What are Direct Payments?
Direct payments are payments from the local council for people who have been assessed as needing help, and who would like to arrange and pay for their own care and support services.
This cash payment allows you to organise care services yourself, enabling you to choose the services that are appropriate. Some people use the money to buy care from an agency whilst others will directly employ their own staff, or pay members of their own family to do the care.
Instead of directly providing direct services such as carers, local councils can give cash directly to individuals to make their own care arrangements. The advenatge of this is that it gives people choice, flexibility and control. Some people will use the money to buy care from an agency whilst others will directly employ their own staff. These cash payments are called "Direct Payments".
The decision to award a direct payment takes place after an assessment. This could be:
- an assessment for the person you are looking after
- an assessment for a disabled child under the Children Act
- a carer's assessment of your own needs
- An assessment for your own needs.
If the outcome of the assessment is that services should be provided, you or the person you are looking after, have a right to ask for a direct payment instead of having the service arranged by the local council.
In most cases, the person receiving a direct payment has to have sufficient mental capacity to consent to it. However, they may still be able to have direct payment even if they lack capacity, as long as they get help from someone else to manage the payment.
Frequently Asked Questions