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Direct Payments Information
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What are Direct Payments?

This page provides information about direct payments (DP), their benefits and how they can be used to support care options. 

Direct payments (DP) are a way for you to have control over your care and support.

A DP is a cash payment made to you to pay for the support required to meet the needs and outcomes agreed in your support plan.

The amount of money available for a direct payment is determined by the completion of a personal budget. Your Support Plan will outline how your personal budget is spent. Your personal budget may be a combination of DP and directly provided support.

financial assessment and need assessment will decide how much it should cost to get the right care and support to meet a person's needs. This money is called a personal budget.

DP payments are made every four weeks and allow you to arrange and pay for your support instead of just receiving services directly from Leeds City Council.

Direct payments give you more choice and control over who provides the support you receive and how it is delivered. You can employ someone of your choice to aid with the tasks you want carried out, with hours that suit you. However you must comply with the terms and conditions of the Direct payment agreement, which is a legal contract that is received as part of the personal budget.

To request a DP you should speak to the Care Manager/ Social Worker and have a support plan.

People who care for a relative or friend may also be entitled to a Direct Payment to support them to continue their caring role.

The kinds of things people could use a direct payment (DP) to pay for are: 

  • employing a personal assistant 
  • making arrangements directly with care providers such as buying support from a care agency
  • funding respite care at home or in a care home
  • one-off or continuing payments for goods and services that have been agreed with a person to meet their needs and achieve their outcomes


What can't people use a DP for?

Direct payments cannot be used to pay for permanent residential or nursing home care or personal and household expenses such as:

  • food, gas, electricity, water rates, council tax, rent etc.
  • household maintenance and repairs
  • general furniture and household electrical items
  • alcohol or tobacco products, gambling services or facilities
  • debt repayment
  • funeral expenses

Direct Payments can be managed a number of different ways to suit you.

Pre-Paid Card 

Pre-paid cards put you in control of the account to make payments in accordance with your support plan and can be;

  • set up quickly​ by Adult Social Care
  • managed online or by phone
  • easily audited by Leeds City Council​
  • managed by an approved representative such as a family member


Customer Own Account ​

A dedicated account owned and managed by you or an approved representative and gives you even more control over the direct payment process as well as giving you responsibility for managing your own finances including;

  • you complete all payments using BACS transfer​
  • you are responsible for ensuing that all payments are made in accordance with the support plan
  • you are responsible for maintaining records for auditing processes


Managed Bank Accounts

A managed bank account is opened and managed by Leeds Centre for Integrated Living​ (CIL) on your behalf. This options means that you are still the employer and responsible for making sure that money is used appropriately but that;

  • Leeds CIL opens account on behalf of the customer​
  • Leeds CIL completes all BACS payments
  • Leeds CIL undertakes financial audits ​

If you decide to recruit your own PA we have a number of resources to help you through this. Our member of our DP Hub can support you through the process or you might want to access our Employers Essentials training to help you better understand key tasks in the process such as:

  • writing a job description and person specification
  • advertising the job
  • the interview process
  • choosing the best person for the job
  • confirming the appointment
  • managing your PA

Download our employers essentials guide 


watch our Essential Guide to being an employer video for all the information you will need

Last updated: 6/10/2024

Contact the DP Support Hub

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