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    Direct Payments?

    Hi everyone
    I am new here and posted in the welcome forum but I am very interested to hear your views about direct payments across the country.

    I am a direct payments advisor across Gateshead and North Tyneside, I have been in this role for the past 18 months, I would be happy to try and answer any misconceptions or myths when it comes to direct payments/self directed support.

    There is currently a lot of changes going on throughout the country in respect of social care and users are not always aware of the do's and dont's of who they can employ, what they can spend their funds on and indeed more importantly what they cannot do.
    Each local authority is different and I couldnt possibly comment on each individuals case without knowing the full history but I will try my best to answer some general queries.

    #2
    I'm not very clued up on direct payments, how does it work? do you get a contribution towards care if you hire someone privately?

    Comment


      #3
      Hi ILA
      Can you spend the funds on services such as Lift warranty to keep it working with that being a necessity service needed ? Its my husbands life line and as I do all his care needs, I read that it does cover services but they are not specific in the services you can use it for and with no warranty if it breaks down which it has had over £1000 of parts in 12months what do we do ? This is a real worry for us at the moment as I have cut my hours down to care for Mick so it is catch 22 no help for us any where at the moment. Ang

      Comment


        #4
        Ang, you can't use direct payments for lift warranties, etc. It's only for care and you have to provide invoices to show what you're using the money for.

        ILA, I've been using direct payments for several years now. My concern at the moment is that the dp rate of £12.02 hasn't risen in 4 years. But agency fees are increasing and my funding won't. So what will happen when I can't afford agency carers? Employing carers privately is a nightmare. You have to get CRB checks and set up a payroll.

        I don't know whether the dp rate is the same all over the country, or if the rates have increased in other areas. But that's the situation I'm facing in London and it's very worrying.

        Sarah

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          #5
          Hi guys,

          First of all, morning Chris, a direct payment is a way of you controlling who and where you receive your care from. Essentially instead of your local authority arranging and paying for your needs, you would receive the funds into an allocated bank account and purchase the care from either an agency of your choice or you can 'employ' a PA. There are limitations throughout different local authorities but ultimately that is the general jist.

          Ang,
          I would suggest that you speak to your social worker in regards to this as ultimately they hold the purse strings even though the funding is from the council. It has been known for some authorities to authorise this kind of one off payment?

          Hi Sarah,

          The dp rate is not the same in all authorities although you do have the power to negotiate with the care agency. What I would normally do in this situation is ring the agency and ask if the rate is negotiable before any care commences? If the agency is within the framework of your authority you can also ring them and ask them if they can speak to the agency on your behalf.
          In terms of direct payments you are all in a 'good' position as private users, you do not need to tell the said agency you are a dp user really it is none of their business as long as they get paid.
          Also I would disagree with employing someone is a nightmare, do you have a support service where you are? As part of the support service we offer is help with employing, from setting up with contracts etc to payroll, dont get me wrong though there is a bit of paperwork but it is INITIAL paperwork and once it is complete you need not do it again? Feel free to PM me if you want any private advice.

          Comment


            #6
            Direct payments are changing to 'self directed support' SDS. Self-directed support is about people being in control of the support they need to live the life they choose. You can spend it on what you want i.e care, gardener, holiday, activities etc...You write your own support plan and cost which gets passed or declined, check out SDS on your councils website.

            Sarah, In Cambridgeshire DP hourly rate is nearly £15. I'm surprised you receive an hrly rate because usually if you need 24hr care they get a quote from agency for live in care and give a set sum. £12.02 seems low to me especially for London.
            Best wishes

            Jeannie

            Please donate and share forever grateful xx Please see the link https://www.gofundme.com/83tq5j-help..._co_campmgmt_w
            ______________________________________
            ALS onset June 2000, dxed July 2001, I am 40 yrs old.
            Living and loving everyday regardless of ALS although I do have my down days.
            I'm singing and dancing inside!

            Comment


              #7
              a bit of a basic question, so forgive my ignorance.... are the payments means tested the same as DFG's?

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                #8
                Yes, they are Adie.
                Best wishes

                Jeannie

                Please donate and share forever grateful xx Please see the link https://www.gofundme.com/83tq5j-help..._co_campmgmt_w
                ______________________________________
                ALS onset June 2000, dxed July 2001, I am 40 yrs old.
                Living and loving everyday regardless of ALS although I do have my down days.
                I'm singing and dancing inside!

                Comment


                  #9
                  thanks for the info Jeannie
                  great, another avenue of assistance that I am unable to have access to........ I'll suppress the urge to have a rant for a change ;-)

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Hi, also to make you aware that there is a maximum charge on all direct payments, its entirely dependent on how much care you need? for example : IN NORTH TYNESIDE : the local authority max weekly charge is £150.00 so if your cost of care is over this then the local authority pay the remainder if the cost is less than this then a dp is not applicable.

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                      #11
                      Thanks for that ILA. It's still a rather large commitment of £7,800 per annum to have to make....

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Hi Jeannie

                        I wouldnt say 'you can spend it on anything' it needs to be a reasonable request and needs to be passed by a social worker, your s/w will still write your careplan which is slightly different to a support plan. From there you would then complete a support plan with guidance. Self-Directed support is the bigger picture and direct payments is the tool you use to manage that budget.

                        However, I can only quote from the North Tyneside office the agency hourly rate in NT is £11.27 and it doesnt look like there is going to be rise anytime soon, but who knows, like I say though you can negotiate.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          It is a quite a committment your right are you getting all the benefits you are entitled to? because there are certain things taken into consideration.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            I get DLA and that is it. Turned down for DFG on the basis that I can purpotedly afford to pay for the changes that must be made to allow me to stay in my house. I'm not aware of anything else I can get that's not means tested

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Ok well if you need support within your own home I would still apply if thats what you want to do, you dont have to go ahead, alternatively you can ring your local council's finance team and ask them to do a desktop estimate based on your income? If you have savings of more than 23.000 then you will be an automatic max charge but thats NT dont forget it could be different in your neck of the woods.

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