How to get direct payments
If you already receive care and support services from us and have a social worker or care coordinator, speak to them about using direct payments for all or part of your support needs.
If you are an adult and don't have a social worker or care coordinator, please see Get your care needs assessed to find out how to have an assessment to see if you are eligible. If you have parental responsibility for a child with a disability or who has special educational needs, please refer to our First Contact service.
To begin the process, you will need:
- Eligible needs that were identified in your Care Act assessment (adults) or your children and families assessment (child).
- For adults, a financial assessment which will decide whether you need to pay for some or all of your care and support.
Before you request to be referred please note:
- You must be willing and able to manage your direct payments, or you can have someone to do this on your behalf. We can provide support and guidance if required.
- If you are unable to consent to direct payments, you will need to have a suitable appointed person to receive these on your behalf. The person will need to be agreed by your case worker, social worker or care coordinator.
- If you have parental responsibility for a child with eligible needs, you must be willing and able to manage the direct payments on their behalf.
- If you are a child aged 16 with a disability and are eligible for direct payments, you can manage the funds yourself.
- A small number of people may not be able to have direct payments. Please discuss this with your social worker or care coordinator.
When your caseworker refers you for direct payments, you will be given a named direct payments support worker. This person will support you through the set-up process and can provide you with the necessary paperwork to make sure your package is set up in a safe and legal way.
Direct payments can only be spent on services or items which meet your assessed social care needs, and need to be agreed between you and your social worker or care coordinator. These could be:
- a personal assistant who you employ
- home care support from a domiciliary care agency
- bespoke or more personalised ways to meet your assessed care needs such as assistive technology
Signing your direct payments agreement
Before you can receive direct payments, you will need to have read, understood and signed a direct payments agreement. This tells you what our responsibilities are, and what responsibilities you will have. Your direct payments support worker can discuss this with you and answer any questions you may have. You will be made aware if you have to contribute towards your care and support costs. You can find out more about how to pay your contribution on our Direct Payments and paying your client contribution page.
Setting up your direct payments
We will confirm with you what paperwork we need to set up your direct payments.
There is no need to open your own separate bank account for your direct payment's money, we will talk to you about your options and agree with you and your case worker the best way to manage your direct payments money. This may be through:
- A Direct Payments (DP) Card Account which puts you in control of making payments directly to your care provider. There are various levels of support provided within this option. Find out more on our Direct Payments Card page.
- A managed bank account provided by a third party company who will arrange payments to your care provider on your behalf. Find out more on our Direct Payments - managed accounts page.
We will confirm what day your direct payments are starting and give you a schedule to show you when money will be paid into your account. If you are employing a personal assistant, you will also be told when you will need to send your first timesheet to your payroll company. See Direct Payments - payments schedule to view the payment dates for the current year.
Reviewing your direct payments
After 12-16 weeks, we will contact you to see how your direct payments are going. We will also check the payments that you have made out of the bank account to make sure the account is working as it should. If there are no issues, you will manage the direct payments yourself but we will always be available to provide support. An audit of your direct payments bank account will also take place each year. To find out more see our Auditing your Direct Payments page.