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Myth Buster - Your Questions Answered

We have made every effort to answer some Frequently Asked Questions regarding CareMatch, a variety of health and social care related areas and questions about this web site. If you cannot find the question that you want answered please contact us with your query.

What are Direct Payment Trust Funds?

Direct Payment Trust Funds can be set up for people that are able to express preferences but who would find it difficult to manage a direct payment themselves. We recommend that three people, who know the direct payment recipient well, act as Trustees. The Trustees take care of managing the money, employing staff or buying particular services - in accordance with the direct payment recipient's wishes. This can work well for people who can express what they want or like through their behaviour, as the Trustees will understand what is being communicated.

Can people with learning disabilities benefit from direct payments?

If you have a learning disability, then direct payments could work very well for you. A direct payment would give you more choice about services. For example; if you have been assessed as needing a day opportunity, you could decide on the type of activity you think would be best for you. If your disability means that you find it hard to communicate, to manage money, or to employ people, then a Direct Payment Trust Fund could be set up. This means that people that know you well could manage the direct payment for you.

How do direct payments for children work?

If you care for a child with disabilities, who is under 16, you can get a direct payment for their care. You may also be entitled to direct payments in your own right as a carer. The system works in the same way as it does for adults - except you manage the payment and service on your child's behalf. Young people can receive and manage their own direct payment from the age of 16. From age 18, you wouldn't normally continue to manage your child's direct payment. However, if a Direct Payment Trust Fund is appropriate (see the question about this) you might still be involved in managing the direct payment on your child's behalf.

Can I employ a family member to be my personal assistant?

You can employ a family member - as long as they do not live with you. Current legislation means that you can't use direct payments to employ a family member that lives in your home.

What do I need to know about managing my own support?

If you get direct payments, you are responsible for managing the money and arranging your services. For many people this involves employing a personal assistant to support them with daily living, or to be more active in their community. As an employer, you will need to manage things such as your personal assistant's pay, tax and insurance, and wlll need to think about holiday and sickness cover. This may seem daunting, but help is on hand; Essex PASS (Personal Assistant Support Service) can help you to find a Personal Assistant and will give you plenty of information and advice about employment matters.

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