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Rights and responsibilities as an appointee

Appointees acting for someone over the age of 16

If the Department for Work and Pensions appointed you to act for a young person because they:

  • are over 16
  • cannot manage their benefits

You can continue to act for them for their Child Disability Payment

Social Security Scotland will need to review your appointment to make sure it works for the young person. Scottish law on appointees is different to UK law. It aims to give greater protection to clients.

If we can, we make face to face visits to help us decide if someone should have an appointee. These visits are with:

  • the appointee
  • the person who needs the appointee

Social Security Scotland will also write to the young person to tell them that you're acting on their behalf for their benefits.

This is because they have the right to ask Social Security Scotland to end your appointment at any time. 

Your responsibilities as an appointee

You are now responsible for managing the young person's benefits and payments made to them by Social Security Scotland. 
Being an appointee is an important position of trust. 
You'll :

  • be the contact for Social Security Scotland benefits
  • receive all correspondence and instructions for those benefits
  • be responsible for any payments and reporting changes
  • spend the money in ways that benefit the young person

If you're an extended family member or friend looking after a child

If you're not the legal guardian or parent, you must contact Social Security Scotland as soon as possible.  
This is so that Social Security Scotland can appoint you to act and receive assistance on behalf of the child. This will make you the child’s appointee. 
This applies to people caring for someone under the age of 16:

  • like a friend
  • like extended family like a grandparent, aunt or uncle, cousin 
  • foster carer
  •  who are not their parents

Social Security Scotland will temporarily suspend payments if assistance is paid to someone who is not the child or young person’s:

  • parent 
  • legal guardian 
  • appointee

Payments will be suspended until either:

  • an appointee is in place
  • a legal guardian or parent can act and receive payments on behalf of the child 

Find out more information on acting on behalf of someone claiming benefits.

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