Direct payments

What are direct payments?

Direct payments is one of the ways adult social care provides support to people who are eligible for services. A direct payment is an amount of money paid to you by the council for you to arrange and manage your own care.

Direct payments bring you, or the person you care for, greater independence, choice and control.

How do I apply for a direct payment?

You need to contact the adult social care access point to discuss your individual circumstances and care needs. If you qualify for services you may then receive a direct payment to organise your own care. A direct payment could cover all or part of your care needs.

Find out more information on how to get an assessment from Adult Social Care.

What can I spend my direct payment on?

Direct payment's can be spent in various ways in order to meet your eligible needs as agreed in your assessment.

  • Employing staff to support you - for example a carer to help with getting up and going to bed, bathing, dressing and meals or personal assistant .
  • Buying a service - attending a day centre, short stays in care homes, home care support
  • Buying or hiring equipment - for example a mobility scooter or a communication aid

Read the real life stories below or take a look at our help for people who use direct payments web page for more information on the your options and the support available.

Shana uses direct payments to manage her care


Shana is 32 and has multiple sclerosis. Here she shares her thoughts on why direct payments are ‘brilliant’ for her, and on the advantages of being an employer.

read Shana's story

Sophie - find out how Sophie's mum manages her care

Sophie is 26 years old and has severe learning difficulties. After Sophie's father died in 1994 Sophie's mum was left to care for her needs. Sophie's mum shares her thoughts on how direct payments have supported both her and Sophie.

read Sophie's story

Further information

Download our Direct_Payments_leaflet [PDF 667kb]

Easy read version using photo symbols
Direct_Payments_easy_read_booklet_2010 [PDF 431kb]

Download our Self_Directed_Support_leaflet_[PDF 641kb]

A guide to receiving direct payments from the local council [PDF 640KB] is a useful resource produced by the Department of Health.

For general information about direct payments you can visit the government's direct payments information pages.