Make a direct payment to ensure you get more independence, choice and control over your social care.

Under government legislation, we are allowed to make cash payments to some people instead of arranging a service. We have to offer direct payments to anyone who is eligible.

Sections in this guide (click title to view)

1. Who can use this service

If you are 16 or over and have been assessed by Adult Social Care services as needing a service you may be eligible.

Direct payments are not considered as income when you are assessed for welfare benefits.

You must also have either:

  • a physical disability
  • a sensory disability
  • a learning disability
  • HIV or AIDS
  • mental ill-health.

Carers may also be able to get direct payments to pay for services we currently arrange if:

  • you are the carer of a disabled child who has been assessed by our Adult Social Care services as needing a service
  • you are aged 16 or 17.

If you apply for direct payments you must be considered by our Adult Social Care services to be willing and able to manage this yourself with or without assistance.

If you fit the above criteria but are not currently receiving services you can still apply for direct payments.

People who have not been assessed can also apply but will have to be assessed for services before their application for direct payments can be considered.

2. Benefits of direct payments

Direct payments can give you wider choice, control and flexibility to meet your individual social care needs.

Payments are made directly to you to buy and arrange your own social care services as stated in your care plan.

3. What services can direct payments be used for

Your direct payments can be use for all the services arrange or provided by Adult Social Care services For services you have arranged yourself or with support from your family (your own services).

In some cases you may choose only to have direct payments for some of these services.

These include:

  • personal care such as help with dressing, washing, getting up, or eating meals
  • practical care such as shopping, collecting benefits or pensions, help preparing meals, housework
  • transport
  • an opportunity for carers to have a break from their caring responsibilities
  • day time activities, getting out and about: going to work, visiting a friend or relative, going to leisure activities
  • if you are a disabled parent, help to look after your child
  • if you are a carer, help to look after the person you care for or to give you a break from caring.

4. Your responsibilities

If you decide to use direct payments you will be responsible for arranging your own services which could include:

  • recruiting and employing staff - you will be offered professional advice and support to help you fulfil your obligations
  • organising and managing day to day tasks for staff
  • opening a separate bank or building society account
  • keeping records of payments and submitting returns to the council.

5. Charges

You will be financially assessed in the normal way to establish how much, if anything, you will need to pay.

Charges for services via direct payments, are made on exactly the same basis as those directly arranged by Adult Social Care Services.

6. Family, carers and friends

People may use their friends, families or carers to help them manage the payments, provided the person receiving the direct payment remains in control of the money.

Also you can download some useful leaflets here:

7. Disability Advice Service Lambeth

Disability Advice Service Lambeth - DASL, has direct payments workers who can help you with any initial questions you may have.