Direct Payments FAQs What can carers/families do to build the evidence/reasoning for needing a particular thing to meet the need to be included in a care and support plan? Do councils have any requirements for PA’s to be self-employed vs employed and is such a condition (that they be employees) lawful? Do councils have any requirements for PA’s to be self-employed vs employed and is such a condition (that they be employees) lawful? Should Councils take into account when considering whether Direct Payments should be paid to a cohabiting family member the question whether that will deliver best value or is the decision purely based on whether that set up would best meet the needs? Can I pay the care contribution charge out of the DP? Is it lawful for a Council to say they won’t pay for gym membership to meet need? Do service users have any right to access records and admin concerning their accounts if they have a managed account? A Local Authority has stated they do not fund holidays or pa travel expenses- is this lawful? If you increase the wage of your care workers in order to keep them, can you go to JR over the failure to provide suitable funds? Who really has the right to decide on how and when a DP’s use can be changed? My LA plans to introduce ‘PTBs – personal travel budgets’ to meet eligible needs e.g. transport to a day service or a group etc.. A travel broker will decide the best and most cost-effective way for a person to travel using this budget. Is this in line with the Care Act? Must an asserted need to employ a cohabiting family member be evidenced medically or should historic issues with alternative means of care be enough to say it’s necessary? Are Direct Payment budgets the same as Personal Budgets documents? Is it the law that a direct payment should be put up annually in line with inflation? Is paying a PA a flat rate for a night shift instead of an hourly rate lawful? Can a social worker/panel defend paying a Direct Payment holder’s PA less than the council’s commissioned rates to companies for the same sort of service? For example, could they say we’re only going to pay a flat rate for night care, rather than the hourly rate the council policy allows for both waking and night sits? When it comes to a DP, who actually gets to decide the hourly/nightly rate of pay for DP’s? What are the key differences between Sections 31 and 32 of the Care Act regarding direct payments? Is it lawful for councils to refuse to pay family members who are providing paid care via a Direct Payment market rate or above National Minimum Wage? How do assessments remain ‘carer blind’ in situations where family members are involved and provide paid care via Direct Payments? What insurance do you need if you employ care workers on a personal budget? Can social workers cancel Direct Payments if the service user or carer requests a remote review in place of a home visit? Should an LA make Direct Payment holders aware that they can use another organisation for support in discharging an employer’s obligations, or is doing this by request only? And should the LA pay any additional fees that such an organisation charges to support the employer? How much flexibility is there in the way Direct I have an existing care package via direct payments and require a substantial amount of day and night care, and to better meet my needs and keep costs down, my local council have agreed to pay my cohabiting sibling to provide the majority of my care. However, the council now claims that they do not have to pay for any night care provided by my sibling, despite this being an assessed need and knowing I require a minimum of four interventions during the night. My sibling has made it clear they are not able to provide night time care unpaid, but this is being ignored by the council. Is this lawful practice? Does a service user in receipt of a long standing/approved direct payment budget need to sign a new direct payment contract every year when the funding is only increased to meet the new national minimum wage requirements? Is a local authority allowed to reduce a direct payment without proving the need it met no longer exists? If someone lacks capacity and therefore cannot be included on a tenancy (lives with parents) can any rent contribution be disregarded in the financial assessment? Or should ESA cover this? Can you please tell me if I have any legal right to switch the company that manages my direct payment for me? Could you give a link to the Government legislation regarding Direct Payment Rates for paying Personal Assistants? Particularly regarding and how much (or little) lee-way individual councils have in saying how much carers can be paid? My partner gets a direct payment and needs support getting out of the house and into the community. He has been assessed for needing support to get out and about. He has a very important hospital appointment coming up soon for a biopsy, and he needs at least one PA to attend to assist him with his wheelchair transfers and also with communicating with the staff. We’ve been told by his social worker that we cannot use his direct payment to pay for this kind of support and if he needs help to attend health appointments, we have to get funding from the NHS. Is this true? Do people need to have carers come into their home for a period of time (24/7 for 3 weeks) just to assess their needs in order for them to get a direct payment?