Direct payments for adults – giving you the money to pay for your care
Direct payments are where we give you the money to pay for your own care services or equipment.
How direct payments work
First, we work out what care you need. We call this a 'care needs assessment'.
Then we work out if you need to pay anything towards your care. We let you know whether you can get direct payments and we'll work out together how much money you need.
If you can get direct payments, you'll then be able to choose and arrange your own care, with help if you need it.
We'll give you a pre-paid card which you can use to spend your direct payments and buy the care you need.
Using your direct payments
You can use the pre-paid card we give you to spend your direct payments.
If you don't think you can do it yourself, you can choose someone else to look after your payments for you. That might be a family member or a friend.
You can use your direct payments to buy the care equipment and services you need. For example, you might:
- set up regular payments to employ a personal assistant
- pay a care agency for a service
- buy care equipment in a shop or online.
You can't use your card for things that aren't covered in your care plan.
Employing someone with your direct payments
You can use your direct payments to employ a personal assistant. Some people say this gives them the most control over the help they get. This option comes with the responsibility of being an employer.
This might sound complicated but you can get free advice about employing a personal assistant from Leonard Cheshire Disability. They are a charity that helps disabled people in the UK.
Carers can get direct payments too. Once you’ve had a carers assessment, we could agree to give you a direct payment to help you look after the person you care for and yourself.
If you're already getting care from us
If we already arrange and pay for your care services but you'd like to get direct payments, contact your care manager or call us on 0300 123 4042.
Get independent advice
Leonard Cheshire Disability can give free advice and help to set up direct payments.