Option 1 - Direct Payment

Option 1 is the first of the four options for how you can receive support through SDS. It is more commonly referred to as a direct payment. A direct payment allows you flexibility to arrange all of your support yourself, instead of receiving a service commissioned (and paid for by) the council.


What is a direct payment?

Most people choosing direct payments use them to purchase support for things such as:

Personal care - having a bath, washing or getting dressed

- Independent living - help with managing money, cooking and cleaning

- Going out and enjoying social activities or going on a short-break

- Attending work or college

You can purchase this support from a social care provider or you can directly employ your own carers, known as Personal Assistants (PA).


Why would I want a direct payment?

Traditional support delivered by your council may not be best for you. Direct payments are for people who would like total flexibility and control over the support they receive.

There are a number of reasons for this:

- You want support that suits you and your lifestyle

- You want support from the same people each time

- You want a service that is not currently available

- You want more independence and to be in charge of your own care<?xml:namespace prefix = o />


Purchasing care from a service provider

If you decide to purchase support from a service provider, you will not be responsible for employing anyone directly. You will have a contract with the service provider whose role will be to ensure that you receive the service you need.

Your Cornerstone SDS Advisor will give you details of local service providers and work with you to produce a Personal Plan which will detail the support you need and what will be expected of the service provider.

Your Advisor will work with you to develop a suitable Service Level Agreement with your provider.


Employing your own Personal Assistants (PA)

If you decide to employ Personal Assistants, they will report directly to you. By employing your own staff you will have certain legal responsibilities. You must be aware of your rights and responsibilities and comply with them.

Your Cornerstone SDS Advisor will help you understand what your responsibilities are and provide all the information, advice, training and support you need to be a good employer.

Your Advisor will also help you to advertise for someone to work for you and assist you throughout the recruitment process.


What else should I know?

Whether you decide to employ someone directly or to purchase services from a provider, you will need to account for the money you spend. Your direct payment must be spent on the service agreed with your local council, based on your assessment of need.

Your Cornerstone SDS Advisor can help you manage the administrative tasks if required.