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Direct Payments


What is a Direct Payment?

A Direct Payment is a way of managing your Personal Budget. They are payments made into a nominated bank account provided to individuals who have been assessed by Adult or Childrens Social Care, as needing care and support services under the Care Act 2014, Children Act 1989 and Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act.

A Personal Budget is an agreed amount of money that is allocated to you to meet your care and support needs. You can choose to have a Direct Payment, which can give you greater control of how your care and support needs are going to be met. Your Care Act or Child and Family (C&F) assessment will identify your Personal Budget. Your personal budget will be paid to you through a separate nominated bank or Fairshare account.

Direct Payments can be used in a wide range of innovative and creative ways as long as they are safe, legal and meet your assessed care and support needs. You can decide how you spend your Direct Payment in a way that works for you. For example, you can use your Direct Payment for:

•    A Personal Assistant
•    Community access
•    A carer
•    Short breaks for children/respite for adults

Benefits of a Direct Payment

•    You can have greater control over who provides your care and how it is delivered.
•    You can arrange and manage your own care.
•    You can choose the individual(s) who you wish to care for you. There are exceptions to this – your allocated worker or Direct Payment Officer can explain this to you further.
•    By arranging your own care, you can make sure that all your care needs are met in the way that you want.
•    Your support plan can be as flexible as you need it to be. For example, you can choose to change when to have your support, such as in the evenings or at weekends.

What you will need to do if you would like a Direct Payment

Your allocated worker will help you design your support plan based on your identified care and support needs following your Care Act or Child & Family Assessment or Review. Once you have designed your support plan, you and your allocated worker will discuss how your needs will be met and how you will spend your Direct Payment. There are a number of different support options available to you.

Your allocated worker or Direct Payment Officer will support you with the initial set up of your Direct Payment. They will complete a Direct Payment Agreement with you. This is an agreement between you and the council identifying your responsibilities towards your Direct Payment and how the council will also support you.

There are also a number of payroll services available to use to support with paying for any Personal Assistants and/or carers that you may employee for your support needs. Your allocated worker or Direct Payment Officer will be able to advise you of these and make referrals to them on your behalf. The payroll services will ensure you meet your employer responsibilities, which include paying your Personal Assistant, tax, National Insurance Contributions, holiday and sick pay. 
Your allocated worker and Direct Payment Officer will work with you to ensure you have all the information you need to support you with your Direct Payment. 

What happens once your Direct Payment is set up?

Once you have agreed to have a Direct Payment your allocated worker, and Direct Payment Officer will support you to set it up: 
•    You will enter into a formal agreement with the Council to take on the responsibility for managing your Direct Payment and using it appropriately, this is your Direct Payment Agreement. 
•    You will be responsible for contracts and payments when you buy your care and support. 
•    You will need to set up a separate bank account or Fairshare account for the Council to use to pay your Direct Payment into. 
•    You will need to understand any responsibilities you have towards your employee’s, you can find out more information on or
•    You will need to provide information on how you spend your Direct Payment, for example keeping timesheets for your Personal Assistant(s) or Carer(s), receipts of community activities purchased. 

Will I have to contribute financially? 

If you receive support before your 18th birthday you will not pay a contribution towards your care.

If you receive a Direct Payment from your 18th birthday you will be supported to complete a Financial Assessment. This assessment will determine whether you pay a contribution to your care provided by Adult Social Care. This is a means tested assessment, your level of income will determine if you pay a client contribution towards your care and support.

We will carry out a Financial Assessment before your personal budget is worked out to let you know the maximum you will have to pay. Your allocated worker can provide you with further information and details regarding this or you can view our Paying for Care information pages.


You can find out more about support for children, including Short Breaks, on the Local Offer.