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Direct Payments - Adult Social Care - Birmingham City Council

Updated: Aug 5, 2019

Information from Birmingham City Council

A direct payment is one of the ways you can receive your  personal budget.

The Directorate has revised its series of Direct Payment factsheets in order to improve the information and support we currently provide to the citizens of Birmingham.

These fact sheets provide important guidance on how Direct Payments work and are applied.

A direct payment is money we can give you to help you buy the care and support you need, instead of us arranging the services for you.

Having a direct payment means that you can:

  • Choose the type of support and care you need

  • Have control over when you receive any care and support

  • Have the money from us to pay for your care

Who can get a direct payment?

People who already get social care services from us

Usually people who are already getting care support from the city council can choose to have their individual budget as a direct payment . Contact Birmingham City Council, on 0121 303 1234 or email if  you currently receive adult social care funding from the city council and would like this as a direct payment.

People who qualify for adult social care funding for the first time.

You will need a social care assessment to find out if you qualify for financial support from us. If you are eligible for social care support, then we will discuss with you during your assessment how you could potentially receive funding as a direct payment.

You can ask us for a social care assessment by contacting Birmingham City Council on 0121 303 1234.

People who cannot receive a direct payment (exclusions)

By law, some people may not be able to receive adult social care funding as a direct payment. For example, if you have a court order against you that is related to drugs or alcohol. A social care worker can give you advice about this.

There are also a few legal restrictions on what a direct payment can be used to buy, including long-term care in a care home and buying services from a local authority. For a full list of what you can and cannot buy with a direct payment see below.

People who need long-term care in a care home or choose to have services from the council can do so with a managed budget.

How can a direct payment help me?

If you are eligible to receive an individual budget you can spend the money we give you as a direct payment on getting support to meet your needs. This could include employing a personal assistant from a care agency.

You can choose who supports you and when you want the support. For example, you may want to arrange to have help in the evenings and at weekends, rather than during the day.

You can have a direct payment for all your support, or part of it. If you only want a direct payment for part of your support, we will arrange the rest of your support needs. A direct payment is not a state benefit and it will not affect any state benefits you already get. A direct payment is not linked to getting your pension or benefit paid direct into your bank account.

What can I use a direct payment for?

If we have assessed you and you are eligible for an individual budget and choose to have it as a direct payment, the money you receive will be used to pay for any support or care needed to meet your assessed needs.

You can use your direct payment money to live independently in your own home. For example, you could buy:

  • care and support from a personal assistant or an agency;

  • a personal assistant to help you live independently;

  • a one-off payment for something specific, such as a piece of equipment; and

  • services to enable you to live independently.

What I cannot use my direct payment for?

You cannot use a direct payment to pay for:

  • a close relative, partner or anyone else who lives with you to help you;

  • long-term care in a care home or housing costs;

  • household bills, for example gas or electricity bills;

  • services from the council such as occupational-therapy equipment;

  • anything that doesn't meet your assessed needs;

  • food and drink, including meals you have delivered to your home;

  • health needs, including treatment from the NHS; or

  • anything illegal, including gambling.

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