The option of Direct Payments can be offered to the following people as long as they are willing and able to manage the payment:
- Older People who have been assessed as needing a community care service
- Disabled people
- Parents of disabled children
In addition, direct payments can be used to support your carer in their caring role or help maintain your carer’s own health and well-being.
Trusts are under a duty to make Direct Payments if requested
If you already receive care services, you can contact your local Trust to find out more or apply for Direct Payments. If you are applying for services for the first time, your social worker should discuss the Direct Payments option with you during your care assessment.
Please note that if you have a mental illness and are still subject to the conditions under the Mental Health Order 1986 or if you are subject to certain criminal justice measures, you will not be able to receive Direct Payments.
You must be willing and able to manage these Direct Payments alone or with assistance. You must retain control of the arrangements and remain accountable for the way in which the money is used. However, if you are in receipt of a Direct Payment and cease to be capable of managing the payment, the authority may continue to make the payment provided another person is prepared to accept and manage the payment on your behalf.
Use of Payments
In exceptional circumstances, where the Trust considers that it is in your best interests, Direct Payments can be used to pay for services from a spouse or partner or a close relative living in the same household. These restrictions are not intended to prohibit you from employing a live-in personal assistant (provided such a person is not someone who would be automatically excluded by the regulations).
Impact on other benefits
It is important to note that Direct Payments are not a replacement of income and therefore do not impact on your social security benefits or Independent Living Fund grants. They may be included as income though if you “employ” your partner as your carer.
Trusts are only permitted to make Direct Payments for personal social services which you have been assessed as needing. They cannot make direct payments in lieu of health services, including some community services such as community nursing or services provided by medical staff.