Registering an LPA now means an 81-day wait, says government

Answering a question on lasting power of attorney (LPA) applications, a Conservative MP had conceded that the current average waiting time is just under 82 days.

David Davis MP asked Tom Pursglove MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Ministry of Justice and Home Office), “what proportion of lasting power of attorney applications initiated with the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) were resolved within (a) two weeks, (b) four weeks, (c) eight weeks, (d) 12 weeks and (e) more than 12 weeks in the calendar year 2022[?]”.

Mr Pursglove went on to explain that, though the OPG sets a target of 40 days, applications are currently taking nearly three months to complete. Explaining the situation, Mr Pursglove said:

“The current average time to register a lasting power of attorney (LPA) is 81.8 days. The Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) target to register LPAs is 40 days. It should be noted that the OPG must carry out checks on receipt of the LPA before notices are issued, and then must observe a statutory waiting period of 4 weeks to allow for objections before the registration process can be completed. This statutory waiting period cannot be waived and is included in the calculation for the number of days to register an LPA. We know the delays are frustrating for customers and we are committed to reducing the time it is currently taking to register LPAs.”

Mr Pursglove provided statistics showing that 99% of LPAs registered in 2022 have taken over 12 weeks. Just 0.8% took over 12 weeks in 2018-19, with 91.2% registered within 8 weeks. In 2019-20, just 1.2% took over 12 weeks. This rose sharply to 33.8% and then 74.3% in 2020-21 and 2021-22 respectively.

Mr Pursglove further explained the change in the situation and detailed the OPG’s response:

“OPG staff are working day and night to tackle the Covid backlog. Frontline operational staff whose role requires them to be office-based have worked in the office throughout the pandemic and continue to do so. The OPG rapidly changed working practices and processes during the pandemic to continue to deliver their services. In 2020 to 2021, the OPG processed an average of 53,000 LPA applications per month despite the many restrictions in place. This rose to an average of 60,000 per month in the last financial year, reaching over 70,000 in March 2022. The OPG have also hired extra staff, which is having an impact, with the number of LPAs being registered each month back to what it was before the pandemic.”

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2 Responses

  1. Who are they trying to kid? 81 days wasn’t even likely BEFORE covid. The first thing you hear on the OPG telephone line recording is “do not contact us within 20 weeks of submitting your LPA” which is 140 days!

  2. Totally agree with Neil, before the pandemic we were receiving registered LPA’s in around 12 weeks, now 20 weeks +

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