Getting a direct payment for your care

If we’re paying for some or all of your care, we might be able to pay you the money instead of paying for the service directly. That means you get more control over your care.

How can I apply for a direct payment?

You need to have care and financial assessments. If you already have, and we’ve told you we’ll pay for some or all of your care, ask us about a direct payment.

To apply:

  • if it’s your first time applying for support, talk to your social worker or call 020 3045 5159
  • if you’re already getting long term help from us with your care but are interested in switching to a direct payment, call 020 3045 3033 or email

How will I get the money?

If we’ve agreed to a direct payment, we’ll pay it onto a pre-paid debit card or you can set up a bank account specifically for this payment (and nothing else). We’ll pay you every four weeks.

What can I use my direct payment for?

You can:

  • pay someone to help with things like washing, dressing, shopping and cooking
  • pay a friend to take you out to somewhere like a gallery, a football match or the theatre
  • give your usual carer a break by paying for some extra support

Or you might have what’s called a ‘mixed package’ of care, where you pay for some of it directly and the rest is taken care of by the council.

You’re welcome to use an agency or pay an individual. But you can’t hire anyone that doesn’t have the legal right to work in this country, and you can’t hire anyone who usually lives with you (except in very exceptional circumstances).

Remember that if you hire an individual you might have extra responsibilities as an employer (like paying National Insurance). If you use an agency, they’ll generally take care of that.