I receive a direct payment of £720 every six months.

My wife is disabled with ME and Fibromyalgia and various other things... and so with two children and a full time job to cope with on top, meant I wasn't getting any time to sit down at all.

The direct payment as it was described to me, was for me to use as I see fit, to assist me in caring.

We use the DP to pay for 3 hours of cleaning each week. We found our own cleaner, and pay them approx £30 a week...

We could do with more to be honest, but once a week - I come home and the house smells and looks clean, and I can actually sit down with my family for a while instead of rushing around doing a million jobs.

There were a couple of terms used when Adult social services came to assess the care arrangement - and I am not 100% clear which is which now...

There was something called a "sitting service" - where I could get a payment to directly pay for someone to look after my wife when I couldn't there. The purpose of the money is to give me a break. I believe with this one, you have to have a separate bank account set up for it, and every penny of it is accounted for and reviewed by the council.

I think Direct Payment was the more relaxed option, where we just get paid the money - and we can then use it to assist us how we see fit.

They also mentioned to me at the time, that I could potentially get a grant to pay for a holiday for myself to get away... am not sure whether they meant the money would be classified as paying for someone to look after my wife whilst i was away... or if it was as literal as it was described in passing.

None of these things are income related either

Hope that helps!