Direct Payments

Southern Family Care Direct Payments - Portrait

What are Direct Payments?

Since April 2003 every local authority has a “duty to offer” those who are eligible money directly, instead of arranging services for them. When a Local Authority gives money in this way it is known as a direct payment.

All social workers, following a client care needs assessment, should now offer the option for every client to become more proactive in arranging their own care arrangements by using direct payments.

Many direct payments service users choose a personal assistant (PA) as a solution to their care needs allowing them to take control and get much more out of their life. They may also should they wish choose a homecare agency to provide care.

Direct Payments Further Information

Direct payments are cash payments made to a disabled or older person or a representative, usually of their choosing, these payments are made in advance usually every month, and enable individuals to purchase and arrange their own support to meet their needs. The aim of direct payments is to give individuals more choice greater flexibility and more control over the support they receive.

Who Can Get Direct Payments?

You can get direct payments if;

  • You have been assessed as needing social care services to support you with daily living.
  • You have a disability or are an older person with social care needs.
  • You consent to receiving a direct payment and either you or your agent can manage the payment.

Direct payments can be made to people of all ages, for children and young people under 16; payments are made to an adult who has parental responsibility.

Under current mental health and criminal justice legislation, certain individuals are excluded from the direct payment scheme.

Who Can I Employ?

You can employ anyone you choose, however you can only pay family members via direct payments, who live in the same household as you in in exceptional circumstances.

Will I have to make a contribution?

A financial assessment will be carried out by social services and you may be assessed as needing to make a contribution to the cost of your care. Your contribution will normally is deducted from the direct payment.

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