What is a direct payment?
When your personal budget is paid directly to you this is called a Direct Payment. This allows you to have more control over your care as you can arrange services and providers that best meet your needs.
How can Age UK Camden help me?
If you are over 65 and eligible to receive direct payments from the council we can provide information and advice on how the scheme works to help you decide whether it is suitable for you. We can help you complete the application form apply for direct payments and manage your care package to give you the most flexibility, control and independence.
We can also offer support with payroll, recruiting carers or choose an agency and general advice. Age UK Camden also hold regular user meetings where you can meet other users and discuss any matters that concern you, we can also and put you in touch with an existing user and you can contact us at any time if you need help while you are receiving a direct payment.
Information about the scheme is also available in some other languages.
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 (eg attending a resource centre), as long as it is not provided by the council.
Who is eligible?
Anyone who is assessed by adult social care as needing community care. Carers may also be eligible for direct payments for themselves.
A direct payment is not a benefit and does not affect any benefits that you receive.
How to get a direct payment
If you already receive services paid for by the council, you just need to let them know that you want to transfer to direct payments
If you don't receive any service, you will need to speak to Camden Council's 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 and we can help you set up a ‘Prepaid card account’. Camden Council will load money for your care onto this card and you will be able to make payments to your personal assistant/s or services online or by phone.
If you do not wish to or are not able to manage the money yourself, it can be paid to a third party 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 will then be in their 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 ‘Prepaid 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, and also to make pension arrangements for them.
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.
Call us on 020 7837 3777 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to find out how we can help you with your direct payments.