Can I get direct payments?
You can get direct payments if:
- You have eligible social care needs,
- You can make decisions for yourself,
- You ask for direct payments,
- You can manage a direct payment alone or with help, and
- Direct payments will help to meet your needs.
Your care coordinator or social services department need to check if you can manage direct payments by yourself or with support and in order to do this, you will need to be organised, keep track of your spending and keep receipts. You can still get direct payments if you need help from a friend, relative or someone else to do this.
Can someone else manage my direct payments for me?
If you lack capacity to manage the money, someone within the Office of Care and Protection will be appointed to do so.
Direct Payments legislation and guidance for boards and trusts 2004 document states that:
‘People may receive assistance with managing the money. The payment may be made to a third party as agent for the direct payment recipient and detailed management of finances may be delegated to an agent. However the person for whom the direct payment is made must have control over how support is delivered to meet their assessed need. Direct payments may also be provided through someone with power of attorney for the person or a trust acting on the person’s behalf, for example, in certain cases where the person has a cognitive impairment or mental health problem'.
Trusts should satisfy themselves that the relationship between the person and the agent honours the spirit of independent living before direct payments begin.
What if I do not have mental capacity to manage direct payments?
Mental capacity is a legal term that means you can make decisions. If you cannot make a decision, you do not have ‘mental capacity’ and this means you are unable to:
- Understand information about direct payments,
- Remember the information,
- Think about all the information to make a decision, or
- Let someone know what your decision is.
The Trust will ask you if you:
- Understand the decisions you will need to make, and
- Know what will happen if you make these decisions.
You cannot get direct payments if you lack capacity to consent to them, unless an authorised person is appointed by the Office of Care and Protection to manage the payments on your behalf.
- What is social care?
- When can the Trust charge me for non-residential services?
- I am a carer; will the Trust charge me?
- What if I cannot afford the charges?
- How can I deal with problems about charges?
- What are direct payments?
- Can I get direct payments?
- How will the local Trust pay me?
- What can I spend direct payments on?
- What are important things to know about managing Direct Payments?
- When will my direct payments end?
- Next steps