Accessibility Options

There is a wide range of services you can receive at home, which can help you to stay safe, well and independent.

Home care is a chargeable service. In some circumstances we may make a contribution towards the costs of your care.

You can choose your own support if:

  • you will be paying for your own home care (also known as self-funding)
  • you are receiving financial support from us and manage your budget through direct payment 

If you will be paying for the full cost of your care (sometimes known as a self-funder) and ask us to arrange your home and community care for you, we will charge a one-off arrangement fee of £75 to organise this on your behalf.

To help you make informed choices, these websites and checklists can help you choose a provider: 

If you are assessed to be eligible for care and support services in the home we will work out how much it will cost to enable you to live the life you want. Most people pay for some, or all, of their care costs.

Services you may pay for

Depending on your financial circumstances we may be able to make a contribution towards the cost of your support. Support at home or non-residential support can include:

  • home support, day or night
  • Direct Payment scheme
  • community support
  • day service
  • Shared Lives Scheme 
  • respite care

Support you don't pay for

You will not be asked to pay towards the following support:

  • time-limited care e.g. following an illness or stay in hospital 
  • equipment available on loan following an assessment
  • minor adaptations to your home costing less than £1000
  • support received as a carer
  • aftercare received under Section 117 of the Mental Health Act 1983
  • if you need high levels of health care, you may be able to get your full care costs paid for by the NHS under the criteria for continuing health care

Financial assessment

The Fairer contributions policy means that no one will pay more than they can afford towards their support.

Payment options

Once the amount you need to pay has been worked out, you will receive a letter that explains how it was worked out and how much you will have to pay.

Direct Payment

If you choose to manage your care support yourself using Direct Payment you will receive the money to meet your care costs, minus your ‘maximum weekly contribution’.

For example, if your support costs £48 per week and your ‘maximum weekly contribution’ is £28 per week, we will pay £20 into your dedicated Direct Payment bank account, you will deposit your contribution of £28 into the same account. You will then pay your provider/s directly when you are invoiced by them.

Arranged support

If we arrange your support, an invoice will usually be sent to you on a four weekly basis and you can pay your contribution:

  • By direct debit
  • At the post office or Pay Point
  • By cheque
  • By debit or credit card (online or over the phone)

Both Direct Payment and arranged support

If you have both arranged services from us and a Direct Payment, there are two ways you will pay your contribution depending on how you manage your services:

  • Pay into your Direct Payment bank account if your Direct Payment is more than your arranged services.
  • Where your arranged services are more than the Direct Payment, an invoice for your contribution will be sent to you.

How will I know what to pay?

We will send you an invoice for your care and support services, normally every four weeks. The invoice will show the charge payable for the services you have received. You must make sure you pay invoices in full within the timeframe given, by whichever payment method you choose.

When will I start paying for my care?

Your bill will start from the date that your care begins. We will usually invoice you four weeks after your care has started.

NHS continuing healthcare

If you need high levels of health care, you may be able to get your full care costs paid for by the NHS under the criteria for continuing health care.

Contact us

If you have a question or concern about your financial assessment please contact our Revenue and Assessment Team.

Box No: SCO2205

Room No: 2nd floor
Scott House
5 George Street
PE29 3AD
Telephone: 0300 126 3003

What is Direct Payment?

Direct Payment means giving you a budget to organise your own care.

Am I eligible?

Direct Payment is available to people (including carers) who qualify for support from us and who are either:

  • aged 16 or over with a physical disability, learning disability, visual impairment, HIV Aids, mental health issues, or within the Autistic spectrum
  • people over 65
  • parent/carers of disabled children
  • carers aged 16 and over

We will carry out an assessment, then find out what you want to achieve. We will then look at the ways that the personal budget money could be used to support your needs. This will be written down in a document called a support plan. You can take some, or all of your entire personal budget as a Direct Payment to organise services yourself. If you are unable to do this you can ask us to arrange services for you.

How do you work out my personal budget?

We will ask you to complete a financial assessment. We will work out the likely cost of your assessed needs and how much we can provide towards it. This is called a personal budget. 

Carers who have a personal budget will not need to complete a financial assessment or make a financial contribution.

How can I use Direct Payment?

  • You must use a Direct Payment to meet the needs and things you want to achieve written down 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
  • paying a family member or partner living at the same address
  • purchasing any local authority in-house services, including transport
  • purchasing equipment or services provided by health services
  • purchasing any housing service or residential care

The law allows the Council to ask you to repay a Direct Payment if it has been used for any of the five items above.

Who can advise and support me?

Purple is contracted by the Council to provide a Direct Payment support service. They will meet with you and provide a free Direct Payment information and advice visit and can help you with:

  • financial management and record keeping.
  • effective use of banking facilities.
  • financial monitoring requirements.
  • help with the legal and practical issues of being an employer.
  • advice in setting up emergency procedures and back-up cover.

Purple can also assist you with recruitment and employment issues.

Supported accounts

You can arrange to have your Direct Payment paid into a Third Party Supported Account managed by Purple on your behalf. This means Purple carries out financial transactions on your instructions, pays wages directly into your care or support workers’ bank accounts and provides you with a monthly statement of your account. There is an administration charge for payroll services and Third Party Supported Accounts. If you have been assessed as needing support to manage your Direct Payment account the charge can be paid from your Direct Payment money.

Using Direct Payment to employ personal assistants

Some people use Direct Payment to employ their own staff (personal assistants) to provide care and support. They can help you with parts of your support plan such as:

  • personal care (e.g. washing and dressing)
  • household tasks
  • activities outside the home, such as taking you to appointments and community events.

If you wish to employ your own care or support worker, Purple can assist you with recruitment and all employment issues.

If you choose to manage this yourself, it is your responsibility to be aware of, and adhere to current employment laws and register with HMRC as an employer.

You will be responsible for all aspects of employment. You will need to be aware of how to manage payments for PAYE, National Insurance and all statutory entitlements for employees.

This also applies to carers who choose to use their personal budget to employ staff.

If you fail to meet your obligations as an employer, your Direct Payment may be ended. Some people prefer to use private care agencies as this provides some control without the added responsibilities of employing staff. You must be certain that the amount of Direct Payment you receive covers agency fees or be willing to make up the difference yourself.

We do not encourage using Direct Payment to pay self-employed carers and recommend that you contact Purple for advice:

Postal address: Purple, Stirling House, Denny End Road, Waterbeach, Cambridgeshire, CB25 9QE
Telephone: 01245 392 300
Email: [email protected] 

Using Direct Payment to buy support from companies

Independent providers are companies that provide services such as home care, respite care or day care.

This option means that you get to choose which company will provide you with care and support, rather than us choosing the company for you. You can also have more control over when your care is provided.

If you use your Direct Payment to pay a provider, we will always want to be sure that you are using a provider who offers a good standard of care and is registered with the Care Quality Commission. Your Key Worker can tell you about the range of providers in your area or you can find care services on NHS Choices.

Direct Payment for equipment

Your assessment may show that you need a further assessment by an Occupational Therapist to identify what sort of equipment will help you live more independently. Direct Payment for this equipment is a separate one-off payment. 

Direct Payment for carers

If you are looking after someone else in their own home, that is, providing regular unpaid care for a relative or friend, you will be offered 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.

Planning for emergencies

If you receive Direct Payment, it is vital that you make arrangements to meet any emergencies; for example, if one of your personal assistants/support workers can't work.

Your Key Worker will discuss your emergency arrangements before your Direct Payment is agreed and can give you a list of agencies who can help you in an emergency. Penderels Trust can also help you put together an emergency plan.

If you emergency plans break down, the Council is responsible for arranging services for you to cover the emergency. You should contact your Key Worker or Customer Services.

How do I apply for Direct Payment?

If you would like to try Direct Payment, you should talk it over with your Key Worker and with Purple.

Authorised person to consent and manage Direct Payment

People who lack the mental capacity to express their wishes or preferences about the support they receive can arrange for their personal budget to be paid to a suitable authorised person. This is a trusted person who will make decisions about how the Direct Payment is best used. This can be especially useful for people with severe learning disabilities, head injuries or dementia.

Other options allow individuals to nominate an authorised person to manage payments on their behalf, or to request that the local authority continues to manage the money in accordance with the support plan.

We must be sure that it would be in their best interests to have Direct Payment and that the authorised person will act properly.

Exclusions for Direct Payment

Some people are excluded from receiving Direct Payment by legislation. This includes people who are subject to compulsory measures of care under mental health and criminal justice legislation.

Setting up your Direct Payment

You will be required to sign an agreement that outlines the terms and conditions of Direct Payment.

You will need a separate bank account specifically for your Direct Payment, this is so that you can easily show how the money is being used and that it is in line with your agreed support plan.

Carers will not need to open a separate bank account for their Direct Payment but can choose to have it paid into their own account or paid into their cared for person’s Direct Payment bank account. Carers may wish to do this where they have a joint support plan with the person they care for. Carers must use the Direct Payment for their own needs and not for the cared for person’s needs.

Your Key Worker can explain your agreement to you to make sure that you understand it before you sign it and explain more about setting up a bank account or you can use our contracted Direct Payment support service, Purple.

Fairer contributions policy

Size: 126.34 KB File format: pdf

Contact us

If you have any concerns about your care service, please contact your Key Worker.

If you do not have contact details for a Key Worker, you can call Customer Services:

Email: [email protected]
Telephone: 0345 045 5202
8am to 6pm Monday to Friday
9am to 1pm on Saturday

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