Personal budgets

Money from the council to use for your care and support.

Direct Payments

Direct payments are social care payments from the council for people who have been assessed as needing help and would like to exercise more choice and control over arranging and paying for their care and support services. Some people decide to use direct payments to employ their own personal assistant staff, others buy support from a care agency, or use them to access other services and activities that meet their needs and outcomes. Without a direct payment, the council would arrange a client's care and support on their behalf through the use of more traditional commissioned services. A direct payment is designed and provided to be used flexibly and innovatively and is often referred to as self-directed support.

Using Direct Payments

Support which will achieve eligible outcomes on the support plan:

• Employing a Personal Assistant (PA) or contracting with a provider for support with activities of daily living.

• Costs associated with employing a personal assistant.

• Day activities

• Temporary or respite care in a residential establishment.

• PA expenses where the activity is meeting an eligible outcome such as health and safety or respite.

• Supporting an unpaid carer to sustain their caring role


You cannot use a Direct Payment to:

• Anything which does not achieve outcomes agreed on the support plan.

• Anything which is an ordinary living cost such as ordinary bills, furniture, white goods, clothing, food shopping.

• Anything illegal, including drugs or gambling.

• Theatre tickets, any shopping, entrance fees,

How you receive your Direct Payment

Your Direct Payment is paid directly from the council to the recipient and the councils preferred way of doing this is by using an online payment account that we will set up for you.

You will receive your money, paid in advance, every two or four weeks. In some cases, such as for short breaks, or one off payments, you may receive this as a lump sum.

You will also need to pay your contribution into the Direct Payment bank account.

Managing your Direct Payment

You will be responsible for how your Direct Payment is spent. You must be able to show that it has been used for the services and support agreed in your support plan.

This means you will have to keep records of your spending and we will ask you to:

  • keep receipts and invoices
  • send us information on how you have spent your budget when asked to
  • check with your social care worker or Direct Payment Team if you wish to spend your budget on anything that is not in your support plan to make sure this still meets your outcomes
  • return any money not used to the council
  • keep records on wages, tax and national insurance if you employ a carer or personal assistant

You will be required to sign a contract (Direct Payment Agreement) with the council which will tell you about your responsibilities.

Getting help to manage your Direct Payment

You may want help with:

  • planning your care
  • finding care and support options to help you make your decisions
  • getting costs
  • setting up bank accounts
  • using the payment and what your responsibilities are
  • paperwork

Contact the Direct Payment Team for advice or ask your social care worker to make a referral on your behalf: or phone on 01202 794242

Page last updated: 17/11/2021 09:43