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Direct PaymentsDirect Payments

What is a Direct Payment?

A Direct Payment is money paid directly to you by your local authority or council. A Direct Payment is for you to use to choose, arrange and pay for the care and support you have been assessed as needing.

You can choose to receive Direct Payments instead of receiving services arranged, or commissioned, by your local authority or council. Or you can have a mixture of Direct Payments and arranged services.

You do not have to have a Direct Payment, it is your choice.

Why choose Direct Payments?

Direct Payments mean having more choice and control over your care and support. You choose the services that meet your assessed needs to achieve the life you want, in a way that suits you.

You can use a Direct Payment in different ways. For example:

  • Employ a personal assistant (PA) who can provide Personal care (such as help you wash, dress or make meals,);
  • Support to get out and about in the community;
  • Help you to do everyday things;
  • Choose and pay an agency to provide you with staff, to support you at times of the day that you choose;
  • Pay for day services or courses that help to meet your needs;
  • Pay for short breaks that provide respite in a way that best helps you;
  • Buy equipment or items that will help you Direct Payments can be used for anything that your local authority or council agrees meets your assessed needs.

How do I get a Direct Payment?

Direct Payments are available to everybody who has eligible care needs including:

  • Disabled adults over 16 years
  • Parents of disabled children
  • Disabled parents of a child
  • Carers
  • Learning Disabled People, people with mental health or emotional support needs

The first thing to do is contact your local authority or council and ask about an assessment from your local social services. You can find your nearest local authority or council here:

UK GOV - Direct Payments

A Direct Payment can also be made to a nominated person on behalf of the person, if that person is unable to manage the Direct Payment themselves.

If you are already receiving care services from your local authority then you can choose to change to Direct Payments by contacting your social services

Will I pay towards the cost of my Direct Payment?

Whether or not you pay towards your Direct Payment will depend on your personal circumstances. Once your Direct Payment has been agreed, you will receive a financial assessment by your local authority or council. This is to find out whether you are able to contribute towards the cost of your care. If you do not agree with the outcome of the financial assessment you are able to appeal the decision.

What support can I get with Direct Payment?

In most areas of the UK, there are organisations that can help you set up your Direct Payments, offer advice and support and help you find and employ staff. Many of these organisations are run by Disabled people.

To find Direct Payment Support Service near you, go to:

Find A Service


NHS Choices