Direct Payments

What are ‘Direct Payments’?

‘Direct Payments’ is the name we use to describe an arrangement to give you money each week, or month, to pay for your own personal social services, instead of the Trust providing the service for you. This means you can arrange your care in a way that suits you best. Sometimes we can give a one-off payment.

It is important to note that Direct Payments is not a social security benefit like DLA or Income Support. It is an additional payment. You can use the money to arrange your own support at home, perhaps by employing a relative or friend to help you. You can also use it to help with daytime activities or to pay for respite care. If you apply for Direct Payments, we will explain fully what it can be used for.


Who can get Direct Payments?

Direct Payments are available to:

  • Older people who get services from the Trust
  • People with disabilities
  • Parents with disabilities
  • Parents of children with disabilities
  • Carers

You can get Direct Payments if:

  • you are over 16;
  • you need help with daily living tasks, like bathing, dressing and cooking;
  • your social worker, key worker, community psychiatric nurse, or care manager agrees that you need support;
  • you are able to manage the money you will receive. We will give you as much support and advice as we can to help you manage.

How can Direct Payments help me?

  • You will have greater choice and control in your everyday life.
  • You control the money for your personal help.
  • You can choose who works for you, the hours that suit you best, and what you need done for you.

If I get Direct Payments, what do I have to do?

You will need to open a separate bank account for your Direct Payments. (You don’t need a separate bank account for one-off payments.) You will also need to keep records so that you can account for the money you spend.

If you employ someone to help you, this means that you will become an employer. So you will need to know about your responsibilities as an employer. We will advise you as much as possible. Inland Revenue and the Centre for Independent Living can also provide help with this.

It is important that your money is managed carefully. You will need to keep timesheets, bank records and receipts. But we will give you as much help as you need to handle the money and manage your helpers/services. Your key worker will provide you with contact details of people who can visit you at home to help you with all of this.


Monitoring

We will monitor your arrangements for Direct Payments to ensure that your needs are being met and the money is being spent and managed properly. We will check timesheets, your receipts, bank records and any other records. You will also need to keep records for the Inland Revenue. But remember: we will give you as much help as possible.


Where can I find out more?

Western Trust Carers Support Team
Tel:  028 6634 4180
Website: www.westerntrust.hscni.net/services/CarersInformation

Carers Northern Ireland
58 Howard Street
Belfast
BT1 6PJ
Phone: 028 9043 9843
Fax: 028 9032 9299
Website:
www.carersni.org
(Enquiry line open 9.30 – 12.30 Monday – Friday)

Centre for Independent Living
(Western Office)
Anderson House
Market Street
Omagh
Phone: 028 8224 8926
Email:
western@cilbelfast.org
Website: www.cilbelfast.org 


Useful documents

Direct Payments Users Guide
Who can be employed