Direct payments are paid directly into your bank, building society, Post Office or National Savings' account.
Payments can be made by cheque, if required, and this can be cashed at a Post Office.
Amount of Direct Payment
Direct Payments must be calculated on the basis of the “reasonable costs of securing the cost of the service concerned”.
Therefore, the Trust will make an estimated calculation of what the service should cost including associated costs (for example, national insurance, VAT and employer’s liability insurance). If your chosen method of securing services is more expensive than the Trust's estimate, you may have to meet the shortfall yourself, although this can be challenged.
The Department has not set a limit on the maximum or minimum amount of a Direct Payment. Before Direct Payments begin, Trusts should tell the recipients how and when the payments will be made.
You can adjust the amount you use week to week and ‘bank’ any spare money to use as and when extra needs arise.
Repayment or withdrawal of Direct Payment
Trusts have power to seek repayment of Direct Payments if they are satisfied that it is not being used to secure the provision of the services to which it relates.
The guidance advises that Trusts should bear in mind that repayments should be aimed at recovering money:
- Which has been diverted from the purpose for which it was intended
- Where services have been obtained from someone who is ineligible to provide them
- Which has simply not been spent at all
It should not be used to penalise honest mistakes nor should re-payment be sought from you if you have been the victim of fraud.
Regulations additionally provide that a Trust shall cease making Direct Payments, if you no longer appear to the Trust to be capable of managing a Direct Payment or managing it with help.