What is a Direct Payment?

A Direct Payment is money that you may be entitled to from Kent County Council (KCC) that  allows you to be in control of who provides your child’s care needs instead of this being arranged for you by the Local Authority.

Why should I choose a Direct Payment?

Feedback from many of the families we have already supported shows that a Direct Payment often provides a far greater level of choice, control and flexibility for families. It allows the parents or young person to decide what care they receive and how and when they receive it.

Who is entitled to a Direct Payment?

  • A parent of a disabled child
  • A disabled young person aged 16 to 25 years
  • A young carer aged 16 to 17 years

What can a Direct Payment be used for?

You can use your Direct Payment to buy the support that you need, as assessed in your child’s care and support plan or your child’s  education, health and care plan(EHC).

There are a number of different ways a Direct Payment can be used such as:

  • To access shortbreaks to provide respite for the whole family
  • Employ a personal assistant or agency to provide support with your child’s care
  • To help your child access leisure facilities or attend a particular activity
  • To buy specific equipment for your child

These are only a few of the many options available to you under a Direct Payment. There is flexibility in how you to choose to spend your funding providing you can demonstrate that you are meeting the assessed needs. If you have any questions regarding what you can use your Direct Payment for, please contact us.

What can a Direct Payment NOT be used for?

You cannot do the following with your Direct Payment:

  • Employ a relative who lives in your house (except under exceptional circumstances)
  • Buy services from the Local Authority, Health Authority or Housing Authority
  • Purchase long-term residential care

How do I apply to receive a Direct Payment?

If you have read the above information and would like to consider the option of receiving a Direct Payment, the following steps would need to be taken:

Step 1. Undertake a ‘core assessment’

In order to qualify for a Direct Payment you must have an assessment of need agreed by a professional. If you have already had an assessment, then head to ‘Step 2’.  If, however you have NOT had an assessment please call Kent County Council’s Contact and Assessment Service (KCAS) on 03000 41 11 11 and ask to speak to the ‘Children with Disabilities Assessment Team’. Alternatively look at the KCC website.

It is not uncommon for families to feel overwhelmed by the prospect of an assessment. For support and advice regarding how best to prepare for an assessment have a look at the information provided on contact a family.

Step 2. Speak with your Social Worker to discuss a Direct Payment

If you undertake an assessment and are found to be eligible to receive support, speak to your Social Worker about exploring the option of a Direct Payment.

Step 3. Direct Payment Service get involved

If your Social Worker agrees that a Direct Payment may be suitable for the needs of your child, you will be referred to the Direct Payment Service.  You will then be allocated a DP Case Worker who will explain the Direct Payment process and provide you with the appropriate support and information you require. Our DP Case Worker  will work with you to ensure  you are fully aware of what using a Direct Payment entails and, if you decide to go ahead, that the process is as simple as possible.

We hope that you now have a better understanding of the procedures involved in order to receive a Direct Payment, however if you would like any more information or would prefer to speak to someone directly then please do not hesitate to contact us.