Paying for your care needs

Direct Payments

You can choose to receive your Personal Budget as a Direct Payment.

If you choose to receive a Direct Payment you will have to decide whether you would like us to:

  • pay it directly to you
  • pay it to someone else, if you aren't happy dealing with the money yourself
  • arrange for a private service provider to manage it for you – called an Individual Service Fund

To get a Direct Payment you must be:

  • willing to take a direct payment of money instead of us arranging a care service for you
  • able to give your consent for direct payment
  • capable of managing the payment, with help if you need it

Spending your Direct Payment

You can spend Direct Payment money in whatever way you feel is best for your care needs, as long as it's legal.

You must send us your receipts, on a regular basis, for everything you buy with your Direct Payment.

Any misuse of the money – such as spending it on something not related to your care needs – will result in your Personal Budget being suspended or cancelled, and we will be forced to recover the money from you.

We will check with you from time to time to make sure everything is going OK and that you are living your life in a way that suits you.

Examples of what you can buy with a Direct Payment

You can use your Direct Payment to pay for:

  • a personal assistant instead of a carer from the council
  • a care agency instead of a carer from the council
  • community activities instead of a day service from the council
  • a break away from home instead of a break in a council residential home
  • live-in care
  • a bus pass instead of transport arranged by the council
  • your own equipment instead of equipment arranged by the council

Examples of what you cannot buy with a Direct Payment

You cannot use your Direct Payment to pay for:

  • services from the council
  • gambling – including lottery tickets and bingo
  • health care that should be paid for by health services
  • food shopping
  • utility bills – including gas, electric, water and phone bills
  • mortgage and rent payments
  • maintenance for a property
  • cigarettes and alcohol
  • gifts or presents for others
  • food or the cost of eating out for the person who receives your payment

Contact us

To ask about Personal Budgets and Direct Payments, contact us below.

Thurrock First

: 01375 511 000

: thurrock.first@thurrock.gov.uk

Main opening hours are Monday to Friday, from 9am to 5pm.

Limited service on Monday to Friday from 7am to 9am and 5pm to 7pm, and on weekends and bank holidays from 7am to 7pm.

Read more about Thurrock First.