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Direct payments in Staffordshire

Below is some information about direct payments:

What are direct payments?

A direct payment is when your personal budget is paid directly to you to buy your own care and support in line with your assessed needs.

It allows you to have more choice and control over your life by enabling you to make decisions about how your care is delivered.

Please note: you cannot be made to accept direct payments if you don't want them.

Am I eligible?

Direct payments can only be given to people who have been assessed as needing support by Adult Social Care Services as part of the Care Act 2014.

You must be one of the following:

  • Aged 16 or over and assessed as needing and being eligible for care and support.
     
  • The parent of a disabled child who has been assessed as needing and being eligible for care and support.

If you have been assessed as eligible for care to be provided by Adult Social Care Services, you may be eligible for a direct payment.

You must be able and willing to consent to a direct payment, or have a representative who is able and willing to consent to you receiving a direct payment.

You must also be able to manage the direct payment or have an authorised financial representative who is able manage the direct payment on your behalf.

Please note: You may be required to contribute to the cost of your care. Anyone who gets a service from us will be financially

assessed, whether they receive a directly provided service or a direct payment.

How do I apply?

I don't receive any Social Care services at the moment

You will need an assessment for social care. Please call Staffordshire Cares on 0300 111 8010.

I currently receive Social Care services

Please contact your social worker or key worker for further details. Please call Staffordshire Cares on 0300 111 8010.

I am applying on behalf of someone who is under 18

Please call First Response on 0800 1313 126.

What can I use direct payments for?

You can use a direct payment to buy support which meets your eligible needs and achieves your agreed outcomes.

The outcomes will be documented in your care and support plan.

Depending on your assessed needs, your direct payments can be used for:

  • Support with personal care. This can be either with a local care provider or employing a personal assistant.
     
  • Support to enable you to access activities in the community.
     
  • Respite - to pay for care while your unpaid informal carer has a break.
     
  • Equipment and minor works for the home.

Examples

If you need help to get up, washed and dressed each morning, traditionally we would arrange the help for you.

With a direct payment we will give you the money to purchase the service yourself either by employing a personal assistant (PA) or via a home care provider.

Other examples include:

  • Attending a local day centre. 
     
  • Paying for respite care, enabling your unpaid informal carer to have a break.
     
  • Paying for specialist equipment or renovations, such as a ramp outside your home or a raised toilet seat.

What can't I use them for?

Your social care contact will be able to explain this to you. Direct payments cannot be spent on anything that is not covered by your care and support plan.

What are the benefits of direct payments?

Direct payments give you greater control and flexibility over your care arrangements. This means you can employ your own

staff if you want, or purchase your care from a provider of your choice.

Direct payments are not seen as income and have no effect on your tax or benefits.

How do I pay for services with a direct payment?

We are introducing prepaid cards for people in receipt of direct payments.

The cards will allow you to have the money on a preloaded card. It will allow you to pay for the services you need to meet your

care and support needs.

It will be easier to pay for services and will result in less paperwork for you too.

How do I get support with employing a PA?

Please note: If you decide to employ a PA, you will be the employer of your own staff. You will be responsible for the line management of each employee.

This may sound daunting although assistance is available with this process. Please contact us for further information on 0300 111 8010.

If you want to employ your own personal assistant there are a number of organisations that can
help to support you such as Skills for Care.

Welcome to the information hub for individual employers and personal assistants which brings together really useful information from lots of different places.

This hub is for people who employ their own care and support staff and the organisations that support them. Scroll down to see more including news and events, case studies, videos and what’s been added recently. You can find links to local organisations in the ‘in your area’ section. Please use the ‘feedback’ buttons to tell us what you think of the hub and resources others may find helpful.

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