Guide to direct payments

Coronavirus information for people receiving direct payments

Visit our Coronavirus – direct payments page for guidance on:

  • setting up contingency plans
  • how to order free personal protective equipment (PPE)

2. How you can spend direct payments

There are a few specific rules around how you can spend direct payments.

The main rule is that you must use them to meet your eligible care and support needs. These will be agreed in advance as part of your support plan.

Employing personal assistants

Some people choose to use direct payments to employ their own staff called personal assistants. Personal assistants can help you with:

  • personal care, such as washing and dressing
  • household tasks, such as cleaning and tidying
  • activities outside your home (taking you to appointments and events)

There is lots of help available for people who want to employ their own personal assistants. This is explained on the next page of this guide.

Buying support from companies

Many companies and voluntary organisations provide services such as home care, respite care or day care.

You can use our Support with Confidence scheme to find trusted providers. All organisations listed in this directory have been approved by Adult Social Care and Trading Standards.

Respite and short breaks

Some people choose to use direct payments as the simplest way to arrange short breaks or respite care.

What else can direct payments be used for?

Anything that meets your needs and has been agreed in your support plan can potentially be bought using direct payments. This might include items of equipment or non-traditional services. You can discuss the different options with  your social care worker.

Find out more in our factsheet:

How direct payments will be paid to you

We offer several options for how direct payments can be paid to you. These each offer different ways you can make payments and record how you have used the money.

Please see our factsheet for more information: