A to Z of MS
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A to Z of MS Direct payments
Direct Payments are local council payments for people who have been assessed by Social Services as needing care and would like to pay for and manage their own care. Both individuals with care needs and carers can receive direct payments. Direct Payments can be used to arrange services or equipment to meet care needs that the Social Services assessment highlighted. Examples may be employing carers or a personal assistant to meet personal care needs or getting help with laundry or cleaning. This may involve services provided by Social Services or from private or less traditional providers of care or services. Reviews are carried out to make sure the individual's outcomes are being met and that they money is being spent appropriately.
In many areas, independent support organisations have been set up to help people receiving direct payments to set up and manage the package of services they need such as local Independent Living projects and the Disability Rights UK.
An Open Door article looked at the scheme as it is operated in Medway in Kent from three different perspectives - the service user, the personal assistant and the scheme co-coordinators.
Some areas operate a similar scheme called Individual Budgets. Individual budgets operate on similar principles to Direct Payments but the individual's money can be held on their behalf by a third party organisation that administers the funds on the individual's behalf.