Direct Payments

Frequently Asked Questions

What are Direct Payments?

  • Direct Payments are a way of delivering community care.
  • Their purpose is to increase choice and independence for users by giving more control over support arrangements.
  • The person receiving the Direct Payment is responsible for accounting for how the money is spent.
  • A Direct Payment cannot replace: NHS Services, Housing Services (e.g. Disabled Facilities Grants) or DSS benefit payments.
  • A Direct Payment cannot affect social security benefits nor be classed as taxable income.
  • Direct Payments in Sutton are subject to the same financial assessment by London Borough of Sutton as for community care services.
  • There is no maximum or minimum level to a Direct Payment.
  • It must be cost-effective and sufficient to pay for support of a quality acceptable to the authority.
  • A Direct Payment must be sufficient to enable the recipient to meet their legal obligations.
  • People receiving Direct Payments can choose to mix the services they buy and can opt to cease using Direct Payments at any time.

Who can receive Direct Payments?

  • Older and disabled people aged 16 and over who are assessed as needing services. All impairments are included (physical, sensory, learning, HIV and AIDS, emotional) but people subject to certain mental health aftercare or criminal justice legislation may not be able to receive Direct Payments.
  • A person with parental responsibility for a disabled child
  • Carers aged 16 and over who are caring for a disabled adult
  • People must be willing and able to manage Direct Payments, alone or with assistance.

What can a Direct Payment be used for?

  • It can be used to employ personal assistants or purchase support that the local authority is satisfied will meet that person's assessed needs.
  • Unlike services arranged by the local authority, with a Direct Payment, the user is responsible for ensuring the quality of the services received.
  • A Direct Payment cannot be used to purchase permanent residential care or services provided directly by the local authority.

Keeping Financial Records

Buying Services from and agency or a provider

Recruiting a Personal Assistant

Employing a Personal Assistant

Paying your Personal Assistant