If you, or someone you care for, has a disability and you need care, you may be eligible to receive a Direct Payment.
The road to more Independence, Choice and Control.
What are Direct Payments?
Direct Payments are another way to get support to meet your personal and social needs. Instead of this being provided by Social Services, you are given the funding to set up services yourself.
You choose who provides your care, and you control when you receive your care.
You have to be willing and able to manage your Direct Payment with or without assistance. Social Services provide a payment directly to you, providing you are eligible to receive services, so that you can arrange and purchase your own support.
The key principle is that day-to-day control of the money and provision of your care is given to you, the service user. As you know your own needs best, you can decide how to spend the money you receive to arrange for care provision that best suits your lifestyle.
You might use the money to:
- Employ someone directly to help with your care (a Personal Assistant).
- Buy care from a private registered care agency.
- Make your own arrangements instead of using Social Services day care or respite care.
Direct Payments are just one option for care; if you prefer to receive services in the traditional way, you can. Some people even choose a mix of Direct Payments and services.
Who is eligible to receive them?
Anyone who has been assessed by Social Services, or already receiving care from Social Services.
- An adult.
- A young disabled person aged 16/17 years can receive Direct Payments in their own right.
- A parent or person with parental responsibility for disabled children - for services for the assessed needs of the disabled child and family.
- A carer (including young carers) - to meet their own assessed needs.
- A disabled parent.
Why would I want Direct Payments?
Direct Payments can be used for personal care and support within your own home, or so you can get to activities and use facilities in your local community.
What are my responsibilities?
If you choose to have Direct Payments it means that you will be responsible for ensuring that you use the money to meet your support needs and not for any other purpose. This means that if you employ a Personal Assistant directly, you will be classed as their employer. You will also have to keep records of how the money is spent.
The Direct Payment Officer will support you to get your Direct Payment up and running free of charge i.e.
- Recruiting for staff.
- Writing job descriptions and employment contracts.
- Advice and support on the record keeping requirements.
- Advice on an accountant to access payroll.
- Setting up of an ‘Independent Living Trust’ when the service user is deemed to have a lack of capacity to consent to a Direct Payment, always ensuring an individuals ‘best interest’ is at the heart of the decision at all times.
- Employers Liability Insurance.
- Criminal Record Bureau Checks.
Will Direct Payments affect my benefits?
No. Direct Payments do not affect your benefits at all and they are not classed as income for tax purposes.
Will I have to pay anything?
You may be asked to make a contribution towards the cost of your care, depending on your circumstances. This is worked out in accordance with Social Services charging policy (leaflet available on request).