elderly woman and private carer in Manchester

How to use Direct Payments to hire a Private Carer

What Are Direct Payments?

Direct payments are funds provided by your local authority towards your care, as agreed in your care needs assessment.

If you, or someone you care for, receives support from your local social services, you can apply for direct payments. They are paid into your bank account and are used as part of your personal care budget to pay towards the care services outlined in your personal care plan. 

The local authority may suggest a list of possible providers, but you’re also free to choose other types of service if they meet your care needs, such as a private carer.

How Much Will I Get For Direct Payments?

In order to receive direct payments, you must be eligible for local authority funding which is means tested. 

If you have a combined income/savings under £23,250 (in England), then you may be eligible for direct payments. Please remember that local authorities do not include your home’s value in their calculations if you are planning on receiving care at home, or if you have close family living with you.

The exact amount you receive will be determined by the amount of support agreed in your care plan, as well as the cost of covering that support. For example, if you needed 3 hours of support a day at home, it may cost £472.50 per week when using a care agency. The same care package would cost £315 per week when hiring private carers with Holm Care. Please keep in mind that your local authority may ask you to contribute towards your care costs.

How To Apply For Direct Payments?

If you already receive care services via your local authority, or if you are eligible, you may wish to discuss the option with your social worker, or you can apply directly via the Government’s website.

Please remember direct payments aren’t suitable for everyone. They are most suitable for people who want to take control of their own care to meet their own specific needs. It is also very important that either yourself, or representative, are confident in managing money, budgets, and keeping hold of receipts to submit to social services.

If you’re eligible, direct payments can be the ideal way to find the best private carers to support your needs. Holm Care help you find home care and live-in carers around Manchester. If you’d like to learn more about direct payments, or would like to learn how to find a carer for your needs, you can either download our complete guide to elderly care, or get in touch with our team of care experts.

This article was first published in September 2020. If you would like further updates on receiving direct payments during the Covid-19 outbreak, we recommend you check the Government guidelines

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