From 16 years, Personal Independence Payments (PIP) usually go directly to the young person. If they claim Universal Credit or other benefits in their own right, this will usually be paid to them rather than their parent carer.

The only exception to this is if the young person:

  • lacks the mental capacity to manage their own affairs or;
  • are severely disabled

In this case, a friend, relative, organisation/organisation representative, may be able to review and manage benefits for them by acting as their appointee.

The office paying the benefit gives the appointee responsibility to:

  • make claims on the young persons behalf
  • manage any benefit payments they get

Becoming an appointee only gives the appointee power to manage the persons benefits. It does not give any other rights.

Becoming an appointee for someone claiming benefits.

Power of attorney

Someone granted a power of attorney, can act and access information on another person's behalf. The person granting the power of attorney must have the mental capacity to understand the implications of this.

Power will only take effect in specific circumstances for an ordinary power of attorney. Or if the person loses their mental capacity, to make certain types of decisions for a lasting power of attorney.


If a person lacks mental capacity to grant a power of attorney, the Court of Protection can appoint a deputy to make decisions and recieve information about a person on their behalf.

Further information about deputies.

Mental capacity

Mental capacity means the ability to make or communicate specific decisions at the time they need to be made. To have mental capacity you must understand:

  • the decision you need to make
  • why you need to make it
  • the likely outcome of your decision

These could be decisions about finances or health and care.

Some people will be able to make decisions about some things but not others. Their ability to make decisions may also change from time to time.

Further information about making decisions on behalf of someone.

Video about the mental capacity act.

Making finance decisions for young people: parent carer toolkit.