Managing an account on your behalf

Third-party managed accounts

If you have had difficulty with managing the financial element of Direct Payments, a managed account (third party account) could be easier for you because it provides a third party to support you with managing the financial element of the Direct Payments. Your social worker will assess if this is necessary. It is rare that it is needed, and you will still be solely responsible for all the decisions made on how the Direct Payments are used.

If a managed account is selected, we pay the Direct Payments fund into the managed account instead of setting up a prepaid card account or using your own Direct Payments bank account. All payments such as personal assistant (PA) wages or agency invoices are made on your behalf by the support organisation providing this service. They also provide the financial information when required for monitoring purposes to the council. Penderels Trust currently provides this service.

The difference between a standard direct payment and a managed account

Standard direct payment Managed account
The direct payment is paid directly to you, an agent or the authorised person. We will pay the money directly to the managed account on your behalf.
Usually, you have to set up a separate bank account purely for the direct payment. We then pay into this account. We pay the direct payment into a managed account bank account.
You are responsible for paying the personal assistant and any other invoices/cheques/standing orders/direct debits which relate to managing the direct payment.

You submit all details of the PA’s timesheets to the current payroll provider. The current payroll provider will then deal with the administration and pay wages directly to the PA.

An agency/provider will send invoices to the current managed account provider and this will generate the payment of the relevant invoice.

You will be invoiced for your contribution every 4 weeks. You will be invoiced for your contribution every 4 weeks.
You are accountable for all expenditure and make sure you send the monitoring returns to the council. The current managed account provider will submit monitoring returns as required by the council.

Acting as a Nominated Person

You can nominate someone that you trust to assist you to manage your Direct Payments. This may be helping to read letters, speaking on your behalf etc. This is called a Nominated Person. You are still solely responsible for your own Direct payments with this assistance. A Nominated Person does not have any legal responsibility for the Direct Payments. The Direct Payments Agreement must be signed by you (the customer) AND the nominated person. If you would like to have a Nominated Person to assist you to manage your Direct Payments please let your social worker know.

Your Personal Assistant cannot handle finances or manage the Direct Payments as this is a conflict of interests.

Examples exist where arrangements such as the following have been successful. A person being able to choose the personal assistant they want whilst not understanding the complexity or wanting the responsibility of handling the finances. In this case, a trust could be set up to be responsible for these elements.

Acting as an authorised person

If you are deemed not to have capacity to consent to Direct Payments, the payment can be made to an appointed Authorised Person. The Authorised Person has access to the same support and information you would receive.

From November 2009, the law changed to extend Direct Payments to people who lack the mental capacity to consent to them. We have a duty to offer Direct Payments to these individuals, where there is an ‘Authorised Person’ to receive and manage such payments on their behalf and where it would be in their best interests to have Direct Payments.

If you are considering acting as an ‘Authorised Person’ to receive Direct Payments on behalf of someone who does not have capacity, please talk with the Independent Living Team on 01926 413908.

Being appointed as an Authorised Person

  • You cannot simply become an Authorised Person. Warwickshire County Council must follow legislation and guidance on how to appoint an Authorised Person. Please discuss what these conditions are with the Social Work team allocated worker.
  • You must meet all the criteria as set out and complete the Warwickshire County Council checklist for appointing an Authorised Person.
  • You will act as the Authorised Person on behalf of an adult who lacks mental capacity to consent to receive Direct Payments on their behalf.
  • You must be willing and want to act as an Authorised Person.  
  • You can have support to manage the Direct Payments. Warwickshire County Council advises you to use the services of the Independent Living Team, the Recruitment, Retention and Employment support organisation, to support with recruitment and DBS checks and the Payroll support organisation to support with payroll.

Your role and responsibilities as an Authorised Person

  • You must follow good practice in making decisions on behalf of the person who lacks capacity and act in their best interests.
  • As the Authorised Person you are accountable for the way the Direct Payments are used.
  • You should involve the person who lacks capacity as far as reasonably practicable, and give them as much control and independence as possible.
  • You agree to inform Warwickshire County Council of any changes or difficulties, or as soon as you believe the person has regained capacity.
  • You will sign an agreement with Warwickshire County Council relating to the use of the Direct Payments, and you must keep to its terms.
  • You agree to use the Direct Payments to purchase and obtain the services necessary to meet the needs of the person who lacks capacity, as agreed by Warwickshire County Council in their care and support plan.
  • When making these arrangements, it may involve legal responsibilities - for example employing staff.
  • If you employ Personal Assistants, you must ensure you act lawfully as an employer – please ask the social care practitioner for the information sheet: ‘Employer Responsibilities’.
  • If you use an agency, please ask your practitioner for the information sheet: ‘Using Agencies’, for advice on how to use agencies and keep safe.  
  • If you decide to give up acting as the Authorised Person, you must contact Warwickshire County Council as soon as you no longer want to carry on in this role.
  • If the person you represent has fluctuating capacity, you must ensure during periods when they regain capacity that you involve them as much as practicable in decisions.
  • You cannot be an Authorised Person and a Personal Assistant, as this is a conflict of interest.  
  • You may not use the Direct Payments to secure services from a spouse, civil partner or partner of the individual. Or a close relative, spouse or partner of a close relative of the individual who is currently living in the same household without permission from Warwickshire County Council. The Authorised Person must first speak with Warwickshire County Council and seek agreement in these circumstances. There may be occasions when the council decides that it is necessary for the Authorised Person to use Direct Payments to secure such services, however, such situations are likely to be exceptional and a best interest's policy is adopted.
  • The prepaid card account will be opened in your name, and you will have full responsibility for this.  
  • If it is deemed that a managed account is most suitable, then you will have responsibilities over this, to ensure that the Direct Payments are managed correctly.  
  • If there is a reason that you cannot have a prepaid card, you must open a separate Direct Payments bank account and provide us with the details on the Bank Mandate Form given to you.
  • If you are a corporation or unincorporated body, you must ensure that the money can be shown as separate to any funds you may hold for any other person or body.

Whilst we do not want to discourage you from acting on behalf of an individual who lacks capacity, we must ensure that you are aware that anyone who acts as an Authorised Person may be guilty of fraud if they dishonestly abuse their position, intend to benefit themselves, or others, and cause loss or expose the person to risk or loss.

Note: The Fraud Act 2006 created an offence of ‘abuse of position’. This applies when someone is expected to safeguard the interests of a person but instead acts against their financial interests. Such a person can be found guilty of a criminal offence.