2 Overview of presentation Income collection processesInformation for service usersPerformance informationMain ‘non payment’ scenariosMyth BustersSocial Care Worker’s role in income collectionOverview of successes from John Fisher working with us
3 Income Collection Processes Reviewed end-to-end processes following initial ‘Bad Debtors’ meeting April 2012FA income collection processes start from the visit – V/O:Records details of NOK/Executor/Will information (MCA)Encourages completion of direct debit formEncourages DMBC Appointee nomination (permanent or temporary, eg, whilst third party applies for deputyship)Refers third party to SAPAT for assistance with deputyship application if requiredDiscusses and arranges signing of DPA if appropriateExplains importance of paying contribution and income collection procedures, and leaves a Fact Sheet on processes
4 Income Collection Processes FA Processing Team record service user financial information on system including contribution details and, on receipt of voucher/schedule, arrange for issue of first billAfter four weeks, check carried out whether bill paidIf not paid, telephone call made to service user/person acting on their behalf (service user documented capacity assessment is vital at this point)Question reasons for non paymentEncourage payment by debit card over the phone and setting up of direct debit instruction for future billsPlace charge on property if appropriate (Res Care after 12 weeks)
5 Income Collection Processes Establish progress with 3rd party applications for deputyship, etcSolicitors details if applicableProof of applicationRefer to SAPAT for support if requiredAgree timescales for application outcome and date payment can be expected – confirmed in writingRefer to FA VO in first instance, or Social Care Worker (if particularly sensitive case, family dynamics, or possible safeguarding issues)Liaise with SAPAT if Corporate Appointee/nomination of Corporate Bank Account procedures appliedIndividual Debtor Action Plan created with agreed actions and timescales5
6 Non Standard Income Collection Processes OPG Register searchesReport concerns about mismanagement of finances by LPA/Deputy to OPGFor deceased service users: Will checks/checks for Letters of Administration/Probate searchesReferrals to Legal ServicesReferrals to debt collection agencies (via Debtors Team)Referrals for Safeguarding action, BID, possible Corporate Deputyship application(This is ‘last resort’ action for Financial Assessments)
7 Information for service users Financial Assessment forms – revised 2011 based on Counsel’s opinion obtained by Leicestershire CCMore information gathered about third party arrangementsSeparate declaration for financial representativeFairer Charging Policy on websiteVarious Fact Sheets including ‘‘Paying your Social Care Charges’7
8 Information for service users Fact Sheet ‘Paying your Social Care Charges’“By law, we can ask people that receive adult social care services to contribute to the cost of the services they receive”Outlines various methods of payment but encourages DDEncourages early contact with FA if having difficulties payingExplains what happens if they do not pay: Legal action; Debt Collection Agency, etc and:“Asking the Council’s Adult Services Department to investigate whether someone is spending your money inappropriately and not acting in your best interests. This is called financial abuse. The Council may also contact the Police in serious financial abuse cases.”
9 Performance Information Financial year 2012/2013:Total social care debt raised £17,519,062Debt b/f from previous years £ 3,343,627Income collected £18,160,239In-year collection rate 87%Write-offs £ ,151Total debt o/s at year end £ *2,732,320*£1,076,683 secured on properties
10 Main non payment scenarios Capacitated service users who want to pay but need assistanceVisit from FA VO; liaison with Social Care Worker; referral to SAPAT for assistance/mentoring with money managementCapacitated service users who refuse to pay their assessed contributionVisit from FA VO; liaison with Social Care Worker; referral to debt collection agency; referral to Legal servicesService users without capacity with no third party willing or able to assistApplication for Corporate Appointeeship; referral to SAPAT to consider assistance for third party/application for Deputyship
11 Main non payment scenarios Service users without capacity with an appointee/Deputy but the service user’s contribution is not being paidVisit from FAVO; referral to OPG; referral to Debt Collection Agency; Safeguarding alert; Referral to Legal ServicesService users without capacity with an ‘unofficial attorney’ who is accessing the service user’s income but not paying their contributionAs above but Safeguarding alert more likelyService user dies and no one willing/able to apply for Probate/administer the estateReferral to Legal Services to apply to courts to appoint a personal representative; apply for Letters of Administration
12 Main non payment scenarios Service user dies leaving a Will but Executor refuses to pay outstanding chargesReferral to Legal Services for action against the ExecutorIssues currently being progressed with Legal Services:Use of attachments to private/occupational pensionsUse of ‘Legal’ correspondenceIncreased action against ‘failing’ Executors – replaced by the Council, eg. to effect sale of a propertyCouncil taking on Executor role where there is no existing ExecutorMore use of third party debt orders
13 Myth Busters! “FA should follow ‘normal’ debt recovery process” There isn’t a ‘norm’!Collecting Social Care charges only benefits the CouncilBenefits all service users, the more income we collect, the more services we can provideDMBC’s policy is to take a soft approach to income collectionFC Policy “The policy supports the view that a process of proactive income collection should be an integral part of the charging policy.”FA can just get DWP to recover charges from benefit incomeDWP rarely agree to this if there is AN Other 3rd party or the only issue is unpaid care charges
14 Myth Busters! A charge on a property secures the debt If service user does not have capacity, there must be a third party with legal powers to sell or enter into DPARelatives refusing to apply for legal powersRelatives moving into propertyRelatives letting the property to tenantsDebt is only secured up to the point of saleLegal Services exploring more use of forced salesWakefield is local demonstration project
15 Social Care Worker’s role At the time care needs are being assessed:Establish and record service user financial capacityFor service users without capacity, establish and record whether there is a third party with legal powers, what powers they have, and copy any legal documentsDiscuss money management arrangements with third partiesFor service users without capacity and no third party arrangements in place, carry out BID to determine who should apply for legal powers
16 Assessing capacityCharging for Residential Accommodation Guidance (CRAG) update June 2013: Residents and Enduring Power of Attorney, Lasting Power of Attorney or Property and Affairs Deputyship etc In all cases, the LA should find out if a resident has any of the following: • Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA); • Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) for Property and Affairs; • Property and Affairs Deputyship under the Court of Protection; or • any other dealings with the resident’s affairs (e.g. someone who has been given appointee-ship by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) for the purpose of Benefit payments).
17 Assessing capacityCRAG update July 2013: Social work staff should establish at the time of the assessment of care needs whether a resident has the capacity to consent to the care plan and any following financial assessment. If a resident appears to lack the capacity to consent to their financial information being given to the LA, while all practicable steps have been taken to help the resident, the LA should make enquiries as to whether there is a registered EPA, or registered LPA for Property and Affairs, or a Property and Affairs Deputy to manage the person’s financial affairs, or an Appointee by the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions to manage the person’s benefits.
18 Social Care Worker’s role Where care already started and safeguarding alert made:Re-assess capacity if appropriate and carry out BIDAt review:Check with FA if social care charges are being paidAt transition for LD clients:Discuss with parents/guardians money management arrangements once the LD client becomes entitled to benefits in their own rightCarry out specific MCA/BID if appropriateIn all cases:Issue voucher/schedule as soon as care starts
19 John Fisher’s work Outcome from ‘Bad Debtors’ working group John started working with FA September 2012Dealt with 46 cases and collected over £162kJohn’s successes include:Assisting service user in Resi care to sell her property and pay her care charges plus improve her quality of life.Assisting service user to transfer savings in several different banks so they were more manageable and set up direct debit.Dealing with service users’ sons who were joint Attorneys and had been using their mothers money to keep a business afloat. John’s intervention resulted in payment of outstanding charges and one son being removed as Attorney.
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