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Agreeing to direct payments

This advice applies to Wales

You can only have direct payments if you, or someone acting on your behalf, agrees to the payments being made. This agreement is called giving consent. This page tells you what giving consent means and who can give consent.

Agreeing to direct payments

Top tip

If you are entitled to a care services, you may be able to choose to have cash payments, called direct payments, to allow you to arrange your own care instead of having a care package arranged by the local authority. If you cannot make this choice yourself, a 'suitable person' may be able to make the choice on your behalf.

Direct payments allow you to receive cash payments from your local authority (LA) instead of care services. You can only have direct payments if you, or someone acting on your behalf, agrees to the payments being made. This agreement is called giving consent.

According to the Welsh Government guidance, the person giving consent must:

  • have a free choice, and
  • accept the responsibilities resulting from their choice, and
  • have the mental capacity to give consent.

To give consent you do not have to be able to understand completely how direct payments work.

Giving consent is not the same as being able to manage the direct payments on your own. You might be capable of giving consent to receive direct payments, but still need support to manage the payments.

Acting for someone else

If the person with the care needs cannot give consent, the LA can make direct payments to a ‘suitable person’ who is willing to receive the direct payments, on their behalf.

If a 'suitable person' has to be appointed, the local authority's first choice would usually be a court-appointed deputy, or someone who has a lasting power of attorney. If there is no-one with these powers, then other people will be considered.

The Welsh Government has produced guidance for local authorities about who is a 'suitable person'.

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