Monitoring and auditing of your account
The council requires you to account for the money that you spend from your direct payments account as detailed in your agreement, by submitting quarterly financial returns. This includes: bank statements, invoices, payslips, and HMRC financial returns.
- The council’s responsibility
- Monitoring forms and schedule return
- Overpayment recovery
- Direct payments misuse
To undertake regular audits of your direct payment accounts. This is to ensure that your needs are being met and the money is being spent appropriately and cost effectively.
Your responsibilities are:
- To remain accountable for the way the money is spent
- To return all the information by the deadline date - your direct payment can be suspended if your paperwork is consistently late
- To remain within your budget. Your direct payments account should be in credit of between 4-8 weeks
- Keep all bank statements for the direct payment account
- Maintain a simple ledger that is easy to read and understand (unless advised otherwise)
- Keep all receipts and invoices to show what you have spent
- Maintain timesheets and payslips (if you employ someone)
- Keep a record of the things you achieve from your care and support plan. This will help with your care review
Direct payments are subject to monitoring and review to ensure the money is spent on outcomes outlined in your Care and Support plan. When a new direct payment team is set up, an initial light touch review will take place to ensure the recipient of the direct payment is comfortable using the direct payment and experiencing no initial issues. Thereafter, the direct payment will be reviewed after 6 months from being set up, and then annually.
You must provide the Direct Payments Support Team with the following paperwork on a request in order to reconcile your account.
You will need to provide the following information within 28 days of the request
- Copy of insurance certificate
- Copy of the last three months of bank statements for your direct payments account. This will not be necessary if you have a prepaid card account
- Evidence of the payroll service for any employees. You can do this by providing either a receipt from the Inland Revenue for tax returns or payroll provider invoices
- Copies of invoices paid for care support - if you purchase services directly from an agency then you can send copies of invoices showing the purchasing of care hours
It is important that you provide the necessary information within the specified time otherwise the council may suspend or withdraw your direct payment.
The Direct Payments Quarterly Financial Return Form should be completed and signed, and sent to:
- Direct Payments Support Team
2nd Floor, River Park House
225 High Road
- Or by email: Personalbudgetsupport@haringey.gov.uk
Alternatively you can call the team on 020 8489 8456 or email the team at email@example.com
Haringey Council may reclaim direct payment funds from you or your authorised person in the following circumstances:
- An overpayment has been made - this can occur as funds are generally paid monthly in advance and circumstances may change during the month
- An excess of more than eight weeks contingency has built up on the account
- Funds have been misused by not being spent in line with the agreed support plan
Where excess funds are identified in your account, the Direct Payments Support Team will contact you, your nominated or authorised person, or the managed payroll provider to advise that an excess has been identified. We will ask whether the funds are being held for a particular purpose, for example an upcoming HMRC bill.
Following this a figure for reclaim will be agreed and this will be processed by the Direct Payments Support Team. This may be off-set against future payments or you or your nominated or authorised person may be asked to pay the funds back to Haringey Council.
Spending patterns will be considered as part of this process to identify any obvious reason why the excess funds have accumulated. Where it is apparent that the support being purchased is considerably lower than that identified in the support plan, then this will be flagged to social care team for review to ensure your needs are being met. They will assess what your direct payment amount should be.
If we establish that your direct payment has been misused, we will issue you with an invoice to claim back any money owed. This must be paid from personal funds, not direct payment funds.
You or your authorised/nominated person can discuss payment arrangements with the Direct Payments Support Team if you are not in a position to settle the invoice in full.
If you or your authorised/nominated person fails to settle the invoice, or keep within the terms of an agreed repayment arrangement, then Haringey Council may decide to take legal action in line with its standard debt recovery procedures.
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