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Resident playing with a ball

Direct payments

What are direct payments?

Since April 2003 every local authority has a ‘duty to offer’ money instead of arranging services for those who are eligible. When a council gives someone money in this way, it is known as a direct payment.

Direct payments key facts

  • Clients can use their direct payments to choose how to have their care provided.
  • All local authorities, following a Care Needs Assessment and meeting the Fair Access to Care criteria, should offer the option of a direct payment to enable individuals to choose how their care is provided.
  • Many clients with a direct payment choose a personal assistant (PA) as a solution to their care needs. Some choose to use a care agency.

Please note that material about direct payments is made available on this website for viewing or use subject to terms and conditions. If you view any of that material it will be regarded as on those terms.

Also, the various direct payments documents accessible from this site are provided solely to help explain some of the direct payments arrangements that you could make, and should not be taken as relating to any particular case.

Find out more about direct payments.