How do you set up a direct payment?
You will need an assessment of your child and your family's needs, carried out by a member of the 0 - 25 Together Team for social care, or SEN for EHCP provision.
When you ask us to consider direct payments, the relevant professional will discuss with you:
- all options for receiving services, including commissioned services.
- the Direct Payment policy and the implications and responsibilities of receiving a direct payment
- the proposed plan for how direct payments will be used to meet outcomes identified in the care plan, including the flexibility of the arrangements
- whether it is possible to provide funds for the proposed use
They will also make an assessment as to whether you or your young person are willing and able to manage the direct payments, with appropriate support being provided.
How does the council make decisions about Direct Payments?
The Direct Payment must be agreed by the council, and it will only be agreed if it is clear that:
- They will be used in an appropriate way and in the best interests of the child or young person
- They meet the criteria to receive a Direct Payment
- Making the Direct Payment will not negatively impact upon services provided to other children
- It is an efficient use of resources and offers value for money, and funds can be released for the proposed use.
- There is agreement from the Head Teacher or Principal if the Direct Payment is to be used to pay for support within school or college.
If HCC / CCG do not agree to a Direct Payment, this will be explained in writing including details of how to challenge the decision.
If agreed, the amount of money will be decided in line with what is required to cover the level and type of support agreed in the childs plan.
How are Direct Payments set up?
Once agreed, the Children and Young People’s SEND Brokerage Team will send you:
- a welcome letter explaining all the important information about your Direct Payments
- the Direct Payment Legal Agreement
- DBS information and Declaration of Criminal Records form
- a leaflet about the Leonard Cheshire Direct Payment Support Scheme. They can also give you information about criminal background checks (called DBS) and do the check for your proposed Direct Payment employees. They will also help you with becoming an employer - for things like payroll, pensions and insurance.
- bank details form
- information about the Personal Assistant Register
You will be asked to set up a separate current bank account with a UK clearing bank or building society, which must be used for direct payments only.
This ensures that the money you receive for the direct payment can be separately identified from your own personal finances.
You will also sign and return a Direct Payment Legal Agreement. A copy of the legal agreement is kept by the Council's Brokerage Support Team.
Direct payments start from the date when the DBS check / Declaration has been completed and all the completed paperwork is received by the Children and Young People’s SEND Brokerage Team.
Receiving the payments
Direct Payments are not classed as income so they are not taxed and will not affect the level of any benefits you receive. If Direct Payments are used to employ a person then there is the responsibility to have Employer’s Liability Insurance and to pay tax and national insurance for the employee and to make a pension available where needed.
Direct Payments are usually paid 4 weekly, in advance, into your separate bank account. You'll receive all the contact information for the Brokerage Finance Support team in your welcome letter. You'll need to keep receipts and records of what you spend as explained in the legal agreement. You must also send us the monitoring information on time.