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How do Direct Payments work?

(11 Posts)
SallyBear Fri 10-May-13 09:49:59

Two people have now mentioned about getting Direct Payments. I've always been very self sufficient in terms of managing care of my 4dc. This August DD is going into GOSH for a huge jaw surgery and we are going to have to juggle childcare and looking after her in hospital.

My problem is that DS4 has ASD, and even though he is a gentle soul you need eyes in the back of your head as he has a tendency to "amuse" himself by doing something that he shouldn't. He is also deaf and can't communicate particularly well so that makes it more difficult for movers of my family to deal with. We can't really afford to pay a TA from his SS to look after him as she charges GBP8.50 an hour! As DD will be in a minimum of 5 days this will kill us financially.

So, what do you know about Direct Payments, how does it work, can you opt back into using LA Social Care at any point? I am clueless about this genuinely so any insight would be gratefully accepted.

Also I should add that we have never had a Social Worker as I have always managed, do you think that it's a good idea to get one to help manage the transition into Adult Social Care for DS4 for when he is a teenager? He is only 6, but I'm trying to think ahead.

Thank you!

SallyBear Fri 10-May-13 09:50:54

*movers?! Members of my family.

zzzzz Fri 10-May-13 10:03:23

Watching with fascination. Some financial help would make a huge difference here too. The juggling becomes ever more complicated.

PolterGoose Fri 10-May-13 10:05:22

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

SallyBear Fri 10-May-13 10:06:14

Polter I haven't done one for DD either...... Can't quite face it confused

eggandcress Fri 10-May-13 10:58:25

We got direct payments for our ds when we lived in Waltham Forest.

First of all you have to have a core assessment done then you let them know what sort of thing you want - we wanted ds to go to an after school club so I could work two days a week. I found an after school club who would take him and I got 4 hours a week direct payments (at the time £12.50 an hour) and the after school club hired a 1:2:1 for my ds for two hours each evening on the two nights he was going to attend. His school bus dropped him and the after school club invoiced me for the four hours a week. Sometimes if I was not working I could save up the money and the lady would come to our house and we had a night out(giddy days of night's out!) It is very flexible.

You have to open a bank account just for the direct payments and you have to keep a paper trail to show to the brokerage team at the LA. If the carer is not registered self-employed or you are not invoiced by an after school club then you are responsible for the tax and NI of the carer like nanny tax. Luckily we did not get into that. The brokerage team were great tough and explained everything in clear detail.

Now however we live in anew place and they are beyond useless. I can no longer work as were not awarded direct payments and the social workers are utterly terriblewe are struggling to get anything at all. I think this a post code lottery. Waltham Forest were good and the social workers also very experienced.

I would advise you to organise the core assessment as soon as you can as the whole process takes ages , if you lived here there is no way you would be processed by August.

Bigbluebus is good on all this kind of thing and knows the system really well

Sorry that got a bit long - hope it is a help

SallyBear Fri 10-May-13 11:22:00

Thank you eggandcress. I've just got off the phone to the Children's Disabilities Team at my LA and they would offer us 2 hours per week. I said that I really only want help for a week and explained the situation. She said that she thought that the managers may make an exception but that we would have to be assessed and get a SW.

Entering a world of the unknown for me. I will have to get very savvy I think to make the system work for us.

She asked me about DLA and I said that we had HRC&M for DS4 but that I didn't claim DLA for DD or for DS1. She felt that we should. Ugh. I hate DLA forms. zzzzz I share your pain hmm

PolterGoose Fri 10-May-13 11:33:31

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

SallyBear Fri 10-May-13 11:46:21

Thank you Polter. That is very informative.

zzzzz Fri 10-May-13 11:50:24

At least you've done 1 sally, I haven't faced up to it for either of my little nonsenses, both of whome will probably get some level of benefit.

I will do it next week as I am going to be pretty incapacitated anyway. <gives self a slap round the chops>

eggandcress Fri 10-May-13 13:14:27

It is great that you have set the ball rolling on the assessment, well done. It is also cheering that she is saying you can have 2 hours a week at the outset(without her having to speak to 15 time-wasting panels) even though this is not quite what you want.

Those DLA forms are just so daunting, I got help with mine from a lady at Mencap. My award runs until my ds is 16 then he will move onto PIP. I should probably fill one out for my DD as well but I can't face it! The extra money is handy of course.

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