Skip to main content

Join our mailing list!

To receive key updates as a social worker or practitioner in Hertfordshire

Sign up here

"Introduction to Direct Payments and Relevant Legislation" - webinar slides

View the slides provided from the “Introduction to Direct Payments and Relevant Legislation” webinar lead by David Ashley from the Independent Living Group.

Click here to view the slides

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

Social services will conduct a financial assessment and there may be a need for the Direct Payment holder to contribute towards the cost of their care. Typically, the Direct Payment holder contribution will be deducted directly from the allocated direct payment. However, it’s important to note that the Direct Payment holder will be responsible for making sure that the contribution is made by setting up a standing order into the direct payment bank account or prepaid card.

The Direct Payment holder may use their budget flexibly to meet their personal outcomes, this could include hiring a Personal Assistant (PA), sourcing provider services and even purchasing equipment that will improve day-to-day quality of life. The Direct Payment is a highly flexible tool.

Though it is not a case of immediate starting – we have access to our Purple Match database where there may be a Personal Assistant available for this role to apply and interview.

Additionally, EAG officers (employment advice and guidance) recommend exploring the possibility of short-term support from a family member or friend if possible. If this option is pursued, our team can arrange for them to be set up on the payroll, although the Direct Payment holder may need to obtain permission from the Brokerage or Adult Care Services.  Alternatively, EAG (employment advice and guidance) officers can direct them to Independent Support Brokerage or suggest an agency, bearing in mind that the cost for these services would exceed the hourly rate paid by HCC. If no other options are available, additional funding may be requested to cover the cost.

The onboarding process for a Personal Assistant (PA) can vary depending on several factors. Firstly, it depends on the response time of the PA in providing necessary documents and returning references. Additionally, the number of addresses the PA has had in the past 5 years can affect the duration of the process.

Furthermore, the time it takes to process a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) application can vary significantly, ranging from 2 days to a month or in some cases longer due to a range of external factors.

Once all required documents are received, verified, and submitted, delays may still occur, particularly when waiting for local police force checks to be completed. These delays can be attributed to changes in names or addresses for the candidate, which may require additional verification steps.

View our full library of useful resources

Click here to access

"Direct Payments and Hertfordshire" video

Sam Wood-Ede, Direct Payments Manager (Hertfordshire County Council) introduces and discusses the concept of Direct Payments and their use in Hertfordshire in this short interview.

Watch the video

Getting started - our flowchart help sheet guide to Direct Payments

Click here for the Direct Payments help sheet

📧 Never miss an update - join our FREE mailing list to be updated on our support for social workers

Click here to sign up

Do you have another question?

Our employment, advice and guidance (EAG) team are here to assist you with all queries related to Direct Payments.

Ask our EAG team

💬 Social Workers in Hertfordshire : We want to hear from you! 💬

Join us in shaping support for social workers! Share your opinions now to help create the “Social Worker Hub” here at Your valuable input will directly inspire tailored resources for social workers in Hertfordshire supporting Direct Payment holders. The survey takes approximately just 5-10 minutes. Be part of the change by completing the survey. Your involvement is appreciated and key to building a vibrant and interactive resource hub for our community’s dedicated social workers! Thank you.

Complete the survey for Social Workers in Hertfordshire