A direct payment is a payment made to people who are eligible to receive community care services from the council and who are willing and able to arrange their own services.
Unpaid carers may also be able to receive direct payments for respite and to support their caring role.
Carers are people who look after relatives or friends who cannot manage at home without help and who do not receive payment for their work.
How direct payments work
Direct payments are used to buy services to meet assessed needs, as described in a care plan.
The person receiving direct payments takes responsibility for managing their own care arrangements on a day-to-day basis which could mean that they become an employer.
Support service can provide assistance with:
- Setting up a payroll service
- Arranging Employer’s Liability Insurance
- Recruiting staff
- Meeting the other duties and obligations of a responsible employer
Direct payments offer more choice and control over the provision of care.
The service user employs a personal assistant directly so knows exactly who will be providing the care.
The person employing the assistant can choose what they do and when, for example, to take them swimming or shopping.
Direct payments and benefits
Direct payments do not affect entitlement to benefits or tax liability.
Direct payments are not income but a cash substitute with which to purchase services.
People employed by the service user under the direct payment scheme are liable to pay tax and National Insurance just as they would if they were working for any other employer. Earnings may affect benefits.
Read the Direct Payments leaflet (pdf)
The first step is an assessment of care needs, contact Newport City Council for more information.