Direct Payments

Self-directed support is a way of providing social care. It enables you to make your own decisions regarding what support you need, who provides it and how.

Self-directed support gives you more choice, control and independence about how your support is organised – you are in control.

Direct payment

A direct payment is a cash payment made directly to you so that you can buy your own care and support services, rather than having it delivered by Redbridge Council.

You can have a direct payment if you have been assessed as needing social care services. This includes carers.

If you would like to use direct payments please contact Redbridge Health and Adult Social Services on 020 8708 7333. They can provide information, advice and support with your direct payments.

What you can use direct payments for

Direct payments can be used in lots of ways, for example:

  • to pay for personal care and support such as help with washing and dressing
  • to pay for practical help such as shopping and cleaning
  • to employ a personal assistant
  • to pay for short breaks (respite care) for yourself or your carer
  • to buy social or educational activities that you have been assessed for and need

You can be creative about how you spend your direct payment, as long as it helps you meet your support needs.

You don’t have to use statutory organisations like the Council when you buy your support.

How direct payments work

Redbridge Council work out how much money you are entitled to based on the information gathered during your assessment. The assessment is where you tell us about your particular circumstances and care needs.

You might need to set up a bank account specifically for your direct payment. You will then receive payment directly into your bank or building society.

Direct payments will not affect your benefit entitlement because they are not counted as income.

Support with direct payments

You may feel you are able to manage your direct payments on your own, but you can get help from family, friends or an agency of your choice as long as you are the one making the final decisions on how the money is being spent.

Direct payments policy 

Download the direct payments policy

Direct Payment Contingency Plan

If you are in receipt of a direct payment, you are advised to complete a contingency plan or update your existing one. This will help you plan your care needs should there be a break down in your current arrangements during the pandemic. A contingency plan document can be found on the website.

Useful links

Other useful document: Contingency plan, employers letter

Other MyLife pages: Social care jargon buster, The Care Act

External websites: Skills for Care hub for employers and personal assistants