Sutton Coldfield mum 'let down' by battle for disabled son's savings

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Ramandeep Kaur and Harry CartmillImage source, Ramandeep Kaur
Image caption,
Ramandeep Kaur set up a child trust fund account for her son Harry

A mum whose son has been locked out of his savings account because of his disability says the system lets down families.

Ramandeep Kaur, from Sutton Coldfield, set up a trust fund for her 15-year-old son, Harry, who has Down's syndrome.

She said the account had £7,000 which he was unable to access unless she applied through the courts.

The Ministry of Justice said it wanted to reduce the obstacles families faced in supporting people who lack capacity.

Child Trust Funds were long-term savings accounts created for children born between September 2002 and January 2011.

Ms Kaur has opened such an account for each of her three sons, but has been told Harry will not be able to automatically access the savings once he turns 16 due to provisions under the Mental Capacity Act 2005 which focus on a would-be recipient's ability to manage their money.

Ms Kaur said she would be forced to pay "extortionate" legal fees to apply to release the money through the Court of Protection.

"I have been advised to start the process as soon as he receives his National Insurance number, which arrived this week," she said.

"The process also gets very complicated once he turns 18 as he is then an adult."

But she said she knew of other parents who had decided to forfeit money in the accounts as they were unable to afford legal fees.

She said Harry would use the savings, if accessed, to attend youth club sessions and to pay for trips and other therapies.

Image source, Ramandeep Kaur
Image caption,
Ms Kaur says "extortionate" legal fees are the cost of accessing her son's £7,000

"The issues we face as parents is the system constantly lets us down," Ms Kaur explained.

"We face so many barriers and so many battles and that's the difficulty I think."

She added: "Young disabled people they do struggle financially and this money could be put to really good use for them.

"It was all to benefit him and I just feel like he's being disadvantaged by the entire system."

A spokesperson for the Ministry of Justice said: "We want to reduce the obstacles families face in supporting young people who lack capacity and have set out plans to make it easier and less stressful to access small funds while maintaining vital safeguards.

"Our consultation exposed some complex issues that require further time to be resolved so we can deliver the best outcome for families and young people."

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