Decision Maker: Cabinet
Decision status: Recommendations Approved
Is Key decision?: Yes
Is subject to call in?: No
The Cabinet considered a report of the Director of Children’s Services which advised that the wellbeing principle of The Care Act 2014 had made it clear that a Local Authority’s duty is to ensure the wellbeing of individuals must be at the centre of all it does. It was therefore important to consider financial wellbeing for individuals when looking at their overall wellbeing.
The Council’s Adult Care service offered a Corporate Appointee and Deputy (Property and Financial Affairs) Service for residents with eligible care and support needs.
An Appointee was someone who is appointed by the Department of Work and Pension (DWP) to receive and manage someone’s DWP benefits, this included spending the benefits in the person’s best interests (for example paying for priority bills). A Deputy (Property and Financial Affairs) was someone appointed by the Court of Protection to manage the property and financial affairs of a person who lacks the mental capacity to do this for themselves. This would be required where a person has income or assets other than DWP benefits.
The Cabinet was advised that there were currently (as at period 2, 2021/2022) 298 live Appointee cases and there were two live Deputy cases.
That the Cabinet approves the amendment, detailed in the report, to increase the capital asset value threshold in the eligibility criteria for the ACS Corporate Deputyship service, meaning that service users with less than £25,000 in capital assets or property can access the Rochdale Borough Council’s Corporate Deputy service, instead of the current threshold which is set at the lower value of £16,000.
Reasons for the decision:
The Council’s Corporate Deputy is the Assistant Director (Operations), Adult Care service who requested to review the current eligibility criteria for the Council’s Corporate Deputy service due to our low case numbers and to ensure that service users are able to access this service that can be vital to ensure their financial wellbeing.
The recommendations outlined in the submitted report were made to the named Deputy as part of a wider review process, and agreement in principle was given to explore and proceed with the threshold increase as outlined in paragraph 2.1 of the submitted report.
There was a gap between the current asset limit of £16,000 and the minimum asset limit that a Panel Solicitor would usually accept a referral. This meant that where it was in a person’s best interests to have a Deputy (Property and Financial Affairs) they may not be able to access this service which then impacts on their financial wellbeing.
This would allow the Council to ensure that more service users are able to access this service that can be vital to ensure their financial wellbeing.
In addition, this may have a positive outcome for some of the Council’s existing service users as it can be ensured that they are suitably placed under the correct service, either Appointeeship or Deputyship and receiving the necessary support and they need.
Eligible for Call-in: Yes.
Report author: Laura Greenwood
Publication date: 06/10/2021
Date of decision: 21/09/2021
Decided at meeting: 21/09/2021 - Cabinet