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Direct payments

Direct payments are made to allow people to organise and buy their own social care services.

Direct payments are a way you can have all or a part of your personal budget. They can be used in a variety of ways to pay for services such as personal care, respite and day services, minor home adaptations and specialist equipment. Direct payments enable you to have more choice and control over the support you receive and how your social care needs are met.

Direct payments are not seen as income and have no effect on tax or benefits. Direct payments should not be confused with Direct Payment from the Department for Work and Pensions. This is a way of paying pensions and other benefits direct into bank accounts.

Who is eligible?

To be eligible for direct payments, you must be:

  • A person aged 16 or over that has been assessed as needing and being eligible for services, or
  • A carer with an agreed assessment of need that is eligible for direct carer support; or
  • The parent of a disabled child who has been assessed as needing and being eligible for services;


  • Be able to take responsibility for arranging (with support if required) and managing your own care;
  • Be willing to use direct payments; and
  • You must also be able and willing to consent to a direct payment and be able to manage the payment.

You can always choose whether to receive direct payments or to receive services arranged by us. You cannot be made to accept direct payments if you don't want them. If you do use direct payments and later decide not to, you can revert to the local authority providing the services.

Receiving the service

If you think you might be eligible to receive direct payments, please contact us to arrange for an assessment of your needs.

Direct payment factsheets

We have produced a list of factsheets for people using direct payments:

Direct payments - frequently asked questions

Additional information from NHS Choices

See the NHS Choices page below for more information on direct payments:

Charges you may have to pay for social care services

You will have to pay for some social care services you receive in the community or in social care housing, but others may be free or at a reduced level, depending on your financial circumstances.

The amount you have to pay is determined through a financial assessment. Information and advice is available to help you plan for the cost of your social care.

This page was last updated on 26 October 2016