People with additional needs still need access to banking. Depending on their level of independence, this may simply be to have their benefits paid in, or to pay for care.

For those that don’t have the capacity to consent to a company’s terms and conditions, the use of Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) may be the best option.

But for many people with additional needs, who are perfectly able to understand what a bank is and how to use it, a bit of support from a trusted person with oversight of their income and spending is all they need to keep some financial independence.

So how can you help someone with banking if they do have additional needs?

When you set up a first bank account for someone with additional needs, you should choose an online bank account which has limited facilities for overdraft, loans, and credit cards. This limits the risks if they make a mistake.

Limiting risk

It’s an idea to then open another bank account where most of their money sits. This could be a savings account ideally, with no payment cards, as it’s harder for savings accounts with limited access to be scammed. They can then move money from their savings to an account that’s used for everyday spending. It’s good if they can learn to move money from account to account like this themselves.

Their benefits could go into their savings account, while cash gifts go to their basic bank account. This helps them take control, because they’re limiting the loss they could suffer if they keep their basic account to a maximum balance of, say £100. When they want to make a larger purchase, they can transfer the money they need to their basic account.

Another aspect to consider if the person you’re supporting receives benefits, is that you’ll need to keep an eye on savings so they don’t go over the thresholds that would mean those benefits may cease. These threshold amounts vary, so you’ll need to check with your benefit providers.

Staying Informed

Whatever plan you make together, you can then use Family Connect to keep sight of all the bank accounts you’re using, and to make sure funds are going into and coming out of the right pots to keep to your plan, with enough daily spending money for them to make their own choices safely.

You can opt to get daily emails from Family Connect if you want to keep a close check on how their accounts are doing, and you can then keep a note of any transactions you want to discuss with them to help them spend their money wisely.

The risk to people with additional needs isn’t just from fraud, but from them making errors or mistakes – neither of which can be recovered from the bank. However, using Family Connect, you can minimise the risk without taking away the opportunity to learn about how to use money and keep as much independence as possible.

Ready to get started with Family Connect? Register now.