Direct Payments are money paid by the Council to people who have eligible assessed care and support needs so that they can choose, arrange and pay for their own care and support.
Direct Payments make it possible to have more choice and control over the type of help and support needed, rather than using contracted services.
How to use it
If you qualify for help with your care and support the Council will explain how it works so that you can decide. You must be able to manage your care arrangements, and keep information about how the money is used, or you can ask someone to manage your Direct Payment, such as a friend, family member or volunteer - but they must be willing to do so.
Some people choose to have some of their care arranged by the Council and some by using a Direct Payment.
With a Direct Payment, money will be paid into a separate bank account that can only be used to buy the help your assessment has shown that you need.
You cannot use Direct Payments to pay for food, gas, electricity or other utilities. Before buying any specialist equipment first consider if it is available from the integrated Community Equipment and Home Improvement Agency - MyHome MyLife - This can normally be provided free of charge if you have been assessed by an Occupational Therapist as needing the equipment. Please see www.somersetmyhomemylife.co.uk
It is not the same as Direct Payments from the Department for Work and Pensions. You can receive Direct Payments as well as benefits.
You can find more information about Direct Payments on the Somerset County Council website or on the information sheets below.