Direct payments for social care services - Transition Guide

A direct payment is a cash payment made to a disabled child or adult, or their family member.  This can be used to pay for things set out in your support plan. If you are able to get support from social care you can choose to have direct payments.  This is so you or your parent/carer can arrange services yourself.  This is instead of Sheffield City Council arranging services for you.

They give you choice and control over the support you get and how your social care needs are met.

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Who can get a direct payment?

Most people who are able to get support from social care can choose to have direct payments. That means:

  • People aged 16 or over who have been assessed as being able to get support
  • Parents of disabled children who have been assessed as being able to get support
  • Carers with an agreed assessment of need who are able to get direct carer support

Local authorities have a duty to offer direct payments to people who may not have the mental capacity to agree to them. There must be a suitable person who agrees to be responsible for arranging the support and direct payment.  This is on behalf of the person who the payment is for.

What can you use them for?

Direct payments can be spent on things that are for agreed outcomes and social care needs.  This includes:

  • personal care
  • short breaks
  • respite and daytime activities
  • minor home adaptations
  • specialist equipment.

People often use them to:

  • employ their own support staff (personal assistants). You can find out more about employing a personal assistant (PA) by clicking here.
  • pay for mobility or household equipment

You and your parent/carer can decide what best meets your needs. Staff will discuss this with you and about what your needs are in your support plan.

What they can't be used for

Direct payments must not be used to pay for:

  • support that would be provided by other organisations.  For example, NHS services.
  • day to day living expenses.  Things like shopping or bills.

How to request a direct payment

A request for a direct payment can be made by:

  • you/young people
  • families
  • professionals working with you

If you are under the age of 18, contact the Sheffield Safeguarding Hub on 0114 273 4855. Ask for an assessment from children’s social care.

If you are over 18, contact First Contact on 0114 273 4908. Ask for an assessment from adult’s social care.

The assessment will look at if you have any unmet needs that social care are required to meet. You can then ask to receive a direct payment. A plan will be made of agreed outcomes and how the money can be used to achieve these. If you already have a social worker, then you can ask them about getting a direct payment.

If you have any questions

If you have any questions about:

  • the assessment
  • changing from a short break service to a direct payment.

Please speak to your social worker or SNIPs.

You can call or e-mail SNIPs on:

You can find out more on the Sheffield City Council website.  Click on the logo below.

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Useful contacts

Penderels Trust work with Sheffield City Council.  They can give direct payment support to people who live in Sheffield. They help those who get a direct payment to get the most out of this money and to achieve their goals.

You can call or e-mail them on:

Have a look at their website by clicking the button below.

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