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 or your relative’s 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.

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.

Direct payments can be made to:

  • Adults who are eligible to receive care services
  • Disabled children aged 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.

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 and/or the way that it is commissioned/purchased through your local authority, or you 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.

Nearly all the types of support we provide can be paid for using Direct Payments. You might like to benefit from the support we already offer, or you could ask us to employ someone to work directly with you in 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.

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How do I find out more?

You can speak to someone who works for Brandon in the area you live – you can find their information on our contacts page.