Social work - direct payments

Direct Payment is one of four Self Directed Support options.

How to receive Direct Payments

If you are eligible for support and your care needs have been assessed, consideration is required as to which of the four Self Directed Support options best suit your needs. Direct Payments are available for:

  • Adults of any age
  • Disabled children

There are one or two exceptions to this, but your Self-Directed Support Adviser will explain in more detail where necessary.

Direct Payment

A Direct Payment is a Self Directed Support option which provides you with greater choice and control of how your needs are met, who will support you and when they will support you.  Instead of Social Services organising and providing services for you, we can fund an agreed amount of money (Direct Payment) which is paid into a separate bank account for you to organise and buy your own support.

There are two main ways you might use this:

1. Employing staff through an independent provider:

Independent providers are companies independent of Stirling Council that provide services such as home care.  They are often called Home Care Agencies. This option means that you get to choose the company that provides you with care and support, rather than us choosing the company for you.  You can also have more control over when your care is provided.  We can help you to find a suitable company in your area.

2. Employing your own staff to help you:

People you employ to help you are usually called Personal Assistants, and they can help you with things like:

  • Personal Care
  • Household Tasks
  • Outside Activities e.g. appointments and events

For many people, employing Personal Assistants gives them the greatest possible amount of choice and control over their lives.

Employing staff might sound difficult, but we can provide practical advice and assistance and can help guide you through the processes in a straight forward way that suits you. We can also point you in the direction of other support for employing a Personal Assistant, and will discuss this further with you where required.

You should make sure your employees are the right people to support you.  Disclosure Scotland has a Protecting Vulnerable Groups Scheme to help you with this.  In some circumstances Social Services can agree that you employ a relative.  This must be because it is necessary to meet your needs and outcomes.

Contributing to your care

Whether you choose Direct Payments or Self Directed Support option, there is no difference between how we work out what you might have to pay.  We look at the money you have coming in and whether you have savings. This information helps us work out the amount that you need to pay towards the cost of your care.

There are instances where a Financial Assessment may not be necessary, for example, if you are over 65 years of age and are only receiving Personal Care then this is provided free and is not subject to a financial assessment. This can be fully discussed with your Self-Directed Support Adviser.  Please see our information about how much you may have to contribute towards your care.

Your involvement in Direct Payments

If you request Direct Payments to take more direct control over the support you receive, there will be some additional work involved.  Some people find this very easy and some people find it a bit harder.  We can offer you practical advice on how to organise your care and manage your Direct Payments, and will be happy to discuss this further with you at anytime.

Some people ask trusted friends or relatives to help them manage their Direct Payments, which can be quite informal or you can even choose to have the money paid to a ‘nominee’ who will manage the money for you - but always acting on your wishes.  We can help you to understand what you need to do to manage your Direct Payment and make sure that the Direct Payment is only spent on the care that it has been provided to meet, and will also make you aware of what your Direct Payment can and cannot be used for.

You might like to know that almost everyone who chooses Direct Payments decides to carry on using them. With all the support that is available, it is very unusual for someone to feel that using Direct Payments is too complicated or too much trouble and we will be on hand to answer your questions and make sure you feel the full benefit of your decision to receive Direct Payments.

Remember, if at any point you feel that receiving a Direct Payment is not working you have the option to change the way you receive your care or go back to the way you were previously supported, and we can help you with this process.

Further reading

Please read our Direct Payment easy read guide

Contact us

Tel:01786 404040