What are Direct Payments?
Direct Payments are a way of paying for your Care and Support services. The payments aim to give you more independence, flexibility and choice over how these services are arranged and provided.
Visit newcastle.gov.uk for more information.
Am I eligible for Direct Payments?
Direct Payments are available to people who have been assessed by Community Health & Social Care Direct as needing care and support.
Newcastle City Council will allocate you a Personal Budget to pay for your care and support. You can choose to receive this as a Direct Payment into your bank account. This allows you to buy and arrange care and support services yourself, instead of the council arranging them for you.
What can Direct Payments be used for?
You will generally have more choice with choosing to receive your Personal Budget as a direct payment, because this will allow you to buy services that the Council sometimes cannot provide. These are some common ways that people use a direct payment:
- Employing personal assistants to provide personal care at home and other support; this could be someone that you know already or someone recruited from an advertisement
- Contracting with a care agency instead of having the Council do it for you
- Buying community activities instead of going to a day centre
- Short breaks – If you are assessed as needing respite care or short breaks
Direct Payments can not be used to:
- employ your partner or a close relative who lives in the same household as you
- buy services from your local Council or another Council
- pay for long-term residential care
- pay for health care or housing
- Pay for regular household expenses such as gas, electricity, rent or food shopping
How much will I be paid?
The amount of money that you will be given depends on the outcome of your Financial assessment.
The money will be paid directly into a bank or building society account, which must be set up specifically for your Direct Payments. Any financial contribution that you need to make will also have to be paid into this account.
You will have several responsibilities for managing your Direct Payments. You must:
- use the money to pay for the services or equipment that you have been assessed as needing;
- keep financial records of how the money has been used; and
- follow employment law and fulfil obligations to staff.
Arranging Direct Payments
To arrange a Direct Payment, you will first need to be assessed by Community Health & Social Care Direct as needing care and support.
The assessments consist of:
- Needs assessment – to identify your care and support needs
- Financial assessment – to find out how much you will need to pay towards the cost of your care and support
Contact Community Health & Social Care Direct to arrange an assessment.
If you are already receiving care from Newcastle City Council and would like to change to Direct Payments, you should contact your social worker or care manager to discuss this with them.
Help with managing your Direct Payment
People Plus Group Limited are a provider of support and guidance for people who receive direct payments. Their Newcastle based team will offer you a personalised service to ensure you have choice and control over your care and support package.
- Information about direct payments
- Support to recruit and employ a personal assistant
- Help to identify a suitable support provider (such as a care agency)
- Help to identify community support which meets your outcomes
- Support with planning for contingencies and emergencies
- Access to peer support in local community settings across Newcastle
You can use your direct payment to buy support services such as:
- standard payroll services that work out the wages and any deductions for you. They tell you how much and when to pay your Personal Assistants
- managed payroll services receive the money and handle financial transactions, including paying tax and National Insurance for your personal assistants
- health and safety training for personal assistants
- training for you on safe employment. This is recommended if you are thinking about or have decided to employ a personal assistant. In some cases they will insist that you attend
- an insurance policy when you employ personal assistants. It must include employer’s liability and provide clear legal advice on how to deal with employment problems.
Family, friends or social worker can also to help you.
Other useful information
- Disability North offer independent living advice and support. This includes employing a personal assistant, managing your personal budget and direct payments.
- Self-directed support: direct payments, personal budgets and individual budgets – Age UK factsheet
- Tourism for All UK offers information about accessible short and long stays, as well as holidays and equipment hire or escorts.
Last updated: August 5, 2022