When it comes to the support that is available to you, the terms ‘direct payments’ and ‘direct service’ may often be something you hear. But what do they mean, how do you get them, and how can they help you?

The carers assessment

A carer’s assessment is something every carer can request.  The assessment process is undertaken by Dorset Council.

Direct payment

A direct payment is given to carers assessed as needing support from adult social care (Dorset Council) and who wish to have more flexibility over their support and are happy to arrange for their own care and support services rather than this being commissioned by adult social care.

The direct payment is paid monthly and depends on how many hours of support/type of support you are assessed for.

A direct payment can be put in place for a variety of reasons but can only be used for the services outlined on your support plan, which is determined and discussed during your Carers Assessment.

If you employ a personal assistant to sit with the person you care for, or hire someone as a carer, it means you act as that person’s employer. This means you are under certain legal and financial obligations.

Direct service

A direct service is where Dorset Council commission a care agency to provide you with support in your caring role. Usually this takes the form of someone being with the person you care for to enable you to have a regular break.

The amount of support you receive will be discussed and determined during your Carers Assessment.

If you choose a direct payment rather than a direct service, this budget will be given to you in the form of direct payments to a separate bank account as covered above.

The Nidirect website has great information and resources on direct payments and what they can and cannot be used for, along with information on other benefits you may be entitled to.

If you would like to discuss direct payments, direct services, or ask any other questions or queries you may have about a carers assessment and your caring role, please call and speak to one of our helpful team members. We are happy to help.