Direct payments

Information about how direct payments currently work and the council's intentions to make access to these more straightforward in the future.

Current services 

If a person qualifies for adult social care services, they are allocated a personal budget, which is the amount it will cost to meet their eligible needs. 

Instead of the Council arranging support, the person can receive their personal budget in the form of a direct payment. The Council pays the money to the person or a trusted representative who can support management of the direct payment. 

There are many benefits of having a direct payment, which include: 

  • Greater choice and control over the support received 
  • Greater flexibility about how and when needs are met. 
  • Choice of who provides the support, either by directly employing a Personal Assistant(s) or using a care organisation, such as a home care agency or a day opportunities provider. 
  • Option to use another person or an organisation to support management of the direct payment. 

A pre-paid card account is the Council’s preferred way to pay a direct payment. Direct payment money is transferred onto the pre-paid card account every four weeks in advance. The Council deducts any amount that the person is required to contribute towards the cost of their care before we make the payment. Individuals need to pay their weekly contribution onto the card account to ensure there are enough funds in the account to pay for care and support. 

Direct payments are used by people to meet their social care needs and used by carers of people who support people who have social care needs, which totals in the region of 3,000 people. 

The Council offers a payroll service to direct payment recipients employing a PA. Independent third-party money manager services are also available.

Commissioning aspirations, intentions and opportunities

Leicestershire County Council aims to support more people to have greater choice and control in the way their care and support needs are met, and direct payments are an essential component in helping to achieve this. 

The Council is working to make access to direct payments more straightforward. 

The Council is aiming to support more people to employ their own PAs or to use self-employed PAs, as they give greater opportunity for individual control and flexibility, helping to achieve high quality support. This includes developing the PA market and continuing to support the recruitment and retention of PAs. 

The Council wishes to involve people who use direct payments and those that support them, in the way these services are developed for the future. 

Page last updated in June 2023.