Guide to direct payments

2. How can I use direct payments?

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

The main rule is that you must use them to meet eligible care and support needs and outcomes that 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 parts of your support plan, such as:

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

There is lots of help available for people who want to employ their own personal assistants which 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.

A good place to find support from trusted providers is to use our Support with Confidence scheme. All organisations listed in the 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. Read more:

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