Direct payments and managing your care

A direct payment is a cash payment made to you, or someone on your behalf, which you use to pay for things outlined in your support plan. 

If you are entitled to support, rather than us arranging services for you, you can choose to receive direct payments. They give you choice and control over the support you receive and how your social care needs are met.

You may choose to have direct payments paid to you or have them paid to a family member. You can watch our our video to find out more about direct payments.

Personalisation and Direct Payments Strategy

Our strategy sets out our ambitions and commitments to people who want to direct their own care and support. You can read about it in more detail here.

Who can get a direct payment

Most people who are eligible for support from social care can choose to receive direct payments. That means you are: 

  • aged 16 or over and you have been assessed as eligible for support
  • the parent of a disabled child who has been assessed as eligible for support
  • a carer with an agreed assessment of need that is eligible for direct carer support

We have a duty to offer direct payments to people who lack the mental capacity to consent to them. There must be a 'suitable person' who agrees to oversee and be responsible for arranging the support and direct payment on the individual’s behalf.

You can't receive direct payments if you live permanently in a residential home. We will pay the provider on your behalf in this case.

If you do not currently get support from us, find out about getting a care and support assessment.

What you can use them for

Direct payments can be spent on things that meet your agreed outcomes and social care needs. This includes

  • personal care
  • respite
  • daytime activities
  • minor home adaptations
  • specialist equipment

People often use them to:

  • employ their own support staff (personal assistants) rather than getting support from a Council arranged care agency
  • pay for mobility or household equipment

You can decide what best meets your needs. We will discuss this with you and outline what your needs are in your support plan.

What they can’t they be used for

Direct payments must not be used to pay for support that would be provided by other organisations eg NHS services. They are not for regular living expenses, such as shopping or bills.

How we can help you manage direct payments

If you currently receive support from us, speak to your social care worker or contact us to ask about direct payments.

If you can’t manage payments yourself, there are a range of money management organisations who can manage them for you. We can give you advice on what makes sense for you.

Individual Employers

You can find advice and resources on employing personal assistants below.

PPE for Individual Employers

From 31 March the Council will no longer be involved in the local distribution of Covid related PPE. Starting from April 2023, in the event of a Covid outbreak, Individual Employers will be able to access PPE by registering with the NHS PPE Portal.

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