Presentation on theme: "Financial Assessments. Overview of presentation Income collection processes Information for service users Performance information Main ‘non payment’ scenarios."— Presentation transcript:
Overview of presentation Income collection processes Information for service users Performance information Main ‘non payment’ scenarios Myth Busters Social Care Worker’s role in income collection Overview of successes from John Fisher working with us
Income Collection Processes Reviewed end-to-end processes following initial ‘Bad Debtors’ meeting April 2012 FA income collection processes start from the visit – V/O: Records details of NOK/Executor/Will information (MCA) Encourages completion of direct debit form Encourages DMBC Appointee nomination (permanent or temporary, eg, whilst third party applies for deputyship) Refers third party to SAPAT for assistance with deputyship application if required Discusses and arranges signing of DPA if appropriate Explains importance of paying contribution and income collection procedures, and leaves a Fact Sheet on processes
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 bill After four weeks, check carried out whether bill paid If 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 payment Encourage payment by debit card over the phone and setting up of direct debit instruction for future bills Place charge on property if appropriate (Res Care after 12 weeks)
Income Collection Processes Establish progress with 3rd party applications for deputyship, etc Solicitors details if applicable Proof of application Refer to SAPAT for support if required Agree timescales for application outcome and date payment can be expected – confirmed in writing Refer 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 applied Individual Debtor Action Plan created with agreed actions and timescales
Non Standard Income Collection Processes OPG Register searches Report concerns about mismanagement of finances by LPA/Deputy to OPG For deceased service users: Will checks/checks for Letters of Administration/Probate searches Referrals to Legal Services Referrals to debt collection agencies (via Debtors Team) Referrals for Safeguarding action, BID, possible Corporate Deputyship application (This is ‘last resort’ action for Financial Assessments)
Information for service users Financial Assessment forms – revised 2011 based on Counsel’s opinion obtained by Leicestershire CC More information gathered about third party arrangements Separate declaration for financial representative Fairer Charging Policy on website Various Fact Sheets including ‘‘Paying your Social Care Charges’
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 DD Encourages early contact with FA if having difficulties paying Explains 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.”
Performance Information Financial year 2012/2013: Total social care debt raised £17,519,062 Debt b/f from previous years£ 3,343,627 Income collected£18,160,239 In-year collection rate 87% Write-offs£ 251,151 Total debt o/s at year end£ *2,732,320 *£1,076,683 secured on properties
Main non payment scenarios Capacitated service users who want to pay but need assistance Visit from FA VO; liaison with Social Care Worker; referral to SAPAT for assistance/mentoring with money management Capacitated service users who refuse to pay their assessed contribution Visit from FA VO; liaison with Social Care Worker; referral to debt collection agency; referral to Legal services Service users without capacity with no third party willing or able to assist Application for Corporate Appointeeship; referral to SAPAT to consider assistance for third party/application for Deputyship
Main non payment scenarios Service users without capacity with an appointee/Deputy but the service user’s contribution is not being paid Visit from FAVO; referral to OPG; referral to Debt Collection Agency; Safeguarding alert; Referral to Legal Services Service users without capacity with an ‘unofficial attorney’ who is accessing the service user’s income but not paying their contribution As above but Safeguarding alert more likely Service user dies and no one willing/able to apply for Probate/administer the estate Referral to Legal Services to apply to courts to appoint a personal representative; apply for Letters of Administration
Main non payment scenarios Service user dies leaving a Will but Executor refuses to pay outstanding charges Referral to Legal Services for action against the Executor Issues currently being progressed with Legal Services: Use of attachments to private/occupational pensions Use of ‘Legal’ correspondence Increased action against ‘failing’ Executors – replaced by the Council, eg. to effect sale of a property Council taking on Executor role where there is no existing Executor More use of third party debt orders
Myth Busters! “FA should follow ‘normal’ debt recovery process” There isn’t a ‘norm’! Collecting Social Care charges only benefits the Council Benefits all service users, the more income we collect, the more services we can provide DMBC’s policy is to take a soft approach to income collection FC 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 income DWP rarely agree to this if there is AN Other 3 rd party or the only issue is unpaid care charges
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 DPA Relatives refusing to apply for legal powers Relatives moving into property Relatives letting the property to tenants Debt is only secured up to the point of sale Legal Services exploring more use of forced sales
Social Care Worker’s role At the time care needs are being assessed: Establish and record service user financial capacity For service users without capacity, establish and record whether there is a third party with legal powers, what powers they have, and copy any legal documents Discuss money management arrangements with third parties For service users without capacity and no third party arrangements in place, carry out BID to determine who should apply for legal powers
Assessing capacity Charging 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).
Assessing capacity CRAG 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.
Social Care Worker’s role Where care already started and safeguarding alert made: Re-assess capacity if appropriate and carry out BID At review: Check with FA if social care charges are being paid At transition for LD clients: Discuss with parents/guardians money management arrangements once the LD client becomes entitled to benefits in their own right Carry out specific MCA/BID if appropriate In all cases: Issue voucher/schedule as soon as care starts
John Fisher’s work Outcome from ‘Bad Debtors’ working group John started working with FA September 2012 Dealt with 46 cases and collected over £162k John’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.