- What are direct payments?
- Who can get direct payments?
- What has to happen before you get direct payments?
- Receiving Your Direct Payment
- Putting you in control
- Misuse of a direct payment
- How can i find out more?
Direct payments are money payments paid to you by the council to pay for your care and support. They are an easy and convenient way of receiving the council's part of your personal budget, which is the amount of money you need to pay for your care and support.
Direct payments mean that you are in charge, they give you more choice and control over the care you receive and allow you to decide who gives the care and how and when they work with you.
We can offer you help and advice about choosing your care provider. You can also find lists of care providers by visiting Haricare, our directory of services for Adults.
You may be able to get a direct payment if you have been assessed by Social Services as needing community care services.
If you have been assessed as needing a personal budget, you will usually be offered a direct payment, provided you are eligible. If you already receive services from the council you can ask the team who deals with your services to change to a direct payment.
You must be able to consent to have a direct payment and have the capacity to manage one, although you can have assistance to manage your payment on a day-to-day basis
- We will work out how much your personal budget is, which will pay for services to meet your care needs, as assessed by your social worker or care manager
- We will then create a support plan showing the areas in your life that you need support with and how your direct payments are going to be used
- You will have to sign a written agreement with us to say that you will spend the money on the services you have been assessed as needing.
- You will then be in charge of organising your care and paying for it. You can either pay a care agency, or employ workers yourself
- Workers you employ yourself are called Personal Assistants. You will be responsible for things such as:
- Recruiting and employing staff
- Organising and managing your staff’s day-to-day tasks
- Paying your staffs wages and making sure they pay the correct tax and National Insurance
- Having Employers liability Insurance
- Keeping financial records and making returns to the council as requested
- A personal Budget Officer in The Direct Payment team will give you advice and assistance on this. They will tell you where you can get help with all of these tasks
- Recruitment agencies will put you in touch with suitable people to employ
- Payroll Providers make sure the correct money is paid and records are kept
- Insurance companies have employers liability policies designed for this
- Details of these services and companies is on Haricare
There are two ways of receiving your Direct Payment, Bank Transfer and Prepaid Card.
You will have to set up a separate current-type bank account with no overdraft facilities to keep your direct payment money in. This account must be solely for the use of Haringey direct payments, nothing else must go in or out of this account.
No cash payments can be made to carers. Payment is by cheque and bank transfer only.
You are expected to keep records of all expenditure relating to your direct payments, including your bank statements.
As an alternative to cash payments it is also possible to manage your personal budget with a prepaid MasterCard® card.
The cards have Direct Payments loaded on to them, as an alternative to receiving a cash payment and without the need to open a separate bank account. You can then use the card to pay for care services just like a debit card, either in person, over the internet or by telephone.
A prepaid card is not suitable if you are employing personal assistants yourself.
This is our leaflet that explains direct payments in more detail, Putting you in control - Direct Payments leaflet (PDF, 584KB).
You cannot use your direct payment to:
- Pay for anything that has not been agreed with us as part of your care and support plan
- Employ your spouse, partner or relative, who lives in the same household as you, to care for you at home
- Pay for permanent residential or nursing care
- Pay for services that should be funded by other statutory organisations
- Pay for any activity that would be harmful, fraudulent or illegal
If you misuse your direct payment, you may be asked to pay the money back, refused a personal budget in the future or have the circumstances investigated further by the council or police.
If you are interested in receiving a direct payment but are not sure if you qualify choose one of the following options:
- If you are a current service user and you think direct payments might be for you, or if you would like to find out a bit more, you can discuss this with your social worker or care manager
You can also contact us directly at:
- Personal Budgets Team
8th Floor, River Park House
225 High Road
- Tel: 020 8489 8456
- Email: PersonalBudgetSupport@haringey.gov.uk
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