You may be eligible for a refund if you were overcharged deputyship fees by the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) for England and Wales. Due to the difficulty in predicting costs, as the number of deputyships rose faster than the OPG expected, the fees charged did not match how much it cost the OPG to supervise deputies.
The refunds are only for deputyship assessments and annual supervisions which took place between 1 April 2008 and 31 March 2015. Since 1 April 2015, clients (i.e. the individuals who have lost capacity) have not been overcharged.
The Ministry of Justice, which sets OPG’s fees, has now launched a refund scheme for those who paid higher fees for the relevant period. The scheme will be run by the OPG and does not apply to fees paid to either OPG Scotland, the Office of Care and Protection in Northern Ireland or the Court of Protection.
All those eligible, who need to apply for a partial refund on deputyship fees, can do so from 4th October 2019. The scheme is open for 3 years so there is plenty of time to apply. The deadline for refund claims is 4 October 2022.
Current deputies acting for existing clients do not need to apply. The OPG will be in touch with current deputies independently and any overcharged fees will be refunded automatically. Only one application form needs to be completed for each client. The OPG will then find all qualifying fees paid by them during the relevant period.
How much you get will depend on:
- how much you paid and at what rate
- how long you paid for
- whether you have unpaid fees
Most refunds will be less than £200. You will also receive 0.5% interest on any refund awarded.
You will be told by email or letter:
- when your application has been received
- if any information is missing
- whether your claim is successful
- the refund amount and when it will be paid
- the reasons for any rejection
It can take up to 10 weeks to get a decision and a further 2 weeks to receive the refund.
Full guidance for those applying is available online and there is a dedicated refunds helpline for those who need it. If you, or someone for whom you are acting, thinks they may be eligible please visit www.gov.uk/deputyship-refund for more details and to apply.
If you would like to talk to a specialist at Barrett & Co about deputies or deputyship with the Court of Protection, please contact Hilary Buckle at [email protected] or on 0118 958 9711.