Useful Information about Direct Payments
What is a Direct Payment?
The aim of Direct Payments is to provide flexibility in the provision of social care services. Direct Payments are cash payments given by the Local Authority to people in need of support so they can arrange and pay for their own care; rather than having social care services directly provided for them. Direct Payments give people a greater control over their lives and how their care is delivered by promoting independence, choice and inclusion.
Who can receive Direct Payments?
In order to receive Direct Payments, you must have had a Social Services assessment and be eligible for care and/or support from social care services. This is usually undertaken by a social worker. If the assessment shows you are eligible for support, the social worker who carries out your assessment will ask you if you would like to receive Direct Payments.
If you already receive care and/or support provided by Social Services and would like to consider a Direct Payment instead, you should speak to your social worker.
Powys County Council need to ensure that you are capable and able to manage the Direct Payments, either alone or with available support.
What can I use Direct Payments for?
How you spend your Direct Payments should reflect what has been agreed in your social care assessment and support plan. This can include:
- Personal care and practical household tasks
- Attending appointments
- Making your own arrangements instead of using Social Services day activities or respite care/breaks
- Accessing social activities
- Residential care and support
- Contracting with a registered care agency or micro-enterprise to meet your assessed needs
- Training for your Personal Assistant(s)
- Purchasing equipment/assistive technology - follow this link for more information
Employing a Personal Assistant directly to support you to live independently is one of the most common ways people choose to use Direct Payments.
You can't use Direct Payments for:
- Services, equipment or goods that are not in your social care assessment and support plan
- Health or housing services
Will I have to pay for Direct Payments?
If you receive Direct Payments, you may be asked to make a contribution towards the cost of your care and support depending on your circumstances. This is the same as for other social care services and is calculated in accordance with the
What are my responsibilities?
You will be responsible for managing and administering the way that your Direct Payments are spent. This means that if you employ a Personal Assistant directly, you will be classed as their employer.
You will also have to keep auditable records of how the money is spent.
What support is available?
Powys County Council have a contract with a specialist service, PeoplePlus to help and support you with the whole Direct Payments process.
PeoplePlus will work with your social worker to make sure that you get help with your Direct Payments whenever you need it.
PeoplePlus will support and assist you to manage all aspects of your Direct Payments including:
- Understanding what Direct Payments can be used for and how you report on monies spent
- Support planning and brokerage
- Advertising, recruiting, interviewing and employing a Personal Assistant
- Choosing a care agency, micro-enterprise or residential care and support
- Payroll services for those who choose to employ Personal Assistants
- Skills workshops to enable you to manage as much of your Direct Payment as possible
- Ongoing advice and guidance around employment issues
- Managed accounts if you require a higher level of financial support
PeoplePlus also work with partners who can offer legally required Employer's Liability Insurance should you choose to become an employer.
Your social worker will provide guidance on the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks required for potential employees. Powys County Council will process a DBS check for you.
For Health & Safety guidance about Moving and Handling please follow the Health and Safety Executive guidance.
How much will the payments be?
This depends on what support you need. When your needs have been assessed, we'll know what level of support you need. The amount of money you'll get will be agreed and be included in your personal plan of care
All Direct Payments are made net of any contribution from you as determined by the
Your Personal Assistant (PA) can access the following training options without any charge:
- Social Care Workforce Training
- Social Care e-learning via NHS Wales- in order to access these e-learning courses you need to be set up with an account. To do this you will need to send your name, email address and organisation/title (Direct Payment Personal Assistant) to firstname.lastname@example.org
Some training such as the courses below are chargeable but you can book your PA onto this training and use your Direct Payments to pay for the course.
How can I find out more?
If you are interested in finding out more about Direct Payments and how you can apply, please contact your social worker or contact Assist on 0345 602 7050 or email@example.com
Detailed information is included in 'Direct payments: a guide' published by Social Care Wales.
If you wish to find out more information about the support and advice available from PeoplePlus, please visit the PeoplePlus Home Page