Proposed Change to Charging Policy for Appointeeship Service

Closed 2 Jun 2024

Opened 6 May 2024


North Northamptonshire Council (the Council) is seeking your views to help guide our decisions regarding the continued provision of an Appointeeship service for customers who lack capacity to manage their money and other financial affairs.

The Appointeeship service is an essential part of financial support offered to people with eligible care and support needs living in the community or a care home. Whilst the Council has been providing this service for many years, there is no statutory obligation to do so. The Council chose to provide the service because it recognises the importance of supporting vulnerable people to manage their finances and safeguard against any financial abuse. The Council currently support 257 people, these include people within the boundary of North Northamptonshire, several based in the West of the County and a few people who are based out of County. The Appointeeship service is heavily subsidised by the Council.

A charging policy was first introduced in 2012 as a means of partially offsetting the operational cost of providing the service. The current charges, which have been in effect since 2018, are £10.00 per week for customers in a care home and £12.50 per week for customers living in the community. The reason for the difference in fees is due to the additional work required for managing the finances and affairs of customers who live in the community.

People with limited capital/savings are not charged, and in cases where exceptional hardship can be demonstrated, a waiver may be requested and applied. This ensures that customers do not incur financial hardship because of the fees.

Reasons for changing the service

The demand for the Appointeeship service is increasing with the team having to operate a waiting list, whilst also dealing with more complex cases. At the same time, the cost of providing the service is rising with new requirements, such as the need for prepaid cards, to be able to adequately address the needs of people who benefit from the service.

Additionally, there is a significant amount of work and resource involved in setting up new appointee cases, as well as wrapping up finance matters for deceased customers. In both instances, these additional costs are currently absorbed within the service.   

The work involved in setting up new cases includes, but is not limited to the following;

  • Establishing all available income sources and assets, obtaining details of any bank accounts, private pensions, annuities etc.
  • Confirming and claiming all benefit entitlements including Housing Benefit & Council Tax.
  • Verifying all finance obligations and any outstanding debts and making the necessary arrangements to settle or set aside.
  • Setting up new finance arrangements for bill payments, rent and daily living expenses.
  • Ensuring care charges are correctly assessed and fees are being paid.
  • Liaising with all involved parties/agencies/companies with an interest to ensure all obligations are met.

Similarly, the work involved in dealing with deceased cases includes, but is not limited to the following;

  • Contacting all benefit agencies including Housing & Council Tax, private pension payers, utility companies, landlords and any other relevant bodies.
  • Liaising with next of kin, care providers or care homes, and funeral directors for funeral expenditure arrangements.
  • Liaising with next of kin for settlement of any outstanding bills or dealing with any solicitors instructed on their behalf.
  • Advising/supporting next of kin if probate applications are required.
  • Referring cases to the Government Treasury Solicitors if required.
  • In many instances where there is no next of kin or family, deceased cases can remain open to the team for a long time with various actions required from time to time.

There is currently no charge for the work and extra resources outlined in setting up new appointee cases and wrapping up deceased cases.

To maintain the service and ensure it remains viable for the future, some changes are proposed.

Firstly, a proposal to apply an increase of £2.50 per week to both care home and community customers, thereby bringing the rates to £12.50 and £15.00 per week respectively.

Secondly, a proposal to introduce two additional one-off charges;

    1. A Set-up fee of £100.00 for work up to when the Department for Work and Pensions assigns the Council as appointee.
    2. A Winding-up fee of £300.00 to cover the work for deceased customers.

We want to know the views of relatives of appointee customers, their support staff and others who may have an interest in the Appointeeship service. This is to ensure that we take everyone’s views into account so that informed decisions can be made in the best interest of the people who benefit from the service.

If you would like this survey in any other format, or would like to speak to someone you can call Client Funds Team on 01536 851430.

If you would prefer to respond in writing you can send to:

Client Funds Team
North Northamptonshire Council
Haylock House
Kettering Parkway
Kettering, NN15 6EY

This survey closes at midnight, 2 June 2024.

For information about how consultation and engagement responses are managed, please see the consultation and engagement privacy notice.



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