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Direct Payments

What are Direct Payments?

Direct PaymentsDirect Payments are money given to you by Social Services or Health Providers. You can use this money to buy the support you need instead of traditional services being provided by your Local Authority.

Direct Payments offer flexibility and choice to individuals, allowing them to make their own choices about their lives. People of all ages can purchase services for themselves that better suit their individual requirements.

You can use Direct Payments to access any resources that enable you to achieve your personal outcomes so long as they are agreed in your support plan.

Examples of this may include:-

  • Employing your own Personal Assistants
  • Buying services from a private sector company
  • A combination of both of the above
  • Paying for day opportunities
  • Paying transport costs
  • Purchasing equipment
  • Paying for respite or short breaks
  • Any other service that meets your personal outcomes

Although some variations and restrictions may apply, you can be both flexible and imaginative to ensure you receive the most appropriate support package.

Am I eligible to receive Direct Payments?

You may be eligible for Direct Payments if you:-

  • Have been assessed as needing or receiving community care support
  • Have a physical disability or sensory impairment
  • Have a learning disability
  • Have mental ill-health
  • Have HIV / related illness
  • Have parental responsibility for a child with a disability or you are a young adult aged 16 or 17
  • Provide substantial and regular support to a person with disabilities and are over 16 years of age

To see if you are eligible for support, you first need to have an assessment which will help you identify the outcomes that you want to achieve. This will look at what support you need to live independently and will usually take place in your home. You can have someone with you if you wish.

Before the assessment, we recommend you make a list or keep a diary in which you think about all the things you want to change and the outcomes you want to achieve. You may also consider the things you would like to do if you had the right support in place.

It can also be helpful to think about events that do not happen on a daily basis, for example having some respite or times when you may need extra support.

Some funding streams may require you to have a financial assessment, to determine whether you will have to contribute towards the cost of the support you recieve.

How can the Rowan Organisation Support me?

The Rowan Organisation provides a wide range of support services created to help you manage your Direct Payments. This can include:-

  • Supporting you to decide whether to employ a Personal Assistant (PA) or to use other services
  • Support with setting up the scheme
  • Support with paperwork required by the scheme
  • Support with finding and recruiting staff
  • Providing you with information and advice on the legal requirements of being an employer

We offer practical services, including the Managed Accounts service, which can receive the money and make payments on your behalf, whilst still keeping you in control of decisions. We also offer a comprehensive Payroll Service for those choosing to employ their own Personal Assistants or carers.

We provide ongoing support when you need it, through our Information and Advice Service and local assistance from our Independent Living Advisers.

For more information on any of the services we provide, please vist "Our Services" page.

How do I manage my Direct Payments?

When you receive a Direct Payment, you will have certain responsibilities around managing the scheme, these may be different in each area. Your local team can provide you with more information and support on the requirements of the scheme in your area.

You must...

  • open a separate bank account for the money to be paid into, which keeps it separate from your personal finances. This should be a current account with a chequebook facility or internet banking
  • keep your bank statements in a safe place
  • keep receipts for any payments you make
  • follow the moitoring requirements of your funder

You must not...

  • spend your Direct Payments on anything that hasn't been agreed in your support plan - If in doubt you can check with your funder
  • spend your Direct Payments on anything illegal
  • spend your Direct Payments on gambling
  • make cash-in-hand payments to your PA

Local arrangements in your area.

Each local council can run their Direct Payments scheme differently. In some areas, Direct Payments are part of a wider scheme called 'Personal Budgets'.

We can provide you with more information about how the Direct Payments work in your area and we have local teams that work closely with councils to pro-vide a seamless service to you.

For more information about your area please select your region from the "In Your Area" menu at the top of the page.

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