Setting Up Direct Payments: A Detailed Guide
First a Social Worker must complete an “Assessment of Need”. The assessment will involve a discussion of what your needs are and how best to meet them. The Social Worker will want to gain as full a picture of your needs as possible so it may be helpful to prepare for this in advance to ensure that you are correctly assessed; e.g. you may wish to write a list of tasks that you have difficulties with.
If you are already receiving community care services from the local authority then you can contact your Social Worker to discuss the option of receiving services via direct payments. If there has been no contact with Social Services before, then the local authority will need to be contacted to request a Social Worker, who will establish your eligibility, to complete the assessment.
In Carmartheshire, please contact Careline+ on 01267 224466
In Pembrokeshire, please contact the Contact Centre on 01437 764551
In Ceredigion, please contact the Social Care and Health Team on 01545 574 000
If you are eligible to receive community care services, direct payments will be offered as an option in meeting these needs. However, it is important to remember that the Local Authority will decide whether or not direct payments will best meet your needs.
The local authority will conduct a financial assessment which looks at the income and savings of the person needing the service. It is possible not have to pay anything towards your care but, if you are assessed as needing to pay a contribution, this is currently capped at £60 per week in Wales.
If you choose to receive direct payments a referral will be put through to the Direct Payments Team at Diverse Cymru. A support worker will be allocated to you and will contact you within 2 working days to arrange to meet with you and explain the direct payments process and our available services.
Your support worker can offer advice and guidance in setting up a direct payments bank account. They can also help you identify how best to use direct payments to meet your needs, but it is entirely your choice as to whom you wish to purchase support from.
If you want to hire a personal assistant the support worker can help with recruitment by devising a job description based on the assistance you require, advising you on where to place advertisements for the position and can provide support with setting up and attending the job interviews. They can also produce a budget sheet and advise how much it is possible to pay the personal assistant whilst also ensuring that ongoing costs are taken into consideration.
If you want to purchase services from a care agency but have not chosen which, the support worker can assist with this process and can advise you on questions to ask agencies when trying to establish which agency to purchase services from.
After the initial meetings, you and your support worker will maintain regular contact in order to provide any further advice and ongoing support.
Direct payments will be deposited into your direct payments account every 4 weeks.