Financial Vulnerability

Financial vulnerability is a broad term, often used to express concern about a person’s financial capabilities and/or describe someone who might be vulnerable to financial abuse.

Consultation

To describe an individual as financially vulnerable does not necessarily mean that the individual cannot make their own decisions, it should always be assumed that a person has capacity to make their own decisions[*] - it might be that the individual needs more support and time to find solutions. Where there are doubts though about a person’s decision making abilities due to an impairment of, or disturbance in the functioning of their mind or brain[*], a test of capacity is needed to confirm this.

Financial vulnerability might be viewed as a short term issue or a longer term issue; identifying factors related to increased financial vulnerability is key to establishing what support needs to be provided and for how long. There are various support services that provide online, telephone and/or face to face information and advice aimed at increasing financial capabilities and reducing the likelihood of falling into debt, or being scammed or exploited for instance. There are also more formal ways of supporting someone to manage their finances longer term through Lasting Power of Attorney for instance, particularly if a person wants to ensure that should they be unable to make decisions in the future, they have appointed someone they trust to support them in their best interests.

AIVuk members offer an independent and thorough assessment of a person's financial capabilities. Taking into account an individual’s values, beliefs, lifestyle choices and their wishes; AIVuk members offer a sensitive and supportive assessment. AIV UK members are skilled at establishing what barriers there might be to enabling someone to manage their own finances. Further to this AIVuk members are able to offer a Test of Capacity around financial decisions where there is reason to doubt a person’s ability to make decisions around their finances. All clients will be provided with the necessary information to assist in decision making, at a time and place convenient and comfortable for them.

Please note: The Care Act 2014 provides a definition of financial abuse and if you are at all concerned that someone you know is at risk of or experiencing abuse, please contact your local authority adult safeguarding team and/or the police.

Please contact the member for your area if you need further information.