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Review of direct payments for disabled young people

We consulted on a proposal to change the hourly rate paid to new service users from April 2017.


A review of Direct Payments revealed that we paid different hourly rates to parents/carers with a disabled child/young person and to young disabled people aged 16 or 17 years, than we did to disabled adults. We also paid higher daily rates than other councils.

What was proposed?

We consulted on a proposal to change the hourly rate paid to new service users from April 2017 to match the rate we paid to adults. The aim of this consultation was to enable us to consider the impacts of these proposals on future service users.

Anyone already in receipt of Direct Payments would remain on their current rates and was therefore not be affected by these proposals.

We wanted to change the rates:

  • to provide a fair and consistent approach across both children and adult services
  • to support the transition into adult rates
  • to ensure that children and young people with disabilities get the support they need, and offer a more flexible approach
  • to reduce the need we currently have of recovering significant amounts of money from service users due to overpayments
  • to help towards meeting future savings requirements

Proposed changes

  • to offer a £10 hourly rate, regardless of whether it's during the day or night, or for 24 hour provision. (This replaces a more complex system of payments which differed depending on the needs of the child/young person.)
  • to offer an additional, one-off payment (equivalent to x 4 week payments) to help with start-up costs
  • to offer an additional, annual payment of £300 if less than 7 hours a week are claimed, to help with overheads

This new annual payment aimed to ensure that the needs of the child/young person are met, particularly for those receiving smaller amounts of Direct Payments.

We will monitor these closely to ensure that the proposed new rates are flexible and meet the child/young person's needs.

Have your say

We consulted with parents of children and young people with disabilities through the Making Changes Together Forum, Durham County Carers Support, as well as those who currently receive Direct Payments. In addition, information was provided to Durham Special Educational Needs & Disability (SEND) Information Advice and Support Service, relevant staff teams and councillors.

The public were also invited to contact us by email or post with their views.

This consultation closed on Friday 3 February 2017.

What happened?

All feedback informed our decision making. Following a report to the Children's Management Team a decision was made to implement the new hourly rate of Direct Payment to 'new' service users.

Contact us
03000 266 837
Our address is:
  • Adult and Health Services
  • Durham County Council
  • 2/56-70, County Hall
  • Durham
  • County Durham
  • United Kingdom
  • DH1 5UG
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