Direct payments allow you to receive cash payments from your local authority instead of community care services. This can give you much more flexibility and control, allowing you to arrange your own care services and choosing the home care service of your choice.
Who can have them?
You have the right to receive direct payments if one of the following applies:
- aged over 16 and local authority has decided you are entitled to community care services
- you have parental responsibility for a child under 16 who is entitled to community care services
Agreeing to direct payments
You can only have direct payments if you, or someone acting on your behalf, agrees to the payments being made. To be able to give this consent you, or the person acting on your behalf, must have the mental capacity to give consent.
To give consent you do not have to fully understand the direct payments process. You don't have to be able to manage the direct payments on your own.
How much should you get
How much you receive must be high enough to cover the reasonable cost of the service you require to meet your identified care needs.
Like when receiving direct care services from the local authority you may still need to make a contribution towards your care costs. The local authority will inform you of the amount of contribution that is required, the most this can be is £100 a week.
If you feel that your contribution is too much or that your direct payments are not enough to cover the care service required, then you can raise a dispute with the local authority.
Monitoring and reviews
The local authority will review both your care and direct payment agreement regularly to ensure the service you are receiving is meeting your needs.
When monitoring your direct payments the local authority will monitor your mental capacity, and look at how payments are being used and managed.
Problems with direct payments
If the local authority thinks that your direct payments are not being used properly, they can ask you to repay part or all of the payment.
If you are asked to repay a direct payment you must source advice first, you can get advice from the Citizens Advice Bureau.
Support for people using direct payments
There is a lot of support available to help you manage your direct payments. Your local authority may help you to access a payroll service or advise on direct payment managing services.
Using direct payments for care
- Buying care at home - buying services from a home care agency, or employing a personal assistant
- Employing carers - if you do decide to employ a carer or personal assistance, you need to be aware of your responsibilities, as you will be an employer. For example, you will have to arrange recruitment, insurance, sick pay and other employee benefits and will need to keep records and accounts
- Care home stays - can be used for short respite stays in a care home
- Equipment - can use to buy equipment or adaptations required in your own home
We would love to discuss your individual home care requirements, be it by meeting, by email or over the telephone at a time that is convenient to you. If you would like to discuss this with one of the team, please get in touch on 0151 345 0520
. Alternatively you can send us an email to Liverpool@caremark.co.uk