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Direct Payments

Direct Payment managed by you or a relative

You can arrange and pay for your own care with the help of Direct Payments.

Your Direct Payment can be paid to either:

  • yourself
  • someone you choose to manage the money for you, such as your offspring (this person should be there to help you with your choices, listen to you and respect your opinion)

This option may be ideal if you:

  • want more flexibility with how your care and support is arranged and provided
  • would like to choose your care workers or personal assistants
  • have had a specific person recommended to you who you wish to employ
  • are confident with managing money and employing people

How it works

Sign a contract 

You’ll need to sign a Direct Payment contract that shows:

  • how much money you'll receive
  • what you must contribute towards the cost of your support
  • how your Direct Payment money should be used, for example, if it is to be used to buy different services or support
  • terms and conditions of your Direct Payment

Set up an account to receive payments

You can receive your Direct Payment money through either a prepaid card account or a self-managed account.

Pay in your contributions

Each week you pay in the amount that your financial assessment has shown you can pay towards your care (if any). This money will be used up first when you pay for your care.

We pay in our part of your Direct Payment 

Every 4 weeks we’ll make a Direct Payment into your account. We’ll aim to make the first payment to you within 2 weeks of the relevant paperwork being completed.

Receiving your Direct Payment

You must have one of the following accounts to receive your Direct Payment.

Prepaid card account 

We can set up a prepaid card account for you. The account will be in your name and provided by PFS. Your account will have a prepaid (debit) card linked to it (like you would get from your bank).

With a prepaid account you can:

  • make secure payments for your care, without the worry that you will go overdrawn as spending is limited to the amount in your account
  • check your balance, access recent transactions and set up standing orders or transfers at any time - either online or via telephone banking
  • pay your own contribution in from your own bank account via standing order or faster payments
  • receive notifications and alerts to help you manage your account

You won’t need to provide us with as much information when we audit your account - as we’ll be able to access reports in your Direct Payment account.

You don’t need a secondary account holder with a prepaid account (unless you want one).

What we need to set up a prepaid account

To set up your prepaid account, we’d need to check your identity to make sure your address and National Insurance number are correct. You will not need a credit check. You’ll receive your card shortly after the identity check being completed.

Self managed account (current account)

Your Direct Payment can be paid into a bank account, such as a standard current account. This will need to be set up differently depending on who is managing your Direct Payment.

Direct Payment managed by you

This account must be:

  • separate from your own personal bank account
  • a joint account - set up in your name and the name of someone (not an employee) who can help to manage your account if you are unable to - for example, they could pay your staff if you were in hospital
  • used only to manage your care and support costs.

Direct Payment managed by a relative or someone else

This account must be:

  • a separate bank account - not a personal one
  • a joint account - set up in the name of the person managing your budget and 1 other person, such as their husband, brother or sister
  • used only to manage your care and support costs

Managing your Direct Payment

It's important that you spend your money carefully and keep records to provide to us.

Spending your Direct Payment

When you spend your Direct Payment you must make sure that you meet all the needs that are in your care and support plan.

If it's in your plan, you could spend it on:

  • a personal assistant
  • support from a care agency
  • respite care at home
  • a short break in a care home
  • transport

You cannot spend it on:

  • living costs, such as food, gas, electricity, water bills, council tax, rent
  • household repairs
  • general furniture and household electrical items
  • alcohol or tobacco products
  • gambling
  • debt repayment
  • funeral expenses
  • goods or services that are the responsibility of the NHS
  • anything that has not been agreed in your care and support plan

Checking your spending

As you are managing your own budget, our Direct Payment support service will give you advice on how to set up and manage your records.

Make sure you keep all evidence of what you spend in a safe place.

This might be:

  • receipts
  • invoices
  • copies of staff wage slips and time sheets

You’ll need to provide this information to us at regular intervals for us to review and make sure you are using your budget on the things detailed in your care and support plan.

We will ask to reclaim any unspent funds, or any money that has been spent on things that are not detailed in your care and support plan.

Last updated 13 November 2023