Adult Social Care - Paying for Care

Personal Budget

Service update

There are changes in this process, if the usual carer is not available due to COVID-19 restrictions. This means if a family member, or friend, provides care and support instead.

The changes are: 

  • Family members who wish to take over support due to the current situation and self-isolation can be paid. This includes without insurance or a DBS in place. We advise them to register as self-employed with the HMRC (self-assessment).

  • If a direct payment is already in place and the family member is managing the budget and will be paying themselves, the budget can be transferred to the DPSS team. However, evidence of Insurance and an up to date DBS of the individual providing care and support is required. An alternative to this is for a family member or friend, who is not providing care and support, to manage the budget. It is then the choice of the individual that is managing the budget if they would like evidence of insurance and DBS.

If you have any questions about Direct Payments, please call 01983 823340.

If you have eligible needs we will carry out a financial assessment to work out how much should be paid. Your assessment will determine an indicative budget to deliver the outcomes. We call this a Personal Budget.

Direct Payment Personal Budget

A direct payment personal budget is the amount of money we have assessed is necessary to deliver the outcomes identified in your Care Plan. It can be delivered in a variety of ways. A direct payment gives you choice and control over how to deliver your outcomes, including purchasing and arranging assistance or services for things that are important in your life. It allows you to use the funds to achieve the outcomes identified in the agreed Care Plan.

Audit process

Your Direct Payment Personal Budget should only last the term of one year and will be audited during this time.

There are four types of audits that we complete. These are:

  • First audit
  • Second audit
  • Unscheduled
  • End of Old audits

The purpose of the audits are to ensure that direct payment funds are being used appropriately, as detailed in your Care Plan. We will contact you if we need any further information.

If your direct payment is being managed by Direct Payment Support Services or by an external Broker, we will contact them. We will not contact yourself, as they are managing your budget.

At the end of the budget term (one year), we will complete the End of Old Audit and reclaim any funds that were not used.

If there are any funds from your previous direct payment, we will contact you to request to reclaim these funds. We will let you know what date they will be collected, unless you tell us otherwise.

If you want to use the available funds, in a different way, to what has been agreed within your Care Plan. This would need to be discussed with the person carrying out your assessment. Please contact them on 01983 823340.

For more information view or download our Direct Payment Audit factsheet.

Fraudulent use

We are under a duty to protect the public funds we administer. As well as ensuring the funds that are allocated for care purposes are used for that purpose.

We will monitor the transactions and any additional information provided for the prevention and detection of fraud and misuse.

Where we suspect that fraud may have occurred, a decision will be made about whether fraud and misuse has taken place. This will be based upon an analysis of the assessed care plan which has been approved for the purpose of meeting the care needs of the individual, using the services it lists. This information may be shared with other bodies responsible for auditing or administering public funds for these purposes.

We are committed to the fight against fraud in all forms. Any person in receipt of a direct payment who tries to make any unauthorised transactions, may have committed an offence under the Theft Act 1968. Where we suspect that such a fraud may have occurred, the matter will be investigated as appropriate. This may lead to criminal proceedings being instigated.

We will stop your direct payment immediately if, after investigation, it is found that you are using the direct payment illegally, or fraudulently, or using it in a way which is not supporting your assessed outcomes.

Independent financial advice

We do not endorse or recommend any financial services. We highly recommend that you seek independent financial advice. It is your responsibility to ensure any financial adviser you instruct is appropriately experienced and qualified. Further information can be found on our independent financial advice page.

Financial management

Managing your direct payment funding will require you to understand your Care Plan and how the funding can be used. You must adhere to the terms of the Direct Payment Agreement. You are responsible for paying for your agreed support and keeping accurate records of the payments you have made. If you do not feel able to manage this yourself, there are services available which can manage the financial aspects of your direct payment on your behalf.

Prepaid cards

Prepaid cards are the way to receive and manage your direct payment funding.

A prepaid card account is just like a current account from your bank. You can use it to pay for services that meet your outcomes, as agreed in your Care Plan. You will be issued with a card to manage your payments. Payments are made straight into your account by us and there will be a debit card attached to the account which you will hold. You can use the card to pay for services either in person (using chip and pin), by standing order, direct debit, by bank transfer via the internet or telephone for the services detailed in the agreed Care Plan. You can check account balances online, by text message or via the telephone.  Paper statements are also available. The account will not have a cheque book.

The benefits of using a prepaid card account means you do not have to open a separate bank account. You do not have to send bank statements to us as part of the audit process. You must keep all receipts and invoices as they may be requested in the future.  Prepaid cards are a secure and easy way to make payments for your care and you can nominate a trusted person to help run your account with you.

The cards can be used in a similar way to a normal bank debit card. If required, full assistance and support will be available online and via the telephone to make payments, check your balance and set up regular payments etc.

For more information view or download our Prepaid Cards factsheet.

For more information view or download our Direct Payments factsheet.

Direct Payment Support Service

A Direct Payment Support Service is where we look after your personal budget on your behalf. A Key Worker will help to arrange your care and make payments in accordance with your agreed Care Plan. There is no charge for this service.

For more information view or download our Managed Account factsheet.