After a stroke, people sometimes struggle to manage their money. For example, their disabilities might mean they are unable to sign cheques or use online banking. Or they may have difficulties in making their own decisions (sometimes referred to as a lack of mental capacity). If you support a stroke survivor, here are some ways you can help.

Managing benefits

You can apply to become an appointee so you can manage their benefits, including state pension. As an appointee, you're responsible for making and maintaining their benefit claims.

Someone from the Department of Work and Pensions will assess you and the person you care for to check that an appointee is needed and that you are suitable.

How do I apply to be an appointee?

Phone the helpline for the benefits they're receiving. For example, if they receive Disability Living Allowance, contact the disability benefits helpline. Or visit:

England and Wales: visit the GOV.UK website

Northern Ireland: visit the nidirect.GOV.UK website

Scotland: visit the website

Managing bank accounts

If the person you support has mental capacity, but has trouble with banking because of mobility, sight or communication difficulties, talk to the bank about the accessible services they offer.

Alternatively, with the account holder's permission, you can be authorised to temporarily operate their bank or building society account for them. Contact their bank to get a third-party mandate form.

Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) or Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA) for finance and property

If they're likely to need longer term help with their finances, you should discuss power of attorney. This is a legal document giving you permission to handle their finances if they lose their ability to make decisions. However, an LPA (England, Wales, Scotland) or EPA (Northern Ireland) must be set up while they still have mental capacity.

How do I set up an LPA or EPA?

Call the Office of the Public Guardian (England, Wales, Scotland), or the Office of Care and Protection (Northern Ireland) to request the forms. You don't have to use a solicitor. Or visit:

England and Wales: visit the GOV.UK website

Scotland: visit the website

Northern Ireland: visit the nidirect.GOV.UK website

What happens if someone loses mental capacity and hasn't set up an LPA or EPA?

England and Wales - apply to the Court of Protection to become a deputy (0300 456 4600 or visit the website).

Scotland - apply to the Office of the Public Guardian to become a guardian (01324 678396 or visit the website).

Northern Ireland - apply to the Office of Care and Protection to become a controller (0300 200 7812 or visit the website).

These public agencies will decide if you can act in their best interests and are suitable to take on their affairs. You may need legal advice - there are fees for registering and for any court hearings.

Remember - Communication problems don't automatically mean someone's lost mental capacity. They may just need help to communicate their decisions. A speech and language therapist can help with this.

For more information and support

Contact our Stroke Helpline on 0303 3033 100 or

Stroke News magazine

This article is featured in the spring 2021 edition of our magazine, Stroke News. Subscribe to our future editions available in print, on audio CD, or via email.

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