What can direct payments be used for?

Direct payments are very adaptable and people are encouraged to be creative and innovative in how they use their Direct Payments to meet their eligible needs and agreed outcomes in their personal support/care plan.

Some of the ways people generally use Direct Payments can be summarised as

Personal Care

Assistance with personal care and essential daily living tasks, both within the home and local community. This may include:

  • assistance with getting washed and dressed
  • small items of recommended equipment or assistive technology

Other examples of support may include:

  • sitting services to enable an informal carer to take a break from their caring role
  • support from a communicator-guide for a person with dual sensory impairment
  • assistance for parents to purchase session support for a disabled child

Direct Payments can be used to purchase services from private care providers but most people choose to employ their own personal assistants as this affords people the greatest levels of choice, flexibility and control.

Support to access community, social and leisure activities Direct Payments can be used as an alternative to traditional day care services, usually provided by a day centre.

This gives people the opportunity to plan their own community, social and leisure activities by providing the support they need in order to access the activities. It provides people with the support they need in order to continue with family and community life. Examples may include:

  • assistance with personal care and support whilst the person accessed a leisure pursuit such as
    swimming, golfing, art classes
  • assistance with essential daily living tasks such as maintaining a safe and clean living environment and essential shopping
  • additional personal care at home whilst an informal or family carer takes a break i.e. respite
  • support to access educational and personal development opportunities i.e. transport
  • individual sessional support for a young person
  • a group of people using Direct Payments to contribute towards the costs of running a self directed support group, such as room hire

What Direct Payments cannot be used to pay for

  • services provided by the council for example some day services
  • help with daily skills, could be for example, preparing meals, washing, dressing and toileting. This is also called reablement
  • house hold bills such as food, drink and heating
  • rent or mortgage
  • health services for example physiotherapy, chiropody, dentist or equipment the NHS would provide Long term residential or nursing care
  • you cannot use direct payments to employ your husband or wife
  • you cannot use direct payments to employ your civil partner
  • you cannot use direct payments to employ a partner with who you live as a couple
  • you cannot use direct payments to employ close relative with whom you live or the spouse or partner of that close relative (unless agreed that exceptional circumstances make it necessary)

It is important to note that generally Direct Payments cannot be used to pay for the costs of accessing leisure and social activities, such as admission fees. In addition, Direct Payments should not be used to purchase meals or drinks whilst the person is accessing an activity.

Who can I contact for more advice?

You can contact the Access, Triage and Intervention Service (ATIS) please call 01905 768053.

Penderels Trust

Offer advice, guidance and practical solutions to enable people with disabilities and older people to live independently in their own homes, to achieve their goals in life and to help them play an active part in their community. For more help with personal budgets and direct payments visit the Penderels Trust website.