When is access to funds (ATF) appropriate?

Making an application under the access to funds scheme would be appropriate if:

  • the funds are held in a current account in the adult’s sole name (there is no upper limit on the amount held in the adult’s accounts).     
  • the current account, is suitable for direct debits/standing orders.If the adult does not already have a current account in their sole name, one should be opened prior to your application for ATF.
  • regular amounts need to be accessed to pay utility bills or buy things such as clothes, toiletries, food, or anything that the adult was in the habit of buying or paying for on a regular basis. It can also be used to request a lump sum to pay off any existing debts or to purchase specific items required by the adult, such as a new chair or bed.

If the answers to the questions below are YES, then ATF may be an appropriate method of managing the adult’s funds:

Checklist to determine if ATF might be appropriate

  • Is the adult incapable of managing his/her own finances?
  • Are funds required for a specific purpose, either on a monthly basis for day to day living expenses and/or as a one off lump sum for debts, specific items etc.?               
  • Are the funds to be accessed held in a bank/building society/Post Office account(s) in the adult’s sole name?
  • Are there funds required to be accessed which are in excess of State Pension and benefits, i.e. savings, occupational or personal pension, etc.?  If not, would DWP appointeeship be a more suitable option?

If you have any queries about a specific case, please do not hesitate to contact one of the ATF team on Tel: 01324 677140 email OPGATF@scotcourts.gov.uk

Can ATF run alongside other decision making options?

Yes. ATF can run alongside:

  • a financial intervention order e.g. to sell a house, realise investments etc.The realised funds can be deposited in to the adult’s current account.     
  • a welfare guardianship or welfare power of attorney.
  • Department of Work & Pensions appointeeship, however if the appointee is receiving the adult’s state pension and benefits, only the funds required in addition to this can be claimed through ATF (e.g. if savings or income from an occupational/personal pension is required).