Guide to direct payments

1. What are direct payments?

Direct payments are an agreed amount of money that we give you so that you can arrange your own care. You can use this money to organise and buy the care and support you need – instead of us doing this for you.

We always offer direct payments to you as a way of providing your care and support. You do not have to use them unless you want to – the choice is yours.

Direct payments are not seen as income and have no effect on tax or benefits. They are just one way of receiving support from social care.

What are the benefits of direct payments?

The biggest advantage of direct payments is the choice and control it gives you over your own care. You can employ the person or agency of your choice, pick which hours suit you and decide what tasks you want carried out.

People who use direct payments think they are great. Although it can mean a little extra work, recipients of direct payments say they would not want to go back to having their care and support organised by the council.

Who can get direct payments?

You can get direct payments if you are:

  • a client of adult social care (anyone aged 18 or over)
  • a carer of an adult, or
  • a disabled child

To be offered direct payments you first have to have a care and support needs assessment.

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