Adult Social Care Services want to help people live independently with more choice and control over the care and support they need. Everyone eligible to receive social care support, will get clear information about the cost of their care and will be helped to make decisions about how they spend that money; this is called ‘self-directed support’. Direct payments is one way in which self directed support can help you to take charge of how you get the help you need.
Promoting wellbeing is not always about the council meeting needs directly. It is just as important for us to provide people with the information they need to take control of their care and support and choose the options that are right for them.
Direct payments are payments made to you by the council to buy the support you need, instead of the council arranging these for you.
Most people who have been assessed as needing social care support and are eligible to receive these services from the council can receive direct payments.
You could have a direct payment if:
Examples of people who might be eligible to receive direct payments are:
Everyone’s support needs are considered individually following an assessment of their care needs to see if they are eligible to receive services under the Care and support planning process.
By law, some people may not be able to receive a direct payment; for example, if you have a court order against you which is related to drugs or alcohol. The council can give you advice if you think you may not be able to receive a direct payment.
Having a direct payment means you can:
You can use the money to employ your own staff directly, or through an agency, rather than have the council make these arrangements for you. You can choose who supports you and when you want the support. For example, you may want to arrange to have help in the evenings and at weekends, rather than during the day.
You can choose to have direct payments to manage all or just some of your support. If you only want a direct payment for part of your support, we will arrange services for the rest. You can change your mind about having direct payments or having a provided service at any time by giving 4 weeks’ notice.
If you choose direct payments there is advice and guidance available to help you manage your care & support.
Direct payments must be used to pay for care & support that you are assessed as needing and are eligible to receive from social care services.
You can use a direct payment to pay for:
You cannot use a direct payment to pay for:
No, direct payments do not affect your benefits, they are not considered as financial capital (income) and cannot be taken into account when you are assessed for welfare benefits.
The amount of money you will get is based upon the assessment of your needs as well as a personal financial assessment to see if you have to contribute towards the cost of your care. Each person is assessed individually.
No. You can choose any of these options:
The council encourages people to take ownership of their care planning, and be free to choose how their needs are met, whether through local authority or third-party provision, by direct payments, or a combination of the three approaches.
People who use direct payments enjoy the flexibility and choice which is offered and many say it has given them greater self esteem and confidence.
However payments may not suit everyone. If you change your mind about receiving direct payments you can have services arranged for you by giving 4 weeks’ notice.
You, your Nominated or Authorised person will need to sign an agreement with the council outlining your responsibilities - this is call a Direct Payment Agreement.
When you get direct payments there are some rules you have to follow. You have to:
The council will have to satisfy itself that the needs for which it is giving you the direct payments are being met.
You will have to account for the direct payments money that you spend. We will tell you what records you need to keep and what information you’ll be expected to provide and how often. Information such as time sheets signed by your personal assistant, services purchased from an agency and bank statements showing the payments made will need to be provided regularly.
The council will review your direct payment within the first 6 months of making the first payment to ensure that you are clear about what is expected, you have all your records in place and to answer any questions that you might have.
There is lots of support available to help you with managing a direct payment. For example:
You need to contact Adult Social Care Services on 01753 475111 or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org and ask for a social care assessment.
If you already get help from Slough Adult Social Care Services, say that you want to change to direct payments.