Appointees Acting on your Behalf
If you are unable to deal with your own Housing Benefit or Council Tax Benefit claim...
If you are unable to manage your affairs relating to your claim for Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit, you can ask someone else to act on your behalf. We (the Local Authority) have the power to appoint someone on your behalf.
The person appointed is known as an Appointee. You may ask for an Appointee because of your age, for example, or you may have a mental or physical disability, which is either temporary or permanent. Or you have other special needs which mean you cannot deal with your own affairs.
Who can be an Appointee?
There are three groups of people who can be Appointees:
- A person over the age of 18, who makes a written request to the Council to become an Appointee
- A receiver appointed by the Court of Protection with power to claim or receive payment
- An attorney appointed by the Powers of Attorney Act. These people are automatically Appointees as they have greater legal rights to represent someone
In the absence of category 2 or 3 above, you can ask your nominated person to apply to become your Appointee. This person can be another family member or a friend, for example.
How long would you have an Appointee?
It does not have to be permanent. The Appointee may wish to act on your behalf for a specified time period only, for instance if you are ill or injured.
What responsibilities does the Appointee have?
An Appointee takes over the rights and responsibilities in relation to your Housing Benefit and/or Council Tax Benefit claim.
The Appointee will:
- Be over the age of 18.
- Complete the claim form or review forms, supplying evidence of income, savings and rent, where required.
- Accept full responsibility for the information declared on the application form.
- Accept full responsibility for notifying the Benefits Service within one calendar month of any change in circumstance, which may affect Benefit entitlement.
- Receive Housing Benefit cheques on behalf of the claimant, where the claimant rents the property from a private landlord, unless the Housing Benefit is paid straight into a bank account or direct to the claimants landlord.
- Accept that they may be required to repay overpayments of Benefit.
- Have the same right of appeal as the claimant.
- Notify the Benefits Service in writing within one month if the claimant no longer needs an Appointee.
- Give one months notice if they no longer wish to be the Appointee.
- Be aware that If they knowingly make a false statement, provide false information or fail to notify a change of circumstance in order to secure or retain benefit for themselves or another person, it is a criminal offence for which they may be prosecuted.
- Be aware that the Local Authority may terminate this appointment at any time.
How do I become an Appointee?
Ideally, the claimant should give written authority stating who they wish to act as their Appointee, with both the claimant and the Appointee consenting to the arrangement.
However, where this is not possible because the claimant is too ill or incapacitated, then a friend or relative of the claimant can make a written request to the Council to become their Appointee for their Housing Benefit and/or Council Tax Benefit claim.
Note - the Council may only accept a nominated Appointee where no other person or organisation has been appointed to act as Appointee.
To request consideration to become an Appointee on behalf of the claimant, download the application form.