected as is mobility and all ADLs. Gets complications - remains in hospital months after admission. After much wrangling with family now waiting rehab/temp admission care home - with various familiar arguments between acute NHS Trust/ residing LA/LA lived in ( not the same one as the hospitals location). The issues around various statutory resp come in to play but basically carer is now technically homeless in a hospital with said hospital desperate to not acknowledge this for reasons we will call political . However they do make a referral to LA was living in ….who bat it back as state ordinary residence for Care Act is where person resides…which is hosp. (promise this becomes relevant in a bit!)

Person cared for has to get in new live in carer so person loses home and CA claim closes down. Because of now severe cognitive impairment . capacity issues and no access to prev home and all docs/ID takes several months to identify ESA claim needed and this has to be ‘New Style’ ESA as no one has a clue what financial situation is.

No photo ID at all or any docs so family start from scratch trying to work out what has happened. Imaginitive approach taken to claiming ( seeing how this works out ) . Family member tels in claim, tells DWP no one is appointee and no one intends to ever be an appointee (very bad exp in past) and person is homeless with the ward listed as address and limited capacity so requires support in a verification interview where the VO will have to visit. Oh, and there is no ID and as no appointee no one can actually lawfully do this.

New Style ESA claim form completed and posted to correct JCP for hospital with Med 3, letters , reports restating above and that EA adjustments means dept needs to allow 3 months to get any ID at all and DWP has the facility to check ID across other govt depts/using real time information etc etc.

ESA line plus JCP told that given no willing family/social worker/Mental capacity advocate / appointee/LPA then DWP should approach one or both of the 2 LA and ask for an appointee in same way it would an individual given claimant not going to be able to manage claim (possibly ever). And oh, claimant could be moved off ward at a few hours notice to next treatment cte which will be a completely different LA and will remain homeless until rehab period considered completed by NHS.

This floors them. So…can anyone advise if they have experience of DWP approaching the LA to act as appointee and if so , is there a special DWP team that deals with this ? If so does anyone have the contact details (London and SE). No Best Interests Assessment yet carried out due to NHS/social care political wranglings of who is resp plus of course the wait list is months - >yr until deemed emergency. Priority at this point is to get claim accepted as verified .

 

 

Dan_Manville
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Mental health & welfare rights service - Wolverhampton City Council

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Susannah Fayers - 09 December 2019 07:29 PM

can anyone advise if they have experience of DWP approaching the LA to act as appointee and if so , is there a special DWP team that deals with this ? If so does anyone have the contact details (London and SE).

Jobcentre Plus have approached us on occasion but it tends to be Work Coaches; I’m not aware of a special team.

You’ve got two, maybe three Local Authorities disputing Ordinary Residence… That’s messy.

Are you sure the claimant hasn’t got capacity? Even with support?

edit: Oh, and if in receipt of IS as a carer for so long are you sure they’ll satisfy the NI contribution conditions for NSESA?

[ Edited: 10 Dec 2019 at 10:46 am by Dan_Manville ]
Daphne
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Don’t forget first contribution condition can be relaxed if you were getting carer’s allowance in tax year before your ESA claim starts so there may be entitlement even if not worked for ages

Susannah Fayers
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Generalist adviser - Camden CAB

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Hi

Relying at this point that NI credits through CA will work for NSESA claim. And quicker to find out through claiming than family having to become detectives ( hopefully)

Re Capacity - yes have to assume capacity from start, has to be issue specific but problem is retaining and using information. Very poor memory even with aide memoires. Family asked for a MCA advocate - hospital had hoped to transfer so hadn’t done and then got messy.

Have since found very useful document you posted this thread https://www.rightsnet.org.uk/forums/viewthread/14119 which can be used so thanks. Tells VO’s what to do rather than just close case.

Yes 2/3 LA very messy and even if use Care Act provision in rehab for paying for accommodation and living expenses will still need to show benefits entitlement/no entitlement.

Wondering at this point how dept marries up EA requirements v. time it takes for a LA social services dept to actually appoint someone.

Hmmmm….....


We will see

And then we will have the whole PIP scenario at some point….