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Direct Payments

Every local authority can offer money instead of arranging services for those who are eligible. When a council gives someone money in this way it is known as a direct payment.

Direct Payments are payments made to a disabled person (or a representative of their choosing) into a bank account or prepaid card. These payments are made in advance, usually every four weeks. They enable people to purchase and arrange their own support to meet their needs. The aim of direct payments is to give people more choice, greater flexibility and more control over the support they get.

People can use their direct payments to choose how to have their care provided. Many people choose a Personal Assistant (PA) as a solution to their care needs. Some choose to use a care agency.

Direct Payments can be made to people of all ages. For children and young people under 16, payments are made to an adult who has parental responsibility.

You can get direct payments if:

  • you have been assessed as needing social care services to support you with daily living
  • you have a disability with social care needs
  • you consent to receiving a direct payment and either you or your representative can manage the payment

A financial assessment will be carried out by social services and you may be required to make a contribution to the cost of your care. Your contribution will normally be deducted from the direct payment but you will need to pay your client contribution into the direct payment bank account or prepaid card by standing order.

When you employ a Personal Assistant they can help you live independently and in a way that you choose. You can decide what you want them to do and when you want them to work. You will have full control over how your care is provided.

If you are interested in a Direct Payment, speak to Hertfordshire County Council to request an assessment. They will talk to you about a Direct Payment option when they carry out the assessment.

Hertfordshire County Council can be contacted in the following ways:

For Adults:

Website: Click here

For Children (where the child or young person is between 0-18 years old):


Telephone: 01438 844254.


Before the assessment, it is a good idea for you to think about how much assistance you need. You could start to keep a record every day of what you find difficult and what you need assistance with. Work out how long you think a Personal Assistant would need to help you with each task. This will help in discussions with social services.

Before receiving a Direct Payment, Hertfordshire County Council must be satisfied that you:

  • are entitled to care under the Care Act 2014 and your care can be met using direct payments,
  • can manage the direct payment (either alone or with help),
  • or someone on your behalf, agree to direct payments being made.

You can change your mind about receiving a Direct Payment at any time. You can ask to have your Direct Payment reviewed if you feel that your needs have changed.


Click here to learn more about  a Care needs assessment

Please contact us and we can arrange this for you. Our contact details are here.

Useful Documents:

Adult Care Services Direct Payment Booklet:

Adult Care Services Direct Payments booklet – Jan 2023

Children Care Services Direct Payments booklet:

Children Care Services Direct Payments booklet – Jan 2023

Workforce Development and Partnership Team training information:

Workforce Development and Partnership Team training calendar : April 2022 – 31st March 2023

Looking to learn more about your Direct Payments?

Explore our Direct Payments information further by visiting the Useful Resources section. Here you will find our comprehensive growing library of guides and documentation, which includes an introductory webinar replay to support you.

View our useful resources

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