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LPA and the DWP

JMU

Registered User
Feb 17, 2012
155
Cornwall
I've had a very odd phone call with the DWP this morning.
We received a letter in the post saying someone was coming to visit us regarding benefits next week. It was a bit vague as to why so I rang them up and discovered (in the end) it had been arranged after they received a strange phone call from dad at some point.
I had yet to inform them about his Alzheimer's or that I now have LPA (I only got it last week and have been working my way through banks and utilities first) so I explained the situation to them on the phone.
The woman I was speaking to (from the local office?) asked if I had got it through court of protection. I explained no, it was done through the OPG, but it was fully legal, had been registered, and should give me control over all his legal and financial affairs.
She replied that it probably wasn't enough, as they needed it done through the court of protection before they allow access regarding benefits!
I am now really confused. The visit is still on, only now I need to be there to show them my LPA, but it sounds as if it's not going to be enough, and I'm going to have to apply for appointeeship too.
Surely this isn't right?
 

jenniferpa

Registered User
Jun 27, 2006
39,448
No of course it isn't. You're simply dealing with someone who doesn't understand the way the system works.

Let me see if I can find chapter and verse for you on the DWP site.
 

jenniferpa

Registered User
Jun 27, 2006
39,448
The information is here http://www.dwp.gov.uk/docs/part-04.pdf

The appropriate bit starts at 4119 and then 4141

Also

4170 In law a PoA, EPoA or LPA is not a higher authority than an appointee for social security
purposes, but where a valid PoA, EPoA or LPA exists we would respect this and the attorney would normally be accepted to act for benefit purposes, unless there is a reason to believe that the attorney is unsuitable, e.g. there are grounds to suspect fraud, mismanagement or neglect.
 

hollycat

Registered User
Nov 20, 2011
1,350
Your story rings similar to my mum.

Mum rang DWP, failed security so I took the phone call. Cut long story short, DWP sent out a Rep to complete appointee forms and ALSO attendance allowance !

It sounds like it could be the same to me.

I think I would just let the appointment go ahead and see what they have to say on the day. With the LPA in your pocket, if effect, YOU are in charge if that makes sense.
 

dotfoxleics

Registered User
Mar 14, 2013
113
Leicestershire England
Very interested in jenniferpa's reference to the dwp website.

4164 If the customer is not able to manage their own affairs, there is an EPoA or LPA and there is evidence that the attorney is mismanaging the customer's benefit affairs the Secretary of State can make someone an appointee. However this should only be done after careful consideration of the evidence and after having spoken to the OPG. Consider very carefully if it is appropriate to make another person the appointee. Note: If the allegation is made by telephone, it is important that a record of the call is made.

It seems that DWP shouldn't proceed down "appointee" route without involving the OPG.
 

jenniferpa

Registered User
Jun 27, 2006
39,448
I think that's only where there is evidence that an attorney may not be acting appropriately. I would hope the DWP would report such concerns to the OPG because I can't help feeling it would be inappropriate for them to appoint someone else other than an attorney without such consultation.

There is another wrinkle to this though: while it's perfectly acceptable to be an attorney for someone when you as the attorney live overseas, the DWP do like to have the appointee be "in country". I ran into that myself.
 

JMU

Registered User
Feb 17, 2012
155
Cornwall
Thanks for your replies. I did think it was odd.
I've taken copies of the relevant bits just in case I need to show them on the day.
I can't imagine they could foresee a problem. It's not as if they would be paying the benefits into my account, which parts of the form almost seems to imply does happen. I just hope the guy on the day has a better idea than the woman on the phone did.
 

jenniferpa

Registered User
Jun 27, 2006
39,448
Actually that's really what should happen if you are an appointee - the benefits are paid into the appointees account (strange but true). I suppose the idea is that there is then no doubt who has control of the money.
 

zelana

Registered User
Feb 11, 2013
127
N E Lincs
I was made Mum's appointee in January & her pension etc are now paid into an account in my name. Fortunately I had a 2nd current account so all the paperwork was completed when the DWP representative visited me. If I hadn't had that account I would have had to open one and give them the details once it was set up.
 

Contrary Mary

Registered User
Jun 11, 2010
1,895
65
Greater London
I can't really envisage that there will be a problem, they are probably only visiting because of the phone call. I never had reason to tell DWP that I had EPA, and Mum couldn't possibly speak to them. I never had to query pension payments but I did have to notify changes in circumstances (eg hospital) for AA and nobody ever asked to deal with Mum, or if I had POA.
 

chrisuz

Registered User
May 29, 2012
94
East Yorkshire
We had a similar visit last week, the gentleman who came was very helpful. I had to show documents to identify both myself and my husband and after seeing the communication problems hubby has,he suggested I complete appointee forms then. The benefits will be going into the bank account hubby now has showing myself and the other attorney, thus making it very easy if I have to show hubby's income without having to disentangle it from mine in my bank account. We found separate bank accounts made it very easy when we had to prove income for daycentre placement.
 

FifiMo

Registered User
Feb 10, 2010
4,710
Wiltshire
As Chris has pointed out, you don't always have to open a separate bank account. The money has however to be paid into an account to which the appointee has access. So, if you are the attorney or deputy and are responsible for that bank account and you have full access to it, then that can be the account that is nominated. The DWP requirements for an appointee can be met in various ways. You would however need to open a separate account if you have no access to the person's other financial arrangements. Equally, if you have a joint account with the individual already or a third party mandate this account can be the one nominated and provided the DWP are satisfied, can be the account that the pension can be paid into.

Hope this helps,

Fiona
 

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