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Direct payment accounting, help please

(30 Posts)
Graciefer Wed 06-Aug-08 12:02:49

Hi there,

I am receiving direct payments for DS1 for the first time and we are almost ready to start, contracts have been signed etc.

Now I have got my head around all the stuff that social services need us to do (I think), but I would also like to set up a way of keeping track myself.

I was hoping to use microsoft money to do this and I am trying to work out the best way to separate and track what I actually have for wages and what I have to save for on-costs (holiday pay/insurance/expenses/etc).

Not sure if that makes sense and I don't think it helps matters that I have only been awarded for the 6 weeks holidays at the moment, rather than regular monthly payments.

However I am imagining that if I just rely on the end balance on the bank statements, that doesn't really give me a clear picture of what monies I can actually spend for extra hours etc.

Not sure if I am being very clear here, but has anyone got any hints or tips on how they do this, as I don't want to over complicate things, but I do want to be able to tell quite easily, what I have to spend on PA's and what needs to be set aside.

Davros Wed 06-Aug-08 19:47:26

I never did any of that. All LAs have a service that provides free support to people using DPs. OUrs gave me a budget and told me how much I could pay carers per hour in order to have enough left for the other stuff. I also use a payroll company as advised by them and send them an email each month to advise how many hours each worker has done (if any) as I don't pay the same all the time. I stick any and all info into a plastic file, keep the bank statemnents tidy and the cheque book away from others and do my quarterly returns without too much hassle. If I make any mitakes that nice lady at Soc Svs finance corrects it for me.

jimjamshaslefttheyurt Wed 06-Aug-08 22:12:15

Graciefer have you had any help from A2e or whatever they're called now?They've very good (especially the person whose name begins with a K).

I am a complete shambles and always late with my returns but I try to shove it into one drawer to keep track of it all. But the DPs team seem even more shambolic than me.

I generally only have to keep an eye during the summer holidays. Otherwise I know I have enough.

You could check your account online?

Trouble is tax can be hard to guess. Seems a bit random.

Graciefer Thu 07-Aug-08 09:25:22

Thanks for the responses Davros and JJ.

As I thought, I am totally over complicating the whole thing.

I have had a2e call and got a payroll company and all the other things that the DP department require.

I was getting my knickers in a twist because there is almost £100 over after the 96 hours over the summer are accounted for and I was worrying how to remember and account for what it is for/not for. Made all the more complicated after being told that we could use some of it for the PA's expenses, contribution towards their petrol, etc. Which I didn't think was allowed.

However I talked it over with DH and I think we have it sussed now.

I think the confusion is because DS1 has only be allocated DP's over the 6 weeks holiday so far and this means the budget the a2e woman gave us is not really complete as it doesn't take into account saving for next years insurance etc.

If DS1 gets awarded DP's for the whole year, I think it will be a lot simpler.

Not sure if we will actually get to use any of the hours during this holiday anyways as everything is so painfully slow.

I even had to pay up front from our own money for the insurance (which we can reimburse ourselves with) if we wanted any hope of starting within the next 3 weeks.

Pretty poor show really, as we were lucky enough to be have the funds available to do that, but I can imagine how angry I would have been if I couldn't.

Thanks for you both for your help again grin

P.S - JJ, let me know when you are free for visitors and what biscuits/cakes to bring!

Davros Thu 07-Aug-08 09:33:46

Oooh, biscuits and cakes.....

Our payroll company sends all the bills from HM Customs or Inland Revenue, whatever it is. So I pay it as requested, keep the paperwork and include it in quarterly return. I also underpay my staff, heh heh. At first we were told a figure per hour to pay and told we could increase it each year which I didn't do so I squeeze more hours out iyswim. Mind you, my DP bank account is in the red as I didn't account for some of the IR stuff but it isn't much and I am "only a parent" if anyone queries it. Everything is paid and accounted for so I hope I'll make up that small amount next holidays when we will prob get DPs again.
I kept receipts for taxis (using Taxicard), entrance to places, food etc this time to include in DPs and paid the worker for it all by DP cheque. I haven't done that before but I think it will be fine, if only I had some money in the account! I also used mine to buy extra nights at overnight respite in the past so maybe think of that for the future?

Mitchell81 Thu 07-Aug-08 09:46:43

I have the social worker coming today to talk about DP's, I asked for the appointment. Any tips to get the most help possible, what I should be saying and asking for? Can you ask for help with housework or is that not allowed. Must it only be for looking after your child?
I have DD who is 7 and is in a wheelchair and then two other children, DS1 is 2 and DS2 is 12 weeks.

Sorry for jumping on your thread graciefer, but very interested in what everyone has to say as all new to me.

Graciefer Thu 07-Aug-08 10:22:38

Davros: I have been told that DS1 is too young for overnight respite (he is 5.5), which I tend to think is twaddle, but don't argue as its not something we really want, yet. I shall definately think about it in the future though.

Also I have definately stored he 'only a parent' line away in the old grey matter, to use when needed in the future, thanks.

Mitchell81: No problem at all. I am new to this whole process, so may not be the best to offer advice. However when we first met the SW they really didn't have any services suitable for DS1 so I think they were relieved when we accepted DP's.

Just be sure to let them know that you need assistance and they need to faciliate that, as it seemed to me they will often look for alternatives, such as family, etc.

Also they were always emphasising to me that the DP's must be used to benefit DS1, which I would argue almost everything we would want to spend them on would benefit him.

However it seems that the easiest action to take is regardless of who you employ, call them a Personal Assitant, not that I am suggesting you do that, or that I will be wink

Davros Thu 07-Aug-08 10:27:25

They are WRONG that DPs must be used for a DC's direct benefit, that is NOT the rules of DPs regardless of how they think they want to run it. You can use them to pay someone to do your cleaning, ironing etc or take your DS out, babysit etc. As long as its not a holiday for YOU alone or something else ridiculous. These rules are set by GOvt not LAs so ner to them!

Mitchell81 Thu 07-Aug-08 10:33:40

Thanks that is good to know

Davros Thu 07-Aug-08 11:27:55

Of course, having said ner to them you might want to conform to their expectations and to be as co-operative as poss. But for some time I used my DPs to pay for someone to have DD as she was the person willing to go onto the scheme and I used our own money to pay for DS's schemes and extra help, it all works out one way or another.

jimjamshaslefttheyurt Thu 07-Aug-08 11:28:23

Yes that is untrue Graceifer. Do you have a dp's worker helping you (not SS, the other organisation whose name has changed). They will correct your social worker if you tell them they're saying that.

I don't tell them that I use mine to sometimes pay tutors as they would say that was 'education'. hmm The fact that I can't just pay someone to 'come and play' with ds1 - because he doesn't play- doesn't seem to have registered.

FioFio Thu 07-Aug-08 11:34:20

Message withdrawn

jimjamshaslefttheyurt Thu 07-Aug-08 11:41:13

oh sorry graceifer missed your earlier message. Looks like I may well be free next week (see my message on holiday thread )

Why have you only been awarded 6 weeks? Given your son's needs that's ridiculous. Utterly ridiculous. I have a feeling they're trying to cut people's dp's as they are being tight fisted with mine too.

Mitchell81 Thu 07-Aug-08 12:00:16

If you don't mind me asking how many hours do you get everyone who gets DP already?
I can go onto TTR if you don't want to say here.

Davros Thu 07-Aug-08 12:01:36

Yes you can do that. At first I was unsure but I checked several times with different people, including someone very senior at Soc Svs and they said that if it is something that helps the family then that is fine. I could always justify it as having someone to clean/iron or look after DD meant I could do things with DS, which was actually true, but I never had to justify it to anyone but myself! Just think, these are the same payments and the same scheme that is for disabled adults who could easily pay someone to do their shopping, ironing etc. Its no different for us.

Graciefer Thu 07-Aug-08 12:16:13

JimJams : Just read that thread, hopefully you get something sorted so you can still get to go out. We haven't got much planned for next couple of weeks, apart from donkeys every Tuesday, so give me an e-mail when you are free smile

We only have the 6 weeks so far as it was a rush to get our case to panel in time for the holidays as they dragged their feet so much. SW has already said she will put in for 13 weeks (the amount of school holidays until next summer holidays), in September. However we are going to push for term time respite aswell, albeit at a reduced amount of hours.

Mitchell : We currently get 16 hours per week for DS1 (who is 5.5 and severely autistic), we also have DS2 who is 11 months old and has Downs Syndrome.

However our PA's who are actually TA's from DS1's school, will only work on a 2:1 basis with DS1 (which his teacher and class nurse had already suggested would be wise to me), which effectively means we only get 8 hours of respite. This situation only came to light after our award and by then our SW was already on holiday, so I will be discussing it with her when she returns, although I doubt it will get increased.

I have just telephoned the DP's department to enquire about expenses, they said I can pay expenses and even make a cheque out to £30 cash to make a petty cash fund, as long as I make sure I get receipts and that the amount of hours of care are still being met.

Not sure how I will stand on the second part of that, now my payments are only providing half the time of actually respite (although the right amount in working hours).

Mitchell81 Thu 07-Aug-08 12:57:22

Graciefer: That must be hard needing 2 to 1, hopefully they will increase your hours so you still get your 16 hours.
What do you mean by expenses?
I am sure you will get hours in school term aswell as you will also need it then .

Graciefer Thu 07-Aug-08 16:16:03

Mitchell I'm not sure whether they will increase them, but I am certainly going to ask.

By expenses I mean, cash that I can pay the personal assistants to cover costs incurred by them such as admission money (swimming etc), parking costs (although I may just give them DS1's blue badge to take with them), bridge tolls, contribution towards their fuel costs, etc.

There is only a limited amount of money left once I account for caring hours and holiday pay, so I have to be careful with the costs they incurr.

As for the term time respite, we have mentioned it and will be following it up at our next meeting, so fingers crossed.

How did your meeting about DP's go today?

Mitchell81 Thu 07-Aug-08 20:26:14

We have to fill out a self assessment and they will get back to me. they asked what I wanted and I said 2 hours a day during the school week and maybe a full day once a month. Who knows what I will get? They also said that surestart offer vouchers for creche for my younger two children. So will let you know what we get.

Graciefer Wed 27-Aug-08 11:42:05

I have another question for those who get direct payments during term time.

DS1's SW is visiting on Monday to discuss our future needs, she said we need to tell her how many hours DP's we would like during the term times, so she can put it to panel.

I really have no idea what to say and I am already worried because we haven't been able to spend any of the DP's we got for the summer holidays as the money only went in the bank this week and we have only just got the insurance. This all meant it was too late to organise things with the DP workers.

We will definately use those hours, but I fear they will want to either take them back off us or say because we still have them, we don't need anything else.

Anyways I digress, can anyone offer any suggestions of how many hours I should request/how many approximate hours do people get during term time (I understand everyones situation is different and a lot depends on location, but a general idea would be really helpful).

As with Mitchell, if people have access to TTR and would prefer to answer on there, that would be absolutely fine.

Either way I will report back after the meeting on Monday, which should be interesting as aswell as the non spent hours and the term time hours to dicuss, I am also going to be asking about overnight respite (well tea time visits to the hostel anyways) and bringing up the DP workers only working on a 2:1 basis, should be interesting.

Mitchell81 Wed 27-Aug-08 12:42:04

Graciefer: I was also unsure about what you should ask for, as you don't want to ask for too little if they are willing to give you more. And also you think they will knock back the hours you ask for as a compromise.
I am supposed to hear something back this week.

Hope it goes well for you on Monday.

Graciefer Thu 28-Aug-08 13:14:37

I will keep my fingers crossed for you Mitchell grin

Has anybody got any suggestions re term time hours?

Mitchell81 Tue 02-Sep-08 15:30:37

How did your meeting go on monday?

We have been given 6 hours a week? What do you think is that a little or a reasonable about?

Graciefer Tue 02-Sep-08 17:35:41

Hi Mitchell,

The meeting went ok, with the SW agreeing that 2:1 PA's were needed for DS1 and that we could keep hours left over from summer holidays to use as and when we see fit.

Tried steering us away from asking for hours during term time, in favour for using up the DP's we have left from the summer holidays and the DP's we will recieve for future school holidays, during term time when needed.

However we said this was unfeasible and would leave us with no hours to use during holidays, when we need them most.

So SW is putting to panel 16 hours per week during school holidaya (actually 32 hours per week to fund two workers for 16 hours) and 5 hours a week during term time (again actually 10 hours funding for 2 workers for 5 hours a week).

The panel isn't meeting this month, so we will have to wait until next month for a decision, I won't be counting any chickens until then.

We really didn't know what to ask for, but the SW worker did say, even with these hours, DS1's care packet would still be small compared to many others, which I took as a positive.

How about you? Are you happy with what you have been given?

Graciefer Tue 02-Sep-08 17:36:54

packet package

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