Social care and health

Direct payments

If you are eligible for social care and support from Islington Council, you could benefit from direct payments.

What is a direct payment?

A direct payment is money we can give you to meet your care and support needs and help you live independently. Direct payments are a great way to receive your money and arrange your care and support. Direct payments are not considered to be an income, so will not affect your benefits.

Why choose direct payments?

Direct payments provide more freedom and flexibility. Instead of having services organised by the council, direct payments let you arrange support that works best for you. For example, you can use your direct payment to employ a personal assistant.

Employing your own personal assistant means that the same person will provide your care and support and you can decide how and when things are done to best meet your needs.

What can a direct payment be used for?

A direct payment can be used to pay for support and services which have been agreed in your support plan with Adult Social Services.

Some examples include:

• Employing a personal assistant to help you with your household tasks or personal care

• Buying services from a private care provider of your choice

• Helping you to stay in touch with friends and family or build new social networks

• Paying toward leisure, education or social activities in the community

• Buying support to give your unpaid or family carer a break from their caring role

Getting help to manage your direct payments

You can get help to manage you direct payment from your care coordinator and from the Direct Payments Team.

They can help you to:

• work out how much support costs

• find out where you can get support from

• employ people to help you, including writing job descriptions and their contracts of employment

• make payments

• keep records about the money you spend

• understand the Personal Budgets User Agreement.

The agreement outlines the rules regarding direct payments in Islington. You can get help from social services over the phone or by email. They can also visit you at home, at work or meet you at a council office.

Receiving your payments

If you decide to have a direct payment, you will receive your money by a pre-paid card.

Your direct payment money is put onto the card by us, and you can then use the card to pay for support services by chip and pin, standing order, Direct Debit or bank transfer by telephone or the Internet.

You can check your card balances online, by telephone or receive paper statements. You cannot withdraw cash from the card or use it to get 'cash back'.

The pre-paid card makes direct payments simple and easy for you to use, and makes it straightforward for the council to support you to spend your money appropriately.

The Adults Directory

Visit the Adults Directory for information and advice about local social care services, paid carers and personal assistants.

Contact the Direct Payments Team

You can email the team on or telephone them on 020 7527 8164.

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