Safeguarding Adults Personal Assets Team (SAPAT)
The Safeguarding Adults Personal Assets Team (SAPAT) administer and manage client’s financial affairs under Appointee or Deputyship. They help to determine if Doncaster Council are able to take responsibility for a person’s financial affairs and the most appropriate way of doing so.
How we can act upon a client’s behalf?
Should an individual have capital and / or private income in addition to state benefits Doncaster Council must apply for both Appointeeship and Deputyship
Online banking facilities are used to manage individual bank accounts for clients and a client financial accounting system holds the client records.We can act in the role of Appointee by applying to the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP), or Deputy by applying to the Court of Protection.
Appointee and Deputyship
If somebody loses the capacity to manage their finances, for example due to dementia or a severe stroke, and has not made arrangements in advance, another person can become an Appointee or a Deputy, to take responsibility for their financial affairs. Whether Appointeeship or Deputyship is the best option will depend on the person’s financial circumstances.
An appointee is responsible for managing a person’s benefits, and also for paying bills and managing a small and limited amount of savings in case of unforeseen circumstances. Appointeeship may be the best course of action if the person has a low level of financial assets, is in receipt of benefits and doesn’t have any other sources of income.
If the person’s financial affairs are more complicated (for example if they have additional sources of income, investments, or significant savings), then an application for Deputyship is the best option. A Deputy undertakes responsibility for the management of all of a person’s financial affairs if they become incapable of doing so themselves, including savings, pensions, all sources of income, and assets such as property and valuables.
What happens if there is nobody to become an Appointee or Deputy?
There is no statutory duty placed on a local authority to undertake the role of Appointee or Deputy. However, it is the view of Doncaster Council that refusing to act on a vulnerable adult’s behalf may place them at risk due to suspension of their welfare benefit payments.
Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) guidance states that if a customer needs an Appointee because they lack the mental capacity to manage their own finances, but no one has been nominated or identified, the key practitioner should place a referral with the Appointee Team.
The majority of customers will have someone who is suitable to act on their behalf. Appointeeship will only be considered in cases where staff have been unable to identify anyone else suitable to act on the customer’s behalf.
For customers of Adult Care, the local authority will take steps to act as Appointee if the customer meets the following criteria:
- There is no other suitable person who is willing and able to manage the service users financial affairs
- Evidenced in the best interests meeting that ALL options have been explored such as family/money management/credit union/solicitors
- All financial and other required details have been supplied
- An assessment of mental capacity has confirmed that the service user lacks capacity to make specific decisions about their property and financial affairs
- The service user has savings and assets below £ 30000
Doncaster Council should not be offered for this service until all options have been exhausted and under duty of care the authority needs to act.
If there are family who are able but unwilling to carry out this function, it is their responsibility to source appropriate services. It is the duty of the social worker to ensure that this function is carried out.
Cases being referred into the SAPAT team will have to meet all of the above criteria. Cases will be screened on a case by case basis through the referral process by 2 persons within the SAPAT Team.
Cost of Appointeeship
A charge will be made to clients managed under appointeeship where they have assets above £2,000. The amount a person will be charged will depend on the value of their assets and whether they live in the community or residential care.
Appointee client’s with assets below £2,000 will be charged the bank fee (currently £2.64). Client’s that have assets over £16,000 will be reviewed for deputyship.
Charges range from £2.64 to £48 per month dependent on capital.
Mental Capacity Act 2005 and its Code of Practice
Protection of Property