A DP is money provided by your local authority (LA) to help you buy the care support you are assessed as needing; sometimes called community care services. This is used instead of receiving care services arranged for you by the LA. You can employ your own Personal Assistant (PA) to provide the care you need, or you can purchase services from Clamoore Home Base Care Limited if you prefer. (Please note that Direct Payments provided for care are different to the payment of benefits made by a direct payment to individuals, often via a Post Office account).
How do I get a Direct Payment?
To request a DP you need to contact your social services department who will arrange a Community Care Assessment. Your social worker or care co-ordinator will discuss the assessment when you meet. Once you have been assessed, there is no time limit for you to decide whether to have a DP or not.
If you decide you would like a DP your social worker or care co-ordinator will refer you to Clamoore Home Base Care Limited. One of our managers will make an appointment to visit you at a convenient time to discuss your DP, together with your options and your responsibilities. If you still wish to use a DP, our staff will be available to offer support as necessary.
Yes. You can opt in or opt out of receiving a DP at any time. Many people experience some problems at the outset as everything is new to them. Our staff will discuss ways of enabling you to manage your DP more easily.
Will a DP affect any benefits I receive?
No. Any money you receive from your local authority (LA) as a DP for care, will not affect any benefits you receive from the Department of Work and Pensions. A DP is not liable for income tax.
Will I have to pay any of my own money towards my care?
You may be required to make a contribution to the cost of your care – just as you may already be paying towards services provided by your LA. Any contribution you do make is based on your ability to pay. A financial assessment will be carried out by an officer from the LA before you make any decisions regarding the receipt of a DP.
Who can receive a Direct Payment?
In most circumstances, if you are already entitled to community care services, you will have the right to be offered a DP. Direct payments are available to many people, including:
Your social worker/care co-ordinator will discuss your eligibility with you and will explain what level of support, if any, you may need to manage your DP. You must want to have a DP – no one can force you to have this.
Can I have help to manage my Direct Payment?
Yes. A DP can be managed by you alone or you can have friends and/or family to help you manage this. Alternatively you can choose us. We are able to assist with all aspects of a DP. Once your package is established our staff will assist you to take on more responsibility for the management of your DP, but will always be available to support you if things go wrong.
How will social services pay the money to me?
Social services will pay the money directly into a bank account that must be used for the money involved in funding your support i.e. DP money, your contribution (if you have to make one) and money from the ILF (if you receive this). You must not use this bank account for any personal money.
How do social services monitor my use of the Direct Payment?
Social services will ask you to complete simple monitoring forms (often called ‘quarterly returns’ if completed every 3 months). It is likely you will also have to provide receipts for income and expenditure, in addition to bank statements. Our staff will offer advice and support to help you complete any monitoring satisfactorily.
Can I employ a relative as my Personal Assistant?
A DP is not intended to replace existing networks of family support. However you can employ a relative who does not live at the same address as you, if you feel this helps. Be sure to discuss this with our staff first to make sure you are aware of all the options.
What happens if I have a problem with the staff I employ?
Some people are understandably apprehensive about becoming an employer. We have many years experience assisting people to live independently, with many types of support.
Can I use my Direct Payment to buy long-term residential care?
No. But it can be used to buy short-term ‘respite’ breaks. Discuss this option further with your social worker.
Can I use my Direct Payment to buy services from my local authority?
No. A DP is an alternative to services offered by your local social services department. However you can choose to have your needs met by using a package of care, e.g. partly with community care services and partly with a DP.
What if there was an emergency and I was left without a service?
Our staff will help you prepare a ‘contingency’ (back-up) plan to cover occasions when your PA or care agency cannot provide a service. In such cases social services may put extra money into your care account to cover any additional costs of care. Social services have a legal ‘duty of care’ and in an emergency they may choose to meet your needs by providing emergency agency cover.