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Direct Payments for Service Users
Direct Payments is money given to you from Social Care Services to enable you to buy and arrange your own care or support. Direct Payments are an alternative to receiving direct services like home care, day centres and residential care.
Direct Payments enable you to take responsibility for arranging the services or support you require, managing the money, employing staff to provide your support. This puts you in control, giving you flexibility, choice and independence.
- What are Direct Payments?
- Who can receive a Direct Payment?
- What can Direct Payments be used for?
- Who can I employ?
- What will be your responsibilities?
- How much is paid?
- Contributing to the cost of the Direct Payments package
- What should service users do before deciding to apply for Direct Payments?
- How do you apply for a Direct Payment?
- What Support is available to me?
The Community Care (Direct Payments) Act 1996 gave local authorities the power for the first time to make cash payments for community care direct to individual service users. Disabled people have consistently asked for greater influence over the way in which services are provided and have requested Direct Payments so that they can manage and control their own care. The Act encourages and enables flexibility in meeting identified social care needs.
Regulations introduced in April 2000 amended the 1997 Regulations so that the persons to whom direct payments may be made under the Act may include aged 65 or over.
The Community Care, Services for Carers and Children's Services (Direct Payments) Regulations 2003. On 8 April 8 2003, new regulations came into force making a duty to make Direct Payments. This means that whenever an assessment is undertaken then Direct Payments must be offered as an alternative to the care or support arrangements normally arranged by social care services department.
Direct Payments is money given to you from Social Care Services to enable you to buy and arrange your own care or support. Direct Payments are an alternative to receiving direct services like home care, day services and residential care.
Direct Payments enable you to take responsibility for arranging the services or support you require, managing the money, employing staff to provide your support, and so on. This gives you choice, control and flexibility around your support.
- Assessed by Social Care Services as needing a social care service
- A person with parental responsibility for a disabled child
- A disabled person aged 18 or over
- Able to manage the scheme (alone or with assistance of others)
- A young person with a disability aged 16/17 years
- A young carer aged 16/17
- Willing to use a Direct Payment instead of a service
- Carers can receive Direct Payments to purchase the services they are assessed as needing to support them in their caring role and to maintain their own health and well-being.
Direct Payments can be used to purchase any service that you have been assessed as needing with the exception of permanent residential care.
- You can employ your own personal assistant
- You can pay a private agency
- To purchase equipment
- Respite care
- Day time activities
- An alternative to day services
- Assistance with personal care
- Assistance with domestic care
- Specialised needs, such as a guide communicator or a person who has challenging behaviour
- Care breaks
- Small aids and adaptations, but not services and equipment that would otherwise be arranged by NHS or Housing.
The Direct Payments package can be combined with Health, Homecare and Independant Living Funds (ILF).
Any individual recruited by the Direct Payments citizen.
- Friends or neighbours
- Students over 18
- Agencies (although rates will be higher)
- Close relatives who do not live in the same household.
Whilst Direct Payments give you choice, control and flexibility, they also put responsibilities on you. These include:
- Have a separate bank account where payments can be made into (a 3rd party bank account is available under certain circumstances)
- Use the direct payments to buy the support you have been assessed as needing
- Take on the responsibility of a employer, if you employ your Personal Assistant directly
- Advertising for a personal assistant
- Keep a record of how you spend your Direct Payments
- Signing a Direct Payments agreement with Social Care Services
- Ensuring that your personal assistant has a contract of employment.
- Ensure that you are adequately insured, particularly with Employers Liability Insurance
- The hourly rate is reviewed on an individual basis, depending on the level of support needed
- Nottingham City Council do have set rates in place for 2012/2013
- You will receive £7.94per hour (daytime) £10.57 per hour (evening) £31.90 sleep in rate
- We are able to pay an enhanced rate for specialist skills, such as guide communicator or being able to support a service user with challenging behaviour
- The rates include holiday, sickness and HMRC payments
- The Direct Payments is paid in advance into a bank account every four weeks
- You or your managed account provider will receive a "remittance advice slip" confirming that the payment is due
- Additional payments will be made to cover advertising, insurance, payroll and managed account services
- You must decide with your payroll provider an hourly rate to pay your personal assistants.
If you wish to receive a Direct Payment we will carry out a fairer charging financial assessment to calculate how much they should contribute towards the cost of your care/support. This is in line with any contribution you would be expected to make if you received support from Adult Support & Health. You will be notified of any contribution you may need to make towards your package.
They should find out as much information, so that they can make an informed decision. You can do this by:
- Talking with other Direct Payments users
- Reading any material on Direct Payments
- Contacting a local Direct Payments Support Service
- Discuss with your Social Care Worker or Broker.
- If you already get a service from Adult Support & Health, you can request a review and mention that you are interested in receiving a Direct Payment
- If you currently are not receiving a service from Adult Support & Health, you can contact the Adult Contact Team to request a Community Care Assessment and advise them that you are interested in receiving a Direct Payment.
- Comprehensive information about Direct Payments/Personal Budgets and how they can be used
- Develop Job Descriptions & Job Specifications
- Support with advertising & where advertisements can be places i.e. Job Centres, websites of support services
- Recruitment line
- PO Box to return applications
- Setting up interviews with potential personal assistants
- Obtaining references
- Preparing contracts of employment
- Advice around Employers Liability Insurance
- Ensuring that your aware of your responsibilities as an employer i.e. health & safety, training and risk assessments
- Assistance with providing information about payroll services that are available to you
- Advice around contingency plans
- Providing support around the financial monitoring returns
- Continued support with the use of the personal budgets package, are the funds being used appropriately
- Criminal Records Checks (CRB)
- Option to support with any disciplinary/grievance hearings
- Support to you on conducting your personal assistants appraisals
- Calculate with you the rates of pay for your personal assistants
- Support team to record the number of hours that your personal assistants have worked
- Register you as the employer with HM Revenue & Customs
- Calculate all statutory payments to your personal assistants
- Advise you around how much to pay HMRC each pay period
- Complete all paperwork in relation to : (P45/P46/P60/P14/P32)
- Com pelted all year end HMRC information
- Confidential service for you registering your personal assistants hours
Managed Account Support
- Support you with a managed account if your unable to manage your own finances
- A Social Care Worker or Broker can recommended that a managed account facility be in place to support you, this costs would be agreed by a panel
- Ensure that you meet all requirements in respect of statutory employment
- Complete all financial tasks alongside the payroll service
- Only make payments under your instructions or your representative
- Process any payments to agency providers
- Complete all HMRC returns