Disability Focus is a not-for-profit charity based in Totnes incorporated in 2007 which assists disabled individuals benefiting from statutory funding by supporting them with the management of their finances.
Fees for our services are normally met by local authorities or can alternatively be funded by the client who pay for support themselves.
We offer a range of services for our clients ranging from running a payroll & pension service, liaising with HMRC, managing bank accounts, and Appointeeship services.
Disability Focus is also able to act as a Deputy pursuant to an order issued by the Court of Protection for individuals who lack mental capacity to manage their own property and financial affairs.
Disability Focus works with many professionals, local authorities and private organisations that refer clients to us so that we can help to protect and support them every day.
Our appointeeship services enable social and healthcare professionals to provide clients with a trusted, independent money management service that has the clients best interest at the centre of our work.
The starting point is either to contact us so that we can have a general chat about the particular needs and circumstances of the client or to simply complete our online referral form by clicking HERE.
After we have received the completed referral form we can then agree the best route forward to support the client that you are referring.
If a person is unable to cope with claiming benefits, paying bills or managing money they may need an appointee to provide help. The appointee appointed can act on a temporary or permanent basis.
Appointeeship is a term used by the DWP. It is the term they use to summarise when an individual has taken legal responsibilities of receiving and managing a person’s welfare benefit entitlements.
If a person’s circumstances change then Disability Focus will need to inform DWP straight away. If an individual’s savings were to change then this could affect the amount of benefits that can be claimed.
As an acting appointee Disability Focus checks the balance for the individual each month to ensure compliance with the above. Should the threshold be reached Disability Focus would have to inform DWP.
As an acting appointee Disability Focus may consent to the release of any medical information under normal consent rules should the individual have a mental impairment. An appointee would also be able to sign on behalf of the individual for bank and building society interest to be paid, this would be without the deduction of income tax.
Being appointed as a corporate appointee does allow Disability Focus the authority to deal with an individual persons Post Office Account. However it does not allow Disability Focus to deal directly with capital or bank accounts or any other income belonging to the incapacitated individual.
When acting as a deputy the responsibility is to manage all of the individual’s financial affairs, which would include all sources of income, assets such as property and valuables, pensions and all savings. This would be the case if the individual is assessed as being incapable of looking after their own affairs.
Corporate Appointees are responsible for looking after an individual’s benefits and possibly a small amount of savings. If an individual has an acting appointee and then needs to appoint a deputy the deputy will take over all of the above responsibilities.
A corporate appointee is an organisation such as Disability Focus that has the capability and familiarity needed to manage the benefit responsibilities of an incapacitated claimant.
If the person dies the appointee needs to inform the Department for Work & Pensions (DWP) of the death immediately, if made available, a copy of the death certificate may be required.
Referring clients to Disability Focus is very straightforward. Please contact us to discuss
your requirements in more detail.
Yes, you can. Disability Focus is already assisting care homes that would prefer to focus on the delivery of other aspects of care. Please contact us to discuss your requirements in more detail.
Once someone starts to act for the person under a registered lasting power of attorney or is made a Deputy by the Court of Protection they will automatically take over from the appointee in dealing with any benefits.
Yes – the social worker should look at this aspect of care as part of the overall assessment.
The social worker should also request more information from Disability Focus in case we
would be able to help the individual further.
Yes, they can. As part of a care assessment Social services can recommend that an appointee is necessary to help a client.
A person who has been assessed as lacking capacity to manage their own property and financial affairs.
A Court of Protection Appointed Deputy is someone who makes financial decisions on behalf of the incapacitated person.
The Deputy will manage the financial affairs of the incapacitated person and abide by the court order. The Deputy will follow the principles of the Mental Capacity Act 2005 and be supervised by the Office of the Public Guardian.
The Deputy will be able to charge fees set by the Court of Protection
A corporate appointee is an organisation such as a local authority or specialist organisation like Disability Focus that manages the benefits and bills on behalf of a client who may not be able to manage their own finances. A deputy will have these responsibilities too as well as the duties and powers of a deputyship.
Yes, if the Court of Protection instructs a deputy to act in all financial matters or specifically Social Security matters, the deputy becomes fully responsible for the management of the customer’s financial affairs. As part of their duties, a deputy will be responsible to undertake the role of an appointee to manage a client’s benefits, make claims (including completing and signing any claim forms), collecting and receiving benefit payments and reporting any change in circumstances to the DWP.
The aim of a direct payment is to give more flexibility to how services are provided to people who are assessed as eligible for social services support. Providing money in lieu of social care services gives people greater choice and control over their lives and enables them to make their own decisions about how their care is delivered.
Direct payments are payments made to individuals by Social Services departments to enable them to buy services they have been assessed as needing. They can be given to disabled people aged 16 or over, to people with parental responsibility for disabled children, and to carers aged 16 or over in respect of carer services.
Some people find that services provided by the council aren’t flexible enough to meet their needs, or that they lack continuity. You may find, for example, that they can’t always be provided at times that suit you. With Direct Payments, you decide how and when your support is delivered and by whom. Direct Payments offer flexibility and choice to individuals by allowing them to make their own decisions about their lives. People of all ages can buy care for themselves that better suits their individual needs.
You can use Direct Payments to employ people who report straight to you. Or you can use the money to contract an agency where the agency will be accountable to you and not the local council. You can also use a mixture of these two care providers.
Most people who have been assessed as needing a social care service can get direct payments. This includes people with:
You can also receive Direct Payments if you are a:
You can ask for Direct Payments if you wish to be in control of the services you need, and
you are able to arrange and manage those services, either by yourself or with help. You do
not have to be able to do everything yourself. As long as you stay in charge of what happens you can have as much help as you need to manage direct payments.
You can use direct payments to arrange support tailored to meet your individual needs. You can decide what sort of help you need, how you want the help to be provided and the times when you want to have help.
Direct payments are not extra money to spend as you wish. The money must be used to meet the needs for which Social Services have agreed you should have help. You can do this by:
Direct payments can also be used for one-off or intermittent services, such as buying short periods of respite care, or buying equipment to help you remain independent.
You do not have to take full control straight away. You can continue to have some services
arranged by Social Services whilst you arrange only part of your support package. In this
way, you only have to do what you feel confident about, giving you time to develop the skills needed to completely manage your services.
No, not necessarily. There are many avenues of support for people who have Direct Payments. You can use family and friends to help you manage your money and even act as your representative if you need support being an employer. Disability Focus offers a number of services that can assist you with all aspects of Direct Payments. It is important to remember that if you accept Direct Payments, you can change your mind at any time.
It is essential to set up a PAYE Scheme with HMRC ensuring that the correct deductions for Tax and National Insurance are made from your employees’ Gross Pay and that these deductions along with any employers National Insurance contributions are paid on time and in full to HMRC. In addition, you must notify HMRC if your employees didn’t work during any tax periods to avoid fines or penalties for Real Time Reporting.
All employers by law must have employer’s liability insurance cover of at least £5 million.
A number of responsibilities are deemed as essential when employing someone as a career.
The Gross wage is the amount of pay generated before tax and National Insurance contributions are deducted. The Net wage will be the amount your employee actually receives after Tax and National Insurance has been deducted.
Disability Focus strongly recommend that employers make a Gross pay agreement with their employees to protect and manage the total employment costs.
A minimum of 5.6 weeks paid holiday per year is a statutory right for all employees in the UK. Employees who work part-time are entitled to 5.6 weeks pro-rata.
Employers have a duty to administer Statutory Payments for their employees whether this is Statutory Maternity, Adoption or Paternity Pay if they are eligible.
Disability Focus can submit a claim to HMRC on your behalf to recoup some or all the monies paid to your employee for a Statutory Payment to reimburse your funded account if the amount is not offset against Tax and National insurance for your payroll.
An employee who earns above the Lower Earnings Limit (LEL) and has been off work for four or more days continuously is entitled to Statuary Sick Pay (SSP)