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Direct payments for community care

Local authorities pay individuals directly in order for them to purchase their own care.

This enables individuals to purchase the assistance or services that the local authority would otherwise have provided.  Direct payments support independent living by enabling individuals to make their own decisions and control their own lives.  

Direct payments have gradually been extended to include:

  • older people
  • carers
  • parents of disabled children
  • disabled adults.  

Since 11 April 2011 the scope of direct payments has been  extended to include people who lack capacity to give their consent. Also included are people who were formerly excluded because they were subject to mental health or certain criminal justice legislation. People without capacity will now be able to access direct payments via the use of a ‘suitable person’ who will receive payments on their behalf.  

Direct payments guidance

Revised statutory guidance to local authorities on how to set up and manage a direct payments scheme was issued in April 2011. Additional guidance was also issued for local authorities on the appointment of a 'suitable person'.  

The Community Care, Services for Carers and Children’s Services (Direct Payments) (Wales) Regulations 2011 replace the direct payments regulations made in 2004 and 2006, and the revised guidance replaces that issued in 2004.    

Regulations

There are 2 Regulations relating to direct payments. 

The Community Care, Services for Carers and Children’s Services (Direct Payments) (Wales) Regulations 2011 (external link)

The Community Care, Services for Carers and Children’s Services (Direct Payments) (Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 2011 (external link)