If you are eligible for financial help, direct payment is one of the ways you can choose to receive your personal budget.

We give you your direct payment for you to arrange your care and support yourself, instead of us doing it for you. Read our Direct Payments Policy.

Find out if direct payments could be for you

If you want to choose care and support at home and can look after money, direct payments could be for you.

A direct payment enables you to choose and pay for your own care and support, using the funds granted to you as part of your Care Act assessment. Direct payments can be used to arrange care in your home or to source a daytime activity, but it cannot be used to pay for a care home placement. Using a direct payment will mean that you do not have to use the care companies that we use.

If you do not want the responsibility of arranging your support, direct payments are not for you. Talk to your social care worker about getting care arranged for you.

You can ask to your social care worker about direct payments if you have one. You can also find out more about direct payments from Skills for Care.

Find out what direct payments give you

If you get money for support as a direct payment, you can:

  • become an employer so you can choose any carer and can build a relationship with them
  • deal with any agencies or self-employed carers yourself, using the ones you prefer

You can get guidance on becoming an employer. Being an employer is not for everybody. It means you have legal responsibilities.

How to get a direct payment

If you want financial help as a direct payment, you can take these steps.

  1. Get us to look at your care and support needs.
  2. If you have care needs, tell us about your money coming in, assets and costs. You may have to pay something towards your care.
  3. If you can get financial help for support, ask your social care worker for direct payments.
  4. We will talk to you to find out if direct payments are for you.
  5. Decide whether to use a care company or make your own agreement with a carer.
  6. Find out how to choose between different companies or carers.
  7. Find out how to take on a carer as your employee if you decide this.
  8. Speak to the organisation we point you to, who will guide you along the way.
  9. Keep receipts of your spending. We will ask to see your records after the first 6 months. The money you have to put in is spent first. 

Finding your own care and support

If you get financial help for your care as direct payments, you will need to look for care and support yourself.

You can get support from:

  • care agencies, who provide a number of carers
  • self-employed independent carers (micro-providers)
  • independent carers looking for employment

Search for people who provide care in the home on the Help & Kindness website.

Before you talk to care companies, make sure you know all your options and be clear about what you want. Read about doing interviews and what to ask in an interview.

Employing a carer

You can employ a carer yourself. This can be a way to have carers you feel are right for you.

It does mean you have to follow laws for employers. We will arrange for you to talk to an advisor to help you with being a good employer.

The advisor will help you to:

  • set up as an employer
  • advertise for a carer
  • interview carers
  • choose a carer
  • sign a contract
  • set up payroll
  • keep records

Get more advice on: