Direct payments are payments the local authority makes to you so you can arrange the care and support they have agreed you need. Direct payments can give you more control over and responsibility for how your, or your child’s needs are met.
Who can get direct payments
If your child or young adult with disabilities has been assessed as needing care and support from social services, then you can ask for a direct payment.
For children and young people aged 0 to 18, the money will be paid to the parent or carer.
For people aged 18 and over, it will be paid to them or someone they have chosen to manage it on their behalf.
Using direct payments
Direct payments must only be spent on care and support which is:
- clearly linked to the needs and outcomes identified in the Child and Family Assessment and/or Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP)
- affordable and proportionate to the assessed eligible needs of the child or young person
Employ someone to care for you
You can use your direct payments to employ a personal assistant or a carer to support you. This gives you more control over the help you get. If you want to employ your own carer or personal assistant, Purple can help you with recruitment and employment issues.
Pay for other services to meet eligible needs
Direct payments can also be used for the following (this is not an exhaustive list):
- adapting your home to help with everyday life
- personal care
- extra help when using leisure facilities
Exclusions to direct payments
Direct payments aim to improve choice and independence. The local authority also needs to make sure that the money is spent on care and support that is legal; is in the child’s best interest; and will safely meet the needs which have been identified. This means there are some exclusions to direct payments.
Direct Payments are not available to those families who are receiving a community based short break provision/individual support package (formerly Short Breaks/Light Touch).
You can ask your social care worker for information and advice.
What you will get
To decide what level of direct payment your child or the young person will receive, your social worker will meet with you to discuss this. A tool called the Direct Payment Decision Making Tool (DPDMT) will be used to identify the cost and number of hours that will be allocated through the direct payment.
Reviewing your direct payments
Care and support plan and direct payments will be reviewed every year, or as is necessary, to make sure it is working well for you. This is set out in your direct payments agreement.