What are direct payments?
You can receive money from Camden Council to arrange your own social care services. Anyone assessed by Adult Social Care as needing community care can choose to take all or part of their care package as a direct payment. Carers may also be eligible for direct payments.
A direct payment is not a benefit and does not affect any benefits that you receive.
- It gives you more control of your care package
- You can arrange services that meet your needs in a culturally sensitive way
- You can choose someone you like to do the work for you
- You can arrange times with them to suit you
- You have more say in what tasks they do
- It's more flexible as you can move your hours if necessary
Who is eligible?
Anyone who is assessed by Adult Social Care as needing community care. You should be able to show that you are capable of managing a direct payment, with or without help. Many people do have someone to help them with the paperwork, but you should be the one who takes responsibility and makes the choices.
Carers may also be eligible for direct payments for themselves.
What can direct payments be used for?
They may be used to pay for services to meet your social care needs, except for permanent residential care. This could be employing a carer, using an agency or purchasing a service, as long as it is not provided by the council.
How to get a direct payment
- If you already receive services paid for by the council, you need to inform them that you wish to transfer to direct payments
- If you don't receive any service, you will need to speak to the Information and Access team on 020 7974 4000 and request an assessment
How the money is paid
Direct payments must be kept separate to your personal money. We can assist you to set up a ‘Pre-Paid Card Account’. Camden will load the money for your care onto this card and you will be able to make payments to your personal assistant/s or services on-line or by telephone. If you do not wish to or are not able to manage the money yourself, it can be paid to a third party (suitable person) on your behalf. This can be a family member, such as a spouse or child or it could be a friend. The council must agree that he/she is a suitable person to receive your direct payment for you. The card can then be in the suitable person’s name.
It is also possible for us to set up a managed payroll service for you. In this case a payroll company would receive the money on your behalf and make all the payments for you.
Conditions for receiving direct payments
• You must receive the money either through a managed payroll or by setting up a ‘Pre-Paid Card Account’.
• If you employ someone yourself, tax and national insurance must be deducted from their wages. We can help you arrange a payroll service
• Wages should be paid by bank transfer and not with cash (if using a card)
• You should not employ a close relative or partner living in the same household
• You should draw up a plan for emergencies
How we can help you
- Age UK Camden operates a support service to help older people aged over 65 to guide them through all the stages of obtaining and looking after a direct payment.
- We can give information and advice on how the scheme works and help you to decide whether it is suitable for you. If necessary, we are happy to do home visits.
- If you would like to talk to an existing user, we can arrange that for you
- We can help you to obtain a direct payment and to complete the application form and other paperwork
- We can help you to find someone to work for you or to choose an agency
- We hold regular user meetings at which you can meet other users and discuss any matters that concern you
- You can contact us at any time if you need help while you are receiving a direct payment
You can contact us using the details below. Information about the scheme is also available in some other languages.