Direct payments

Direct payments are payments given directly to individuals by adult social care departments to enable them to buy services they have been assessed as needing.

They can be given to people who are assessed as having an eligible social care need aged 16 or over, to people with parental responsibility for disabled children, and to carers aged 16 or over in respect of carer services.

The aim of a direct payment is to give more flexibility in how services are provided to people. Providing money in lieu of social care services gives people greater choice and control over their lives, and enables them to make their own decisions about how their care is delivered.