Direct Payment puts you in control of your Carers' Personal Budget, so that you can arrange services that support you as a carer - enabling you to have more choice and independence about how you organise your support.
If you are aged 18 and over and looking after someone in their own home - that is, providing regular unpaid care for a relative or friend or you are a parent/carer of a disabled child - you can ask for a carers' assessment which will determine if you are eligible for help from us. This is where we look at your needs, together with those of the person you care for, and agree what support we can offer you.
How do you work out my Carers' Personal Budget?
We will work out the likely cost of the support that you need in your caring role. The amount of money we work out is called a Carers' Personal Budget. We don’t ask carers to make a financial contribution to their personal budget.
Carers' support plan
We will talk to you about what you want to achieve and the different ways that the personal budget money could be used to support you and your wellbeing as a carer. This will be written down in a document called a carers' support plan. You can choose to take some or all of your personal budget as a Direct Payment to buy and organise the things you decided on in your support plan. If you don’t want a Direct Payment you can ask us to use your personal budget to arrange carers support for you.
Joint support plans
As an eligible carer you can request a joint support plan. If the person you look after already has a Direct Payment bank account and you want to have your Carers' Direct Payment paid into it, we will write a joint support plan for you and the person you are caring for. This can be useful if you want to use the same staff that the person you look after has to meet the outcomes in your carers' support plan.
If you have a joint support plan you must use your Direct Payment for your carer support needs. It cannot be used to meet the needs of the person you look after.
How a Carers' Direct Payment works
Your Direct Payment must be used to buy and organise the carer support services which are recorded and agreed in your support plan. We will check you are getting the right amount of money and are spending it as agreed in your support plan at the first review.
If you have not had a Carers' Direct Payment before we will review the personal budget within the first six months, after that a review will take place annually. A review will involve you having a discussion about how the service is meeting your needs as a carer with a worker from Adult Social Care or Carers Trust.
As a carer you will not need to open a separate bank account for your Direct Payment. You can choose to have it paid into any account you currently use. You can ask for it to be paid into an existing Direct Payment account. (See joint support plans above.) You will need to retain receipts.
How can I use Direct Payment?
You must use the Carers' Direct Payment to buy the support or services which may support you as described in your support plan.
You must spend your Direct Payment lawfully and in a cost-effective way.
Direct Payment cannot be used for:
- anything not agreed in your support plan
- purchasing any local authority in-house services including transport
- purchasing equipment or services provided by health services
- purchasing any housing service or residential care
Direct Payment Agreement
The Carers' Direct Payment Agreement outlines the terms and conditions of your Direct Payment. It is important you read and understand these before signing your agreement. You MUST sign and return your agreement to the Council before any money can be paid into your bank account.