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The Name Of The Game

August 22, 2015

I find it hard to believe that it’s been over three months since the Office of the Public Guardian audited Steven’s accounts for last year and told me I had to make some changes. Despite me putting in an incredible amount of time and effort, due to more 2015 bureaucracy, I’ve still not been able to make those changes.

Steven has two bank accounts. One is an old business account of mine that I use as his day to day account in which his benefits are paid into. The other is an account I set up, on the advice of the court, to hold the damages he received for his unlawful detention. Following the audit, the OPG told me that I had to change the names of the accounts to reflect it was Steven’s money. Something along the lines of: “Mark Neary. Deputy for Steven Neary”. Fair enough. It hadn’t been an issue before but I can see that it is more respectful to Steven to have his name on his account.

Cue the bank. I’ve made three visits to the branch; sent six emails and made umpteen phone calls and still I can’t get them to act. Earlier this week I decided to create a bit of Twitter pressure on the bank and it worked. Within a day I got a call from the branch’s Customer Experience Manager. He apologized that he had been off for two weeks and he is the only person in the branch who can deal with this sort of experience!

Cue the quicksand. They can’t just change the name on an account. He’d have to close both accounts and open two new ones. Needless to say this will mean I’ll have to contact DWP to notify them of this change. And notify the people who get paid by direct debit from the old accounts (Steven’s gym membership, for example). More time and energy.

The Customer Experience Manager has given me a 90 minute appointment on Monday (that’s this week’s respite down the pan). The thing that nearly had me throwing myself in the canal is that because we’re having to open new accounts, I have to take proof of my identity with me. Despite having been a customer there for 30+ years. Mr CEM muttered something about ” protection from money laundering”.

I want to scream at the bank and the OPG, “YOU ARE STRANGLING ME WITH YOUR FUCKING BUREAUCRATIC SYSTEMS”. There must be an easier way.

I know what they’ll say because they’ve said it before. Under the terms of the deputy order I can claim reasonable expenses for admin. But why should I? Why should Steven have to pay me for the consequences of the nonsensical bureaucratic system? He already has to pay £350 a year to the court just to have a deputy. And that £350 pays for an annual audit. Self serving or what?

I might ask the Customer Experience Manager to name the new accounts ” Ermintrude”. To reflect that, as an autistic man, Steven is quite a decent cash cow to many spokes in the social care support wheel.


From → Social Care

One Comment
  1. We has a smaller but similar experience setting up a separate account for Joff post -16 and for OPG purposes. We solemnly wheeled him into the bank where he was intent on looking at the lights. Just to prove he wasn’t a “fake” person. He said not a word ( totally nonverbal) & they asked him nothing, were kind enough but not exactly warm to him.

    Phoned the DPW to make known the bank changes, turned out I wasn’t his benefit representative, or whatever the title of it was. No, I said, we’re court appointed Legal Guardians for life. Doesn’t matter, someone has to come and visit and check you out. They duly did, simple enough, a diddy wee declaration on a diddy wee bit of paper.

    Turns out on the DWP website it clearly says that Legal Guardianship/Power of Attorney knocks any tuppenny-happenny piece of paper they contrived from us out the park. Wish I’d checked first. Would have loved to quote their own stuff back at them.

    So in practice, Joff’s benefits go to his bank account and are immediately transferred to our joint account to be managed by us online, cos he can’t get an account that we can manage for him online. Sheesh.

    I actually think we had an ok experience compared to many as well.

    Love from a fellow calf looker-afterer

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