Direct payments

A direct payment is a different way of arranging services which meet your eligible needs. It can offer more flexibility, choice and control over the services you would like to receive.

Instead of the council arranging your support with one of our contracted providers we will give you the equivalent money which you can spend on purchasing the support that you would like and that will help you to achieve the outcomes set out in your support plan.

You can also choose to have part of your support funded by a direct payment and have the rest of your support arranged by the council.

Direct payments are not means tested and will not affect any benefits you receive. They are not counted as taxable income.

Am I entitled?

Most people who have eligible needs will be offered the option of having a direct payment.

How much will I get?

The amount of money you receive will depend on your level of need and it will be agreed by your social worker during your needs assessment.

What can I use the money for? 

The support you purchase must meet your assessed needs and may include employing a personal assistant (PA) or paying an agency to support you.

Employing a personal assistant

If you decide to employ a personal assistant you will become an employer and will have certain responsibilities for your employee under the law.

The self-directed support team will help you understand these responsibilities. We can also provide a payroll service or you may wish to manage their payments yourself. In addition:

Will I have to contribute?

As with anyone who is eligible to receive a non-residential social care service you will be offered a financial assessment. If it is found that you can afford to make a financial contribution towards the cost of your service you will receive your Direct Payment minus the amount you are expected to contribute. You will need to make up that amount from your income or savings and deposit that amount in the account that you have set up for your Direct Payment.

How do I receive the money? 

You will need to open a separate bank account to receive your direct payments and send us the monthly statements. 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.  

Further information

Further advice and help

The following guidance is published on GOV.UK.