What is meant by Access to Funds?

This is a procedure which allows an individual, a local authority or another organisation to apply for authority to access and manage the funds belonging to an incapable adult. The scheme would be suitable when the adult’s financial affairs are simple, e.g. paying for the adult’s day to day expenses such as gas, electricity, clothes, toiletries, food etc. It can also be used to request a lump sum to pay off any existing debts or to purchase specific items required by the adult.

Applications to access the funds belonging to the adult are made directly to the Public Guardian.

Access to funds would not be suitable if the adult’s affairs are more complex, e.g. where there are investments or there are heritable property concerns. An intervention order or guardianship order might be more appropriate, depending on the circumstances.

If you are thinking about making an application to access only state benefits or a state pension, then the access to funds scheme is not necessary.  It is possible to access these type of funds under the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) appointee arrangement.

When deciding on the more appropriate course of action you should take into account the principles of the Act, including that of the least restrictive option.