A direct payment is a different way of arranging services which meet your eligible needs. It can offer more flexibility, choice and control over the services you would like to receive.
Instead of the council arranging your support with one of our contracted providers we will give you the equivalent money which you can spend on purchasing the support that you would like and that will help you to achieve the outcomes set out in your support plan.
You can also choose to have part of your support funded by a direct payment and have the rest of your support arranged by the council.
Direct payments are not means tested and will not affect any benefits you receive. They are not counted as taxable income.
How much will I get?
The amount of money you receive will depend on your level of need and it will be agreed by your social worker during your needs assessment.
What can I use the money for?
You must use the money to meet your assessed needs. You may choose to employ a personal assistant or you can pay an agency to support you. Your social worker will discuss the best way to spend your direct payments on services.
Employing a personal assistant
If you decide to employ a personal assistant you will become an employer and will have certain responsibilities for your employee under the law.
Your social worker will help you understand these responsibilities. We can also refer you to a payroll service or you may wish to manage their payments yourself.
- Skills for Care has produced a booklet for individual employers which you may find helpful if you employ a personal assistant.
- More information about becoming an employer is also available via the Department of Health website.
Will I have to contribute?
Non-residential care and support is chargeable, however you will be offered a financial assessment. If you qualify for financial assistance towards the cost of your service you will receive your Direct Payment minus the amount you are expected to contribute. You will need to pay this amount into the account that you have set up for your Direct Payment.
How do I receive the money?
You will need to open a separate bank account to receive your direct payments.
What records do I need to keep?
You have to account for how you spend your direct payment and so you must ensure that you keep bank statements, invoices, timesheets and payslips. The council will need to have regular sight of these documents to ensure the direct payment is being used to meet your assessed needs.