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How much should you get - direct payments for care

This advice applies to Wales

You might be able to have direct payments, which allow you to arrange your own care instead of having a care package arranged by the local authority.

What the payment covers

A direct payment must be high enough to cover the reasonable cost of buying services that the local authority has a duty to provide to meet your needs.

In addition to the actual cost of the service, the direct payment must include any associated costs which you have to pay. For example, if you employ your own carer, you will have to pay for:

  • recruiting the carer
  • national insurance
  • statutory holiday pay
  • sick pay
  • maternity pay
  • employers’ liability insurance
  • public liability insurance
  • VAT

Contributing to costs

Whether you have services provided by the local authority (LA) or direct payments, you may have to pay towards the costs. The LA will work out your contribution. If you have direct payments,  the LA will either deduct the amount of your contribution before the direct payment is made, or will pay the direct payment in full and you will have to refund your contribution.

Top tip

If you receive homecare or other non-residential social services, you will only have to pay a maximum charge of £50 a week for these services.  You may decide 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.

The most your contribution can be is £50.00 a week (£55.00 a week from 7 April 2014).

The amount is wrong

You can dispute the LA's decision for either (or both) of the following reasons:

  • your direct payments are not enough to buy services to meet your needs
  • you are being asked to contribute too much.
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