Direct payments

A direct payment is money given to a person by the social services department of their local council.

Sterling coins and notes scattered on a beech wood tableThe money is for them to use if they would like to arrange and pay for their own care and support to meet their assessed needs.

The individual can receive a direct payment instead of receiving a service directly provided by social services.

Direct payments are available in England, Wales and Northern Ireland to purchase services for children, adults and carers. Councils in England may offer personal budgets to adults.

A personal budget is an amount of money allocated by the local authority to meet the person’s assessed needs.

Individuals can decide to manage their personal budget in different ways. The budget can be managed by the council, managed by a third party, taken as a direct payment, or a combination of these options.

Receiving direct payments or a personal budget could help deafblind people or individuals with sight and hearing impairments to live more independently. They can give an individual more choice and control over who supports them and when, and the care services they receive.

For more information about Direct Payments visit the NHS Choices website.

Personal budgets – Putting everyone first

Sense has worked with a number of other organisations to ensure that everyone, including deafblind people, benefits from the personalisation of social care payments.

Putting everyone first is a practical guide for professionals who work with deafblind people to ensuring deafblind people with specialised needs benefit from personal / individual budgets.

First published: Tuesday 22 May 2012
Updated: Tuesday 21 February 2017