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Direct payments for care and support

If the council help to pay for your care and support you can choose to have the money as a direct payment so that you can arrange and pay for the support you need. Or you can choose a mixture of direct payments and support from us.

Direct payments give you more choice and control over your care. They won't affect your benefits and you won't be taxed on them.

What you can a direct payment for

You can only use the money to pay for the support we agreed you need at your needs assessment, including:

  • a personal assistant (although you can't usually employ a family member or someone who lives with you)
  • support from an agency
  • live-in care
  • support services
  • equipment or adaptations

You cannot, however, use the money for: 

  • anything that is illegal
  • anything that would bring the Council into disrepute such as:
    • gambling 
    • alcohol 
    • drugs and other addictive substances
  • housing costs or household bills - your income or state benefits allow for these costs
  • takeaways or other food and drink

How you get direct payments

We'll pay the money weekly onto a pre-paid card - the amount you get will depend on your financial assessment. If you pay towards the cost of your care you can top-up your card with your contribution, and then use your card just like a debit card to pay for your care. Or you can pay your contribution to your care provider directly. 

You'll need to sign an agreement to say that you'll use your direct payments to pay for the support we agreed you need.

Where to get help

  • The Enham Trust can help you employ a trained personal assistant 
  • Enham Payroll can help you pay wages and deal with tax and pension issues

These organisations can also help with:

  • arranging your services
  • managing your money and keeping records, topping up your pre-paid card, paying your care provider
  • employing staff, including advertising, interviewing, contracts of employment and how much to pay



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This page was last updated on 1 December 2022.

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