Direct payments are payments for people who have been assessed as needing help from social care, but who have decided they would like to arrange and pay for their own care and support instead of receiving it direct from us.
Direct payments do not replace your current income. They do not affect any other benefits you may be receiving.
To get direct payments, you need to contact us and ask for assessment of your needs. Direct payments are normally available for:
- disabled people aged 16 years-old or over.
- carers aged 16 years-old or over, including people with parental responsibility for a disabled child
Direct payments are made directly into your bank or building society.
You can ask to receive direct payments or, except in some limited circumstances, we will offer you the choice of direct payments in place of the services you currently receive. The amount you get will depend on the assessment of your needs.
If you are applying for services for the first time, your social worker will discuss the direct payments option with you when they assess your child’s care needs.
You may be able to use direct payments to pay for occasional short breaks in residential accommodation but only in exceptional circumstances can use direct payments to pay for permanent residential accommodation. You cannot use direct payments to pay for a service from a close relative with whom you live, or from the spouse or partner of that close relative.
You must account for how you spend your direct payments. We will tell you what records you need to keep and what information you will be expected to provide. We have to be satisfied that the payment is satisfying the needs for which it is given. This will involve a visit to your home.
If your needs change, whether long or short-term, contact us straight away so that we can re-assess the level of payments you need.
If we decide you can't manage with direct payments, we stop making direct payments and provide services instead. In turn, you may decide you don’t want to continue, in which case other services will be arranged instead.