Darlington Association on Disability Logo showing the letters D.A.D. breaking through a wall Darlington Association
on Disability
Centre for Independent Living

Link to DAD Facebook

Make a donation using Virgin Money Giving

What is a Direct Payment?

From April 2003 every local authority offers those who are eligible, money, instead of arranging services for them. When local authorities gives someone money in this way, it is known as Direct Payments. People get this money to arrange services for themselves to meet their social care needs.

Direct Payments give you the opportunity to make more of the decisions, which affect your life and be in control of your own care arrangements. One of the ways you can use a direct payment is to Employ and manage your own staff which means you get the assistance you need when you want it, how you want it and from the person you have chosen to give it.

Unlike other services, which are provided for you, Direct Payments enables and encourages you to be in control of a system you create and manage yourself.

To receive a direct payment you need to be able to consent to a Direct Payment and be able to manage it with support if necessary and available. Where someone does not have the mental capacity to consent to a direct payment the Local Authority can appoint a suitable person to receive the direct payment on behalf of the person that needs the support. The suitable person can then manage the direct payment to ensure the persons needs are met and the direct payment is being used in the best interests of the person receiving the support.

If you are a disabled person or carer, whatever your impairment, living in the Darlington area, who needs support to live independently in your own home, and you fulfil the eligibility criteria, then you can choose to receive a Direct Payment instead of receiving services or support organised and paid for directly by the council.

As in many local authorities, Darlington Borough Council is developing a system of Self Directed Support. This aims to give people maximum choice and control over their lives, which leads to increased opportunities and better outcomes.

One of the ways that the council are achieving this is through the use of Personal Budgets. A Direct Payment is one way in which you can choose to use your Personal Budget. For further information on Personal Budgets and Self Directed Support please visit our website www.darlingtondisability.org

To be able to receive a Direct Payment as part of your Personal Budget you need to have gone through either a Carers Assessment for carers or a Community Care Assessment if you are a disabled person. This involves completing a support plan and getting this agreed with Darlington Borough Council Adult Social Care.  Please visit the Social Care section of Darlington Borough Council’s website.

We recommend that you make a self-assessment of your needs before the Care Manager visits you. Some people find it helpful to keep a diary for a week or so before the assessment, recording what they do, how long it takes, and what help they receive, as well as what they would like to be able to do if they had the necessary assistance. This means that services should fit in with your needs, and not the other way round.

Each person’s need for assistance will be different, and so there are no hard and fast rules. However there are certain general principles which can guide you into making a good self-assessment.

Remember that your assessment will determine the number of hours of assistance you need and therefore the amount of money you get. So it is important that you think carefully about what you need to enable you to live a full life in the community.

Registered Charity No. 1125848. Company No. 6688735

©2015 Darlington Association on Disability