You can apply for the right to deal with the benefits of someone who cant manage their own affairs because theyre mentally incapable or severely disabled.
Only 1 appointee can act on behalf of someone who is entitled to benefits (the claimant) from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).
An appointee can be:
- an individual, eg a friend or relative
- an organisation or representative of an organisation, eg a solicitor or local council
- sign the benefit claim form
- tell the benefit office about any changes which affect how much the claimant gets
- spend the benefit (which is paid directly to you) in the claimants best interests
- tell the benefit office if you stop being the appointee eg, the claimant can now manage their own affairs
If the benefit is overpaid, depending on the circumstances, you could be held responsible.
Apply to become an appointee
Who you phone to apply to depends on the benefit:
Attendance Allowance – contact the Attendance Allowance helpline 0345 605 6055
Disability Living Allowance – contact the disability benefits helpline 0345 605 6055
State Pension – contact your local pension centre 0800 731 7898
Personal Independence Payment (PIP) – contact the PIP new claims line 0800 917 2222
all other benefits – contact Jobcentre Plus 0345 604 3719
Theres a different process for tax credits - Complete the appointee section on the tax credit claim form explaining why the claimant cant complete and sign the form.
You must be over 18 and have a bank account. You dont have to be a relative.
The Tax Credit Office may contact you for more information before deciding whether to make you an appointee or not.
- DWP arranges to visit the claimant to assess if an appointee is needed.
- DWP interviews you to make sure youre a suitable appointee.
- During the interview, you and the interviewer fill out an appointee application form (Form BF56)
- If DWP agrees with the application youll be sent Form BF57 (confirming youve been formally appointed to act for the claimant). Youre not the appointee until this happens.
- Once youre authorised, DWP will monitor the situation to make sure its still suitable for you and the claimant.
Stop being an appointee
Contact DWP immediately if you want to stop being an appointee. Phone the benefit office that deals with the claim – the number will be on any letters theyve sent you.
Your appointment can be stopped if:
- you dont act properly under the terms of the appointment
- the claimant is clearly able to manage their own benefits
- you become incapable yourself – let DWP know immediately
If any data is incorrect, please contact us to report it.