Direct Payments

Direct payments are sums of money paid by local authorities to people assessed by social services as being in need of services.

The payments were introduced by the UK Government to give people the option of exercising choice and promoting greater independence and flexibility than is sometimes possible where services are arranged directly by local authorities. Clients are able to use the direct payment money to purchase care from a provider of their choice, rather than the traditional route of the Local Authority providing care for them.

They are paid only if you are willing to accept them; you cannot be forced to do so. Direct payments can be paid to older and disabled people who are 16 or over, parent carers of disabled children or carers who are 16 or over and caring for someone who is disabled and aged 18 or over.

A person must have the capacity to manage a direct payment, although they can have assistance to manage their payment on a day-to-day basis. Depending on the type of assistance needed, Ladybird Care may be able to arrange help for the management of payments.

You will need to have a financial assessment with your local authority social care service before getting direct payments. During this assessment the money you have coming in and going out, including costs related to a disability or illness, are looked at. Depending on the outcome, you may be required to contribute towards the cost of your care. If this is the case, and you get direct payments, your contribution is taken before the direct payment is paid to you.

Direct payments are made directly into your bank, building society, Post Office or National Savings account and the amount you receive will depend on the assessment your local council makes of your needs. Direct payments can be used to pay for the care services and/or equipment which will meet the needs the local council has assessed you as having. Ladybird Care is happy to work with you to provide support paid for using Direct Payments.

Please contact us if you have any questions about how direct payments work and how you can benefit from them.