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Last updated:
20/11/2017

How do I pay for social care?

What are my responsbilities?

  1. Overview
  2. What is social care?
  3. When can the local authority charge me for non-residential services?
  4. What is a financial assessment?
  5. Self-Directed Support
  6. Will I have to pay for compulsory treatment services?
  7. I’m a carer; will the local authority charge me?
  8. What if I cannot afford the charges?
  9. How can I deal with problems about charges?
  10. Can I get a Direct Payment or SDS payment?
  11. How will the local authority pay me?
  12. What can I spend SDS payment on?
  13. What are my responsbilities?
  14. When will my SDS payments end?
  15. I'm a carer; can I get SDS payments?
  16. Next steps

Self-directed support (SDS) offers you much more flexibility, but managing it is also a responsibility. An important part of SDS is that a person can take on as much or as little responsibility as they want depending on the options they choose. Your local support service is usually the first point of contact for this.

You should keep receipts and records of what you have spent your SDS payments on.

If you pay for someone, like a personal assistant, you become his or her employer, and this means that you have certain legal responsibilities, such as:

  • Paying National Insurance,
  • Allowing holidays,
  • Taking out insurance, and
  • Paying sick pay.

When social services or your care coordinator work out how much your SDS payment payments are, they should include these costs and they should give you all the information you need about being an employer. Local support organisations can often help with managing SDS payments and being an employer.

What if my SDS payments are not enough?

Your SDS payments may be too low because:

  • Your local authority did not take all of your needs into account when working out the amount, or
  • The way of working out how much you should get is not fair.

The local authority should review your situation in the first six months to make sure you have enough money to buy services and you can manage SDS payments. The first review should be six to eight weeks after you signed off your care and support plan.  

If you feel you are not getting enough money through SDS payments, tell your social worker or care coordinator, as they might be able to help. If that does not work, you can try some of the options we suggested above.

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Within this subject

  1. Overview
  2. What is social care?
  3. When can the local authority charge me for non-residential services?
  4. What is a financial assessment?
  5. Self-Directed Support
  6. Will I have to pay for compulsory treatment services?
  7. I’m a carer; will the local authority charge me?
  8. What if I cannot afford the charges?
  9. How can I deal with problems about charges?
  10. Can I get a Direct Payment or SDS payment?
  11. How will the local authority pay me?
  12. What can I spend SDS payment on?
  13. What are my responsbilities?
  14. When will my SDS payments end?
  15. I'm a carer; can I get SDS payments?
  16. Next steps
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