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Direct Payments

Here you can find details about who can get direct payments, what it can be used for and more.

This is money given to you by the Council. It is to buy support services to meet your social care needs, such as:

  • Support with daily living tasks.
  • Respite care.
  • Social activities.

With Direct Payments you will have more choice, control and flexibility over your social care. 

For example: 

Andrew needs support with getting in and out of bed due to his physical disability. Before he had to go to bed at 7pm, as this was the only time the agency had available. Now he employs his own Personal Assistant to have the help at times that suit him.

You can have both Direct Payments and care services from the Council. This is known as a Joint Package of Care. Some of your Care Package is provided using Direct Payments and some is organised by the Council.

For more information

If you are interested in having Direct Payments, please contact: Gateway to Care.

Detailed information is also available from:

What Direct Payments can be used for

This is for anyone who has social care needs to purchase care (including carers). For example:

  • Older people.
  • People with:
    • physical and/or sensory impairments;
    • learning disabilities;
    • mental health needs;
    • drug and alcohol related issues;
    • HIV/AIDS.
  • Parent/carers of disabled children.

It can be used to pay:

  • the wages of a Personal Assistant;
  • care agency invoices;
  • or other services.

What Direct Payments cannot be used for 

It is there for social care needs that are usually met by the Council. It is not to replace services arranged by other parts of Calderdale Council or the NHS.

You cannot employ a relative / partner if they live in the same house as you.

Here are some examples of things you cannot use it for:

  • services from the Council, like home care;
  • health care, like physiotherapy, hydrotherapy and specialist nursing;
  • education;
  • housing costs and household bills;
  • permanent residential care.

Switching to Direct Payments

To get Direct Payments you must:

  • have had a Community Care Assessment;
  • and the outcome is that you have a need for social care support.

Tell us if you are interested in having Direct Payments. We will arrange to visit you to explain how Direct Payments work. We will help you to make your decision and offer support to help you run your Direct Payments.

We will convert the assessed support needs into money. This can then be paid to you so that you can:

  • employ someone to help you (your own Personal Assistant);
  • or employ a Care Agency.

The money you get depends on the number of hours of service you are assessed as needing each week. Payments are made every four weeks, into a separate Direct Payments bank account that you must set up.

Examples of support from the Direct Payments Team are:

  • job descriptions and job adverts;
  • assistance with interviewing Personal Assistants;
  • contracts of Employment / Terms and Conditions;
  • free payroll service including Tax and National Insurance calculations;
  • employers public liability insurance;
  • audit/accounts;
  • meetings for people who get Direct Payments;
  • general direct payments information and advice.
Note: You can still change your mind at any time and go back to having your services arranged for you. It is entirely your choice if you feel Direct Payments is appropriate for you. You can stop Direct Payments at any time if you no longer feel it is meeting your care needs.

Paperwork and tax returns

When you first start Direct Payments you will have some forms that need filling in. The Support Planning Team will support you with this.

Once your Direct Payments are up and running, there should be very minimal paperwork to complete.

We will invite you to come to a Recipients Meetings where you can talk to other people that get Direct Payments.

You will not have to complete tax returns for Direct Payments. Calderdale Council offers a full payroll service. We will calculate your tax every quarter and liaise with the Inland Revenue on your behalf.

As part of having Direct Payments you will be expected to audit the account every quarter. The audit will evidence where and how you have spent the Direct Payments money. The Support Planning Team will support you to complete your audit.

Direct Payments and your benefits

Direct Payments are ignored in calculating social security benefits such as Income Support, Family Credit, Housing and Council tax Benefits.

HMRC disregards Direct Payments when working out your taxable income.

Paying personal assistants

Personal Assistants must be paid by either:

  • cheque;
  • or transferring the payment through the bank (by Internet banking, for example).

All Personal Assistants must:

  • be registered with the Inland Revenue;
  • pay Tax and National Insurance on their earnings, where applicable.

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