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Direct Payments

What is a Personal Budget?

A personal account combines your personal budget and your customer contribution. You will have been assessed by Adult Social Care as being eligible to receive care and support services. The support planning process will determine what your eligible needs are and how you want them to be met. Based on your needs, a personal budget will be agreed that will meet your estimated care costs for the next year.

Personal Budgets/ Accounts can be managed in 3 ways:

  • As a Direct Payment to you
  • As a Direct Payment managed by a broker
  • As a Council Managed Personal Budget

What is a Direct Payment?

It is simply a way of giving you your personal budget so that you can buy in services directly yourself rather than the council doing this on your behalf.

There are 2 types of Direct Payment:

  • A one off Direct Payment is a single payment made to buy goods or services.
  • On–going Direct Payments are monthly payments to enable you to receive regular funding to buy goods or services.

What can they be spent on?

You can use your direct payments to pay for goods and services identified in your Support Plan.

One of the benefits of using Direct Payments is that you have the chance to choose the way your care is delivered.You could employ a Personal Assistant who  you already know or a family member who does not live at the same address. Alternatively, you could buy in the services from a home care agency if necessary.

Information on being an employer, aimed at people using Directs Payments is available on the HM Revenue & Customer website.

You are only able to pay for services from the following people in exceptional circumstances and in agreement with Adult Social Care:

  • A spouse (husband or wife)
  • A partner (The other member of an unmarried couple with whom they live.)
  • A close relative (or their spouse or partner) who lives in the same household as the person who receives the Direct Payment.
  • The City of York Council strongly advises that you undertake proper check on people you intend to employ.

You cannot use Direct Payments to pay for:- 

  • Long term residential care
  • Nursing care or medicines
  • Alcohol, tobacco drugs or gambling
  • Equipment provided by the NHS
  • A substitute for the Disabled Facility Grant    
  • You can manage the Direct Payment yourself or ask someone you trust to do it on your behalf. (A nominated person)

How are they administered?

Once you have agreed how your care and support will be delivered you will be asked to sign a DP1 form (Direct Payment Agreement). This agreement provides an overview of your support plan showing how the money is split if it is to be used to buy different services, how much money you will receive and how much you will need to contribute towards the cost. The DP1 sets out the terms and conditions under which the direct payment is made available to you.

Payments can be made in three separate ways:

Firstly, payments can be paid into a separate individual account which you can manage yourself. You will need to keep all receipts and maintain clear records as an audit trail.

Secondly, the account can be managed by a support provider, which cuts down on the amount of information you need to provide us when we audit your account.

Lastly, you can opt for payment to be made in the form of a pre paid card which is managed by an independent financial service company. This cuts down on the amount of information you need to provide for auditing purposes.

How are they monitored?

City of York Council will periodically monitor and audit your direct payment account to make sure the money is being used in line with your agreed support plan and that you are paying your contribution towards your care and support costs.  It is important to remember to keep clear records of all payments made.

You can keep up to 4 weeks worth of your Direct Payment in your account, plus money to pay for employee holidays, employers and public liability insurance and any unpaid wages or invoices.

If you have unspent money in your Direct Payment account, then the Council can reclaim it. They will let you know in advance if they intend to do this.

Direct payment support costs

If you want someone else or a support provider to help you manage some or all of your Direct Payment, then you will receive support costs to cover any expense you may incur. For example if you are looking to employ personal assistants to meet your needs, then you may be offered support costs upfront to make this happen.

Some costs are paid annually in advance – others on a monthly basis. At this stage any support costs paid to you that enable you to employ people are not chargeable. This is because you may find that you are unable to employ suitable people or you decide to receive care from an agency instead.

Last updated: 11/11/2020