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Direct Payments


What is a Direct Payment?

A Direct Payment is a method of managing your personal budget. A fact sheet is available on Personal Budgets.

Benefits of a Direct Payment

  • You arrange and manage your own care.
  • You can choose your carer/s yourself, either through an agency or you can employ your own Personal Assistant.
  • By arranging your own care, you can make sure that all your care needs are met in the way you want.
  • Services can be flexible. 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

  • Enter a formal agreement with the Council to take on the responsibility for managing your Direct Payment and using it appropriately.
  • Be a good employer to your Personal Assistants.
  • Be responsible for contracts and payments if you buy your care and support from providers.
  • Set up a separate bank account for you and the Council to use to pay for your care or support.
  • Provide information on how you spend your Direct Payment.
  • You may wish to purchase support to help you manage your Direct Payment from your Personal Budget.

What help will I get to manage my Direct Payment?

You can contact POhWER on 0300 456 2370 they will give you advice and assistance to set up and manage your Direct Payment free of charge.

If you misuse your Direct Payment the Council will stop the payments.

What happens if my needs change?

Your Care Act Assessment will be reviewed regularly. Your Personal Budget allocation and Support Plan will be changed as your needs change.

How will we know how you have spent your Personal Budget?

Your needs will be reviewed regularly by us to make sure that you are achieving the goals or outcomes that you identified in your Support Plan.

*please note - Children under 8 should not be cared for by a Personal Assistant in the P.A’s home for more than 2 hours each session.

This does not impede families using Personal Assistants to take their child to activities etc. it only relates to support in the Personal Assistants own home.

Direct payments Guidance 2009

“Childcare and childminding”

169. Councils should make available the list of Ofsted registered childminders and other Ofsted registered providers of childcare in their area through their Families Information Service. Parents can find their nearest Families Information Service by calling 0800 234 6346. The service can also advise, for example, on which childcare providers have facilities appropriate to the needs of a particular child.

170. Section 79D of the 1989 Act states that anyone caring for a child under 8 for over two hours a day and for payment in their own home has to be registered with Ofsted as a childminder. Parents of disabled children should be aware of this requirement, designed to safeguard the welfare of young children, when purchasing support via direct payments.”

Skills for Care - Individual employer funding

If you employ your own personal assistants (PAs) using a direct payment or your own money, you can apply for money for training for you and your staff.

The fund can be used for training to develop you as an employer and to develop the skills of your PA.

The fund can cover the direct costs of training and qualifications, travel and the cost of hiring replacement support whilst your usual PA is attending training.

For more information, or to apply for funding, please click here