What is a Direct Payment?
Direct Payments offer you more choice and control over how your support is provided and who provides it. You can make changes to your care and support to suit you. Through direct payments you can decide to employ your own carers. If you employ staff directly these are called personal assistants. The Direct Payment Support Service can help with all aspects of recruiting and employing personal assistants.
Assessment and help
We will arrange for a social care assessment and a financial assessment. The law says that any financial support that we give you must be means-tested.
If you are worried about managing the direct payment yourself, you can request a ‘nominated person’ to help you.
If you have difficulty making decisions about your care and support needs or managing money to pay for your care, we will complete further assessments and identify a ‘suitable person’ to receive the direct payment.
We will set up an allpay bank account for you and a debit card will be issued. You can use the card in person, over the telephone or to buy things online. It’s safe, secure and convenient and is easier than withdrawing cash.
Direct payments are tax free and will not affect any benefits you may be receiving.
It is important that the direct payments are spent as agreed in your care and support plan. We will review the information from the allpay account and will write to you to request information about how the money is spent on your care and support needs.
More about our Direct Payments scheme
We are here to help make sure that you have all the support you need to be safe and to do what is most important to you.
In most cases, we can help you unlock the support available from your family, friends and neighbours and link you up with what is going on in your community. Sometimes, this will need to be topped up with some extra money, so that you can buy any additional care you need to lead a full life. Direct Payments are the way that we give you the money to do this, helping to keep you in control of your care and support.
What Direct Payments offer you
Direct Payments offer you more choice and control over how your support is provided and who provides it. You can make changes to your care and support to suit you.
We will arrange for a social care assessment and a financial assessment. The law says that any financial support that we give you must be means-tested. This means that we have to carry out a financial assessment to work out how much you have to pay towards the cost of your care. This will deducted from your Direct Payment amount.
We will carry out a light-touch or full financial assessment, depending on your circumstances, and the Direct Payment can start as soon as your contribution has been agreed.
allpay bank account
To make receiving a Direct Payment as easy as possible, we will set up an allpay bank account, which comes with a debit card. You can use the card in person, over the telephone or to buy things online. It’s safe, secure and convenient and is easier than withdrawing cash.
With an allpay bank account and card we can ensure that the Direct Payments are being spent on your care and support. This reduces paperwork as we will have records of spending on the account and means you won’t have to send us evidence. We will cover the cost of setting up and running the allpay bank account and card.
Setting up Direct Payments
- Your Social Worker or Independence Advisor will give you a Direct Payment agreement, which you will need to sign and return to us. It is a contract between you and the council and tells you what your responsibilities are. The sooner you return this, the sooner we can get going
- After this the allpay bank account and debit card will be set up. A financial assessment will be completed so that we can work out whether you need to pay anything towards the cost of your care and support. If this is the case, this will be deducted before the payment is made into the account
- The payments will be set up and paid monthly, usually on or around the 15th of the month. The payments will vary each month, depending on how many days there are in the month
- We will agree your Care and Support Plan with you and this will set out how the money should be used to keep you safe and help you do what is important to you to lead a full life
- Once it’s all set up, we’ll keep an eye on your allpay bank account so that we can be sure that the money is being used to meet your needs, which we have to do by law. We will let you know if we need anything else from you and will carry out regular reviews to make sure that it’s all running smoothly
Real experiences of using Direct Payments
Chris How SHOW
Nicky Wood SHOW
David and Kim Cruse SHOW
Denise Fullbrook SHOW
Mr and Mrs Pathak SHOW
The above information is also available in our direct payments leaflet.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the allpay account and card? SHOW
What kind of things can Direct Payments be used for? SHOW
Who can have an allpay account? SHOW
Do I need a bank account? SHOW
Can I use my card to withdraw cash at an ATM or for cashback? SHOW
Are there any restrictions on where I can use my card? SHOW
Is there a charge for this card? SHOW
How do I manage my card? SHOW
How is money loaded onto my card? SHOW
How can I change my PIN? SHOW
Can I pay other people using my card? SHOW
How do I set up a Direct Debit? SHOW
Can I go overdrawn? SHOW
Can I get my funds back if I want to cancel the card or no longer need it? SHOW
Will you carry out a credit check when I apply for a card? SHOW
How is my personal information and privacy protected? SHOW
The above information is also available in our FAQs sheet.
Further support and contact information
Enham Trust can provide further support and advice with Direct Payments.
You can also contact Southampton City Council.