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What are Direct Payments?

They are cash payments made to individuals by local councils and the NHS in place of social or continuing care services. Direct Payments are designed to give people greater independence by enabling them to have control over the support they receive. With Direct Payments, you can decide how to spend the money you receive to best meet your assessed needs.

Who can receive Direct Payments?

Surrey County Council and the NHS can make Direct Payments to people who are assessed as needing social care and support or continuing health care. This includes:

  • older people needing community care services,
  • disabled people,
  • people with mental health conditions,
  • people with parental responsibility for a disabled child
  • carers who are caring for a disabled adult, and
  • adults and children assessed by the NHS as needing continuing health care services

To get Direct Payments you must:

  • be aged 16 or over,
  • be able to agree that you want to receive Direct Payments,
  • be able to manage the payment, either alone or with assistance and
  • make sure the Direct Payments are used to buy the agreed support you need.
    • What can Direct Payments be used for?

      The money is for you to buy the support you need, so you can live the life you want. Different people need different things and Direct Payments can be used to pay for anything that meets your assessed needs, including:

      • help with your personal care,
      • equipment for the home,

      In addition to this Surrey County Council Direct Payments can be used for

      • support at home or at work,
      • support to do things during the day or evening,
      • support to have a break from caring and
      • equipment for the home.

      You don’t have to have all your support via a Direct Payment. You can ask Surrey County Council or the NHS to provide some of it and have a Direct Payment for the rest.

      What can't Direct Payments be used for?

      Direct Payments can’t be used:

      • to buy permanent residential care or any services provided directly by a Local Authority,
      • to replace NHS provided Services, Housing Services (e.g. Disabled Facilities Grants) or DWP benefits or
      • to pay for household bills or used for anything unlawful.

      People subject to certain mental health after care or criminal justice legislation may not be given Direct Payments.

      How much are they worth?

      There is no maximum or minimum level to a Direct Payment. The Direct Payment must be enough to pay for the support required.

      How are they paid?

      Surrey County Council

      Surrey County Council can pay the money into a Pre-Paid Account.

      Under this arrangement, a separate bank account is set up for you by Surrey County Council, who then make payments into it, usually monthly. You can then pay for the things in your support plan from this account by standing order, direct debit or electronic transfer (for example, internet banking or telephone banking). Actual cash should not be withdrawn from the account. Alternatively they can pay directly into a separate bank account set up by you just for your Direct Payment funding.

      NHS

      Direct Payments can be paid directly into a separate bank account set up by you just for your Direct Payment funding. Alternatively SILC can set up a bank account for you and manage the money on your behalf.

      Do I need to account for how I spend the money?

      Surrey County Council

      If you choose the prepaid account for your Direct Payment, you won't be required to submit reconciliation forms to Surrey County Council, as they can view a record of the transactions made on the account at any time.

      If you are having your money paid into your own separate bank account you will need to complete quarterly reconciliations and return them to the council along with copies of the relevant bank statements.

      SILC are able to help you with these reconciliations but there is a charge for this service details of which are available by contacting the SILC office.

      With both the payment methods you should get and keep receipts and/or invoices for any payment you make from your prepaid account.

      NHS

      If you are having your money paid into your own separate bank account you will need to complete quarterly reconciliations and return them to the NHS along with copies of the relevant bank statements.

      SILC are able to help you with these reconciliations but there is a charge for this service details of which are available by contacting the SILC office.

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