Direct Payments

Share information, support and advice on all aspects of caring.
Firstly, a bit of background. My Mum has suffered from four instances of oral cancer. She has had numerous surgeries and lastly, a round of radiotherapy. This has left her nil by mouth permanently and with disfigurement and speech problems. However, she has also suffered from personalityand mental health issues for many many years which have been exacerbated by her condition.

So just over a year ago, she ended up coming to live with my husband and I in our home. She refuses to engage with any outside support and will not accept any other carers apart from myself (and a little assistance from my husband). She receives her pension credit and attendance allowance and owns her own home but insists on letting my brother live in it for £25 a week (including bills). I have had to give up work to care for her. She offers little or no financial contribution to our household, and when she does, it's with conditions and constant reminders. So we tend not to take it. Attendance allowance is paid to Mum and she sees it as her right.

We have called in Social Services to assess our situations and they have allocated us Direct Payment and decided that I can receive this payment in light of my Mum's condition and refusal to engage with the outside world. Fantastic - some recognition for what we do. We have Independent Lives administering the payment to ensure openness and transparency.

So my question is - is there anyone else who is in this position with a Direct Payment? Any pitfalls?

Look forward to hearing from you.
Hiya
I have direct payments for my Mum. You will have set up a bank account which is only used for these payments. Make sure you keep the statements in a file.
I'm a little unclear from your post what the payments are for in that it is usually for a care plan for care workers to come in and help. If Mum is refusing this, what has SS set up? Are you saying that Mum's AA is now being paid to you?
In my case the money Mum has from SS must be used to pay care workers. There is nothing else on her care plan. So I could not use the money to pay the window cleaner for example. If I don't use all the money to pay care workers then I must return it eventually. In actual fact I use it all and more because she has more care than is on her plan and I must top up the bank account accordingly.
I must keep all the invoices from the care companies and I actually run a spread sheet to show outgoings. I've recently had my accounts audited by SS and all was well.
I can however change the times the care workers attend to suit her better and I can change the Care Company should they not be satisfactory.
AA is not regulated and the person receiving it can use it for whatever they want. Morally Mum should be paying it straight to you.
You're likely to have some very direct advice from the rest of the gang on here as to how you are being treated.
All the best
Elaine
Hi Elaine

AA is paid directly to my Mum. She seems to think it is her 'right' and some kind of compensation for ill health. She has had complex personality and mental health issues all her life and there is no changing her mindset on this one.

The SW who has facilitated the assessments was excellent. Due to the unusual circumstances of my Mother's current state of health and her point blank refusal to engage with anyone else regarding her care, a decision was made from on high that the direct payment should be made to myself as Mum's PA. My Mum is the employer but the account will be administered by Independent Lives. I am only paid for 11 hours of caring (and Mum is 24/7). But it keeps us afloat and keeps Mum out of a nursing home.

I was just wondering if anyone else is in this position?

Thank you for your reply Elaine.
I find this very interesting. I was told (by ss) that direct payments could not be paid to anyone living in the same household. My daughter helps care for my son but is unable to get dp because she lives in the same house and they will not pay her to care for (accompany him ) on holiday either. He refuses to go to respite (long story) and has very complex needs.
Lesley_15012 wrote:I find this very interesting. I was told (by ss) that direct payments could not be paid to anyone living in the same household. My daughter helps care for my son but is unable to get dp because she lives in the same house and they will not pay her to care for (accompany him ) on holiday either. He refuses to go to respite (long story) and has very complex needs.
Please don't quote me on this as I've probably got it wrong :shock: but I thought that DP's can be paid to someone living in the same house BUT not to an immediate relative ?

The best people to talk to this about are the Carers UK Adviceline team (they are the unbiased experts on all matters related to benefits :) )
Need expert advice? You can talk to the Carers UK Adviceline five days a week, no matter where you are in the UK or how complex your query is. We do benefits checks and advise on financial and practical matters related to caring.

tel: 0808 808 7777
email: advice@carersuk.org
Open Monday to Friday, 10am to 4pm
It is often better to email them as the telephone lines are often oversubscribed.
The dedicated bank account Mum's payments go into is in her name, but my name is also on it as her attorney. Therefore I am able to handle the account and do it all online. One good reason for POA.
I do believe it varies from each town or county but you certainly can now get direct payments to pay relatives living in the same house as the disabled person.
There has to be special circumstances why you would need it to be a relative rather than any other carer but as long as there are genuine reasons why you cannot employ outside carers then 'YES' you can get direct payments paid to family members living in the same house.
My daughter has a profound and multiple learning disability and I am allowed to pay both my son and my daughter, who live in the same house, to care for my daughter using a direct payment.
I am talking about disabled adults and I am not sure about disabled children. It may be different rules for them but I would certainly question it if you feel there is a need for family members and only family members will be suitable.
Hope that helps
Thanks Billie, that is very useful. I will be discussing this with sons sw next week. However, no doubt they will fob me off. I've asked previously and they said it isn't allowed.

Lesley
Hi all - thank you for your replies.

I come under West Sussex and the process of arranging our Direct Payment situation was Social Worker led. I do know that the decision to have payments being made to me, Mum's daughter, was agreed at a panel level. However, social worker was extremely experienced, very knowledgeable and really did her homework with the medical professionals regarding my Mum's somewhat unusual situation.

I do hope you find the solutions to your issues and thank you so much for your feedback.

Debs