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Catch 22 – Access to Child Trust Funds

Oh the irony. The Mental Capacity Act is effectively denying young adults with learning disabilities access as they turn 18, to the money in Child Trust Funds (special savings accounts) opened for them when they were children.

This article on the BBC News website explains this Catch-22 situation, and how to make matters worse, the cost of applying for access to a fund will often exceed the savings sum involved! Teens with learning disabilities locked out of savings

I heard a discussion on this issue on Radio4 a few days ago, either on Moneybox or You and Yours, but cannot locate anything on either programme’s webpage – yet.  What I learnt is that a few parents of 18 year-olds ‘lacking capacity’ are leading the campaign for access to the funds to be made simpler,  without the need for, and expense of,  applications to the Court of Protection. A statement from the Court was broadly sympathetic to their plight, but emphasised that Court still  had to conform to its principle role of protecting ‘the vulnerable’. It did however hint that a sensible, feasible and legal  ‘workround’ is being investigated.

There has to be a solution at some point, or this ‘scandal’ will grow as the number of people and the total amount of money involved escalates. The BBC radio journalist I was listening to promised to return to this issue and keep it in the spotlight.

Just seen this: How I won access to my disabled son’s frozen Child Trust Fund savings  (in Daily Mail and covering sane ground as BBC Radio4 programme).  Note: Fund administrator OneFamily may be acting sensitively, sensibly and compassionately, but it is sailing close to the wind in terms of legality. I suspect this  is part of  a campaign to apply further pressure on the Court of Protection