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Direct payments were introduced to give people more choice and control over how their care and support was arranged, to help them live more independently.The direct payment is paid to you by the council so that you can decide how you want to meet your care and support needs.To give consent, a person doesn't have to completely understand how direct payments work.

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Your local social services must tell you if you'll need to contribute, and how much, and this will be detailed in your personal budget. Usually, the council will subtract any charge you need to pay from the personal budget amount, rather than asking you to pay.

You should be able to get help managing direct payments if you need it.

The council should set out your obligations and responsibilities in a direct payment agreement that you may be asked to sign.

This could include: Direct payments can only be spent on things that will meet the assessed needs of the person.

If a person lacks capacity to request a direct payment, an “authorised person” can request a direct payment and manage it on their behalf.

There are very limited situations when social services don't have a duty to offer direct payments.

If you spend a direct payment on something that doesn't meet your needs, social services can recover the money from you or terminate the direct payment agreement.

Everyone who gets support from social services should have their care and support plan reviewed at least once a year.

Direct payments and personal budgets are offered by your local authority to give you more flexibility over how your care and support is arranged and provided.

They are given to both people with care and support needs, and also to carers.

This applies to: If someone is assessed as being eligible for support and it's not possible for them to get direct payments or they do not want one, social services must provide care and support directly, or through an individual service fund.