Once we’ve carried out your needs assessment and agreed the type of care you need, you can choose to receive direct payments to pay for it. This gives you the freedom to choose the services that meet your assessed needs and who provides them.
Direct payments are not means tested and will not affect your social security benefits. They are not counted as taxable income.
You don’t have to receive a direct payment. You can still have your services provided by us. Or you can also choose to use a mixture of services provided by us, plus some services from other providers paid for by your direct payments.
Am I entitled?
Most people who have care needs can opt to receive direct payments. This includes:
- Older people.
- Disabled people aged 18 and over, including those with short and longer term needs.
In addition, carers who have had a carers assessment and need services to support them can also opt to receive direct payments.
How much will I get?
The amount of money you receive will be based on your needs and will be agreed by your social worker during your assessment.
We do have a set hourly rate for personal assistants and for agencies but this will be explained at the assessment. You can find more information about the hourly rate from the self-directed support team.
Do I have to contribute?
If you choose an agency that charges more than the hourly rate agreed by us, you may have to make up the difference in cost, even if you already pay a contribution to the cost of your overall care.
More information about contributions can be found in our Paying for non-residential care page.
How do I receive the money?
You will need to open a separate bank account to receive your direct payments and send us monthly bank statements from it. The self-directed support team can help you with this.
What can I use the money for?
You must use the money to meet your assessed needs. You may choose to employ a personal assistant or you can pay an agency to support you. Your social worker will discuss the best way to spend your direct payments on services.
Employing a personal assistant
If you decide to employ a personal assistant you will become an employer and will have certain responsibilities under the law.
The self-directed support team help you understand these responsibilities. We can also provide a payroll service or you may wish to manage their payments yourself. In addition:
- Skills for Care have produced a booklet for individual employers which you may find helpful if you employ a personal assistant.
- More information about becoming an employer is also available via the Department of Health website.