What direct payments are and how you can get them.

What are direct payments

A direct payment is money that we give you so that you can pay for your care and support needs.

You can get a one off payment or on-going payments.

Who can have direct payments

You can get direct payments if you've been assessed by us and you choose it. You could be:

  • 18 or over
  • a carer
  • the parent of a disabled child
  • a disabled parent 
  • authorised to manage payments on behalf of someone who needs care or a carer

What you can use a direct payment for

You can only use the money to meet your assessed needs, such as:

  • employing a personal assistant
  • paying an agency to support you
  • employing a family member as long as they don't live in your home

You can't use direct payments to pay for residential care.

Reasons to choose a direct payment

It gives you more choice and control about the care you get, who provides the care and who supports you to be independent, for example you can:

  • arrange home care for a time that suits you
  • employ a carer you know and trust
  • get short term support, for example after being in hospital
  • pay for daily activity you enjoy such as swimming lessons

Direct payments for carers

If you're a carer, you can use direct payments to buy the services you need to support you in your caring role. This includes support that may help maintain your own health and wellbeing, such as helping you to take a break from your caring role.

See our carers page for more information.

How you'll be paid the direct payments

We make a payment directly to you so that you can arrange and pay for your own care and support. You can have a mix of direct payments and services from us. You won't be taxed on direct payments and they won't affect your benefits.

Use a Bristol Direct Payment Account

If you choose to have a Bristol Direct Payment Account we'll set up it up for you. The account is easy to manage as you only have to keep your receipts.

If you decide not to use the Bristol Direct Payment Account you will need to set up your own separate bank account. You'll need to keep a record of the money you spend so that we can see how you're using the direct payments. This includes banks statements and invoices. 

Get direct payments

As part of the needs assessment conversation that we will have with you, we'll write a plan that identifies your needs and how much it will cost. This is known as your personal budget.

A financial assessment will need to be carried out. This takes into account your weekly income, savings and any other capital assets you may have. This'll help us to work out if you need to pay any contribution towards your personal budget and what this contribution will be. This doesn't apply to carers.

If you are need to make a contribution we'll pay the direct payment and take off the contribution amount that you need to pay.

If you would like to find out more about whether you would need to make a personal contribution or guide as to how much this could be before going through the full assessment contact 0117 903 7706 or email us ccfstriageteam@bristol.gov.uk

If your care and support needs change

If you feel your care needs have changed and you want to talk about support you receive, fill in an Adult Care referral.

If you can't use the online form, call us at 0117 922 2700.