Applied for power of attorney or deputyship? You could be owed a refund..
Over the last few years, most coverage of corporate refunds has gone on mis-sold Payment Protection Insurance (PPI). The complaints deadline passed at the end of August, but not before billions of pounds were repaid in compensation. I got a relatively small sum for mis-sold PPI on a credit card, but a friend of mine was delighted to get £16,000 back from various loans and credit lines she had taken out.
However, while the media have been preoccupied with PPI, many of us haven’t heard of other opportunities to claim repayments. This is particularly true in the case of people who are owed refunds by the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG).
The Office of what?!
You may well have just asked yourself what the Office of the Public Guardian is. I won’t give you an exhaustive description, but what you do need to know is that it is the government office responsible for registering power of attorney and supervising deputies who have been appointed by the Court of Protection.
Let’s begin with deputies. A deputy is someone who is authorised to act on behalf of someone who ‘lacks mental capacity’. For example, if you have an elderly relative with Alzheimer’s, you can apply to the Court of Protection to be appointed deputy – meaning you can make decisions (including financial decisions) for that person. When you apply, you pay an assessment fee to the Office of the Public Guardian, followed by an annual supervision fee.
Power of attorney is a bit different. This is when you appoint someone to act on your behalf in the event that you ever become able to make decisions for yourself. Again, when you make your application, you hand over a fee to the OPG. This can be as much as £320 per year.
Why you may be owed a refund
If you applied to become and acted as a deputy between April 2008 and March 2015, you may be owed money. According to the Ministry of Justice, 82,000 people were overcharged during these dates. Apparently, the MoJ didn’t predict a rise in deputyships, meaning it charged more than it actually cost to supervise deputies.
The amount owed averages about £240, but it could be rather higher – especially if you were a deputy for a number of years during the specified dates.
If you registered a Power of Attorney between 1 April 2013 and 31 March 2017, you could be owed money for a similar reason – the OPG’s costs dropped but its fees didn’t. This means you could be owed up to £54.
How to apply
So how do you apply for a reimbursement? For deputyships, you can either download an application form or complete it online via this page. You’ll need to include various items of evidence, such as proof of your address and of your right to apply.
Similarly, if you are owed a power of attorney refund, there’s another online form. You can find it here – but for this, be sure to apply before 1 February 2021.
If you were either a deputy or applied for power of attorney between the relevant dates, it’s certainly worth applying to get some money back. If you weren’t, you’re likely to know someone who was – so be sure to spread the word!
Help with Lasting Power of Attorney
Here at THP our team can assist you with anything related to Lasting Power of Attorney and help ensure your finances and wellbeing are in in safe hands.
About Ben Locker
Ben Locker is a copywriter who specialises in business-to-business marketing, writing about everything from software and accountancy to construction and power tools. He co-founded the Professional Copywriters’ Network, the UK’s association for commercial writers, and is named in Direct Marketing Association research as ‘one of the copywriters who copywriters rate’.