What is a Direct Payment?
If you, or someone you care for, is entitled to receive support, you can apply for a Direct Payment. This will let you choose and buy the support that you need yourself, instead of your local authority arranging it for you.
Direct Payments work well if you would like to have more flexibility and choice around your support. However, the additional responsibilities that come with managing Direct Payments might not suit everyone.
To access a Direct Payment, you will need to have been assessed by your local authority and be eligible to receive care services.
How do I arrange a Direct Payment?
Firstly you, or the person you care for, must be assessed by the local authority to confirm that you are eligible to receive care services. You can arrange this assessment by contacting your local authority and requesting a needs assessment.
Once you, or someone you care for, has been assessed as being eligible for care services, your local authority must provide you with a statement outlining the cost of providing the necessary services. This statement is known as a personal budget.
You can choose to receive your personal budget in the form of a Direct Payment.
Who can receive Direct Payments?
Direct payments can be made to:
- Adults who are eligible to receive care services
- Disabled children age 16 or 17
- Carers, which include people with parental responsibility for a disabled child
- Disabled parents whose children require services
- 'Nominated persons' - these are individuals who are appointed to manage Direct Payments on behalf of someone else.
Before they make Direct Payments to you, a local authority must be satisfied that you, or your nominated person, has the capacity and ability to manage those payments.
Are Direct Payments the right thing for you?
Direct Payments work really well for some people. However, the additional flexibility comes with additional responsibility. You have to be able to show that you have spent the Direct Payments in the right way by keeping records. If you do not do this, you may have to pay the money back.
If you want to take control of the care and support that you receive and you can take responsibility for managing the payments and record keeping (or have someone who can do that for you), then Direct Payments may benefit you.
However, if you are already happy with the support you receive through your local authority, or have concerns that you might not be able to manage the additional responsibility of a Direct Payment, then they might not be the right thing for you.
How to use your Direct Payment to get support from Brandon
Nearly all the types of support we provide can be paid for using a Direct Payment. You might like to benefit from support we already offer, or you could ask us to employ someone to work directly with you on areas where you want support.
Generally, we provide support for four hours or more per person per week. If you are looking for fewer hours than this, please do get in touch as in some circumstances we may still be able to help.
What can you spend your Direct Payment on?
Your Direct Payment must be used to pay for support that meets the needs identified by your local authority in your needs assessment. This is usually done through a provider like Brandon, or employing your own staff.
Your local authority has to check that you are spending your Direct Payments in the right way. If you spend the money on things that don't meet your support needs, they may require you to repay the money or stop your Direct Payments in the future.
How do I find out more?
If you'd like to find out more about getting support from Brandon through a Direct Payment, please get in touch with our contact in your local area. You'll find their contact details on the locations page of this website.