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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 must:

• Have been assessed as needing community care services
• To consent and able to manage the direct payments (with support if required)

If you are a disabled person or carer, whatever your impairment, living in the Middlesbrough 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.

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.

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 Middlesbrough Council social care.  Please visit the Social Care and wellbeing section of Middlesbrough Council’s website

We recommend that you make a self-assessment of your needs before the Social Worker 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. Once the assessment and support plan has been completed, if you are eligible for a Direct Payment your social worker will refer you to DAD Employer Support Service to receive information and advice to set up your Direct Payment. DAD provide a Direct Payment Support Service in Redcar and Cleveland, Middlesbrough and Darlington. If you do not live in these areas please contact us on 01325 360524, as we may still be able to help.

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.


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©2017 Darlington Association on Disability