Many people receive care services through their local authority.
The local authority may provide the care service using their own home care team or through a number of approved care agencies. In both circumstances the funding is local authority controlled.
For some time it has been possible for people who are in need of care to opt for a Direct Payment. The care money is assigned to you by the local authority and put into your control. You purchase the care that you need from an agency or you can employ your own carers.
If you are entitled to community care services then you will also be permitted to change your funding arrangement and receive a Direct Payment. We can help you manage the care fund and also assist with:
- Advertising for staff
- Interviewing staff
- Employment contracts
- Tax and National Insurance
- Insurance cover
- Criminal Record Bureau Checks
- Induction training
- Managing your Direct Payments Fund
- Setting up a Direct Payments Fund Bank Account
Here are some other questions and answers about Direct Payments:
1. Who can have a Direct Payment?
- People over the age of 16 with a physical disability
- People with a sensory impairment
- People with learning disabilities
- Older people (over 65 years)
- People with mental health needs
- People affected by HIV/AIDS
- People with parental responsibility for disabled children.
2. How to I get a Direct Payment?
Contact your social worker or care co-ordinator and tell them that you would like to change your funding to a Direct Payment. They will organise a review and complete the forms for you.
3. How will the money be paid?
The money will need to be paid into a separate bank account which should only be used for managing the Direct Payment. You may need to set up a new bank account for this. It is a simple process which we can complete for you free of charge.
4. Will Direct Payments affect my benefits?
Direct Payment money will not affect any benefits that you receive from the Department of Work and Pensions. Direct Payments for care are not liable for tax.
5. Is it possible to employ a relative using Direct Payments?
You may employ relatives who do not live at the same address as you but direct payments are not intended to replace existing support networks provided by families.
6. Is becoming an employer difficult?
Upon becoming an employer you will acquire extra responsibilities, but we can help you with every aspect of this, making it as simple and worry free as possible.
We can help you:
- Advertise for suitable carers
- Manage the interview process
- Undertake background checks and employers references
- Prepare and agree the employment contract
- Organise staff induction and other training
- Handle employment disputes
7. Can I use a care agency?
Yes. You may decide that using a care agency is a better option. Sometimes they may be more flexible and offer a 24 hour service. The downside is that the charges may be a little higher and you may be required to make a personal contribution. We can help you find a suitable and reliable care agency with the right skills and staff to provide the care that you need.
8. Will I need insurance cover?
You will need to ensure that you have employers’ liability insurance. This is required by everyone who is employing staff. There is a risk that staff may become ill as a result of something that has been proven to be your fault and then make a claim against you.
Employers’ liability insurance will protect you against such claims, providing that you have not been deemed negligent. The Direct Payments will provide you with funding for employers’ liability insurance. We can help to organise suitable cover for you.
9. What responsibilities will I have for training?
You will need to ensure that the staff you employ are trained to meet your care needs and, if your needs change, that they will respond to this as necessary. It is important that you continue to train staff in areas that change frequently, for example, first aid, basic food hygiene and health and safety.
Please contact us for more information or for more on direct payment click here.