Direct Payments are financial payments made to you, if you have been assessed as eligible to receive support from Adult Social Care. Instead of councils arranging or providing services directly, you can use this money to purchase support that you consider most appropriate to meet your assessed social care needs.
Direct Payments give you more flexibility and choice, by enabling you to buy support for yourself that better suits your individual needs.
If you receive a Direct Payment, you are in control – you can decide how your support needs will be met, by whom and at what time.
You can employ your own support staff , which means they will report directly to you. Or, you can have a contract with a local agency, in which case the agency will be accountable to you, not to Adult Social Care.
If you are a carer you may also be eligible to receive Direct Payments to help you in your caring role or to have some time for yourself. A Direct Payment can be used for all or part of your care or support package.
Who can have Direct Payments?
Adult Social Care can make a Direct Payment to most people who need support, including:
- older people who have been assessed as needing adult social care services;
- disabled people (including people with mental health needs) aged 16 and over, and those with short as well as longer term needs;
- carers; and
- parents of disabled children, for children’s services.
If you are assessed as being eligible to receive support and you want to consider having a Direct Payment, you must be:
- over 16;
- able to legally consent to receiving the payment from Adult Social Care; and
- able to manage the money to meet your needs. This may be on your own or with someone’s help, as long as you Jurassic Coast are in control of how the money is spent.
What can Direct Payments be used for?
The money is for you to arrange support to meet your eligible needs. You may choose to employ people directly, to buy services from an independent or voluntary sector provider or purchase equipment to help you live more independently. Direct Payments enable you to choose and plan your support in more flexible ways that fit in with your life.
It is important that your plans meet your assessed needs in the best way for you. As long as the money is used lawfully and your eligible needs are met, there can be a lot of flexibility about how you spend the money. For this reason there is not a list of things the money can be used for.
Most Direct Payments are made to meet regular ongoing support needs. However they can also be made as a single payment, for example, to purchase equipment or a short respite break.
If you prefer, Adult Social Care can arrange services to meet some of your needs directly, they can offer you a combination of a Direct Payment and services that they provide or buy from another provider on your behalf.
What do I do next?
If you are interested in Direct Payments and are currently receiving social care support from Adult Social Care, please contact your care co-ordinator (who may also be called your care manager or social worker) for more information.
Alternatively, to find out more information about Personal Budgets and Direct Payments, please contact your relevant Council directly:
Dorset County Council Adult Access Team
Tel: 01305 221016
Borough of Poole Adult Social Care Help Desk
Tel: 01202 633902
Bournemouth Care Direct
Bournemouth Borough Council
Tel: 01202 454979