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Direct payments

Learn what direct payments are, how they're paid, what you can use them on and how to set them up and manage them.

What is a direct payment

A direct payment means that we pay your personal budget directly to you or someone acting on your behalf.

This payment will come from either Suffolk County Council (SCC) or Norfolk and Suffolk Foundation Trust (NSFT). The money is paid every four weeks in advance into a bank or building society account that you have set up only for your direct payment money.

What can a direct payment be used for? 

You can only use this payment for goods and services that we have agreed in your care and support plan. These may include:

  • care services that you can use in your home from an agency · employing someone to help you, such as a personal assistant
  • using a home care agency to employ someone for you
  • paying to attend a day care service
  • paying for some respite care services
  • paying for leisure activities
  • buying equipment to help you

You are not able to use your direct payment to pay for:

  • permanent care in a residential or nursing care home
  • ordinary household expenses such as utility bills, rent or mortgage payments or food
  • gambling
  • anything illegal
  • anything that does not contribute to meeting your needs or achieving the outcomes that you have agreed in your care and support plan
  • employing a close family member living in the same household, unless the local authority has agreed this

Setting up a direct payment

When you decide that you would like a direct payment, we will ask you to:

  • sign an agreement
  • give us details of the account that you would like us to pay the money into

You'll need to understand the agreement that you are being asked to sign. The person from SCC or NSFT who is helping you to arrange your care should explain these in more detail to you.

Managing direct payments

You can find more information about managing direct payments in our booklets:

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