Direct payments give you more choice, control, and flexibility over your care and support arrangements. A direct payment allows you to receive money to purchase your identified care and support needs.

As a general rule, your funder should leave you to choose how to best meet your eligible needs, as long as they are satisfied that the agreed support required within your care plan is being met.

You should only spend the money on what has been agreed in your support plan. If you use the money for anything else, you may be asked to pay the money back or in the most serious cases, have your direct payment stopped completely.

The lists below are not exhaustive, but they should give you an idea of what you can and cannot use your direct payment for.

If you’re still unsure about things, please speak to your direct payment funder.

Examples of what direct payments may be used to pay for

  • assistance with daily living tasks
  • personal care from a personal assistant (known as PA) and/or domiciliary/home care provider; the PA is someone who doesn’t live with you and can be employed or self-employed
  • replacement care (e.g. you can remain at home and supplement existing arrangements and have replacement care delivered in the home. If your funder agrees to this arrangement)
  • short stay/respite care both traditional and non-traditional
  • support from a communicator or guide (if you have a sensory impairment)
  • support to access community, social and leisure activities (alternatives to day services)
  • supporting education or employment needs

Examples of what direct payments cannot be used to pay for

  • aids and adaptations which should be funded from other sources
  • any activity that puts you or others at risk of serious harm
  • any form of building works
  • clothing and jewellery
  • drugs, tobacco or alcohol
  • food/heating/lighting/general household or living expenses
  • gambling
  • general Bank charges
  • health services e.g. dentist
  • mobile phone charges
  • rent or housing costs