What are Direct Payments?

Direct Payments are payments from the local authority that give you the money to purchase your own care. They allow you to arrange your own support and let you spend your personal budget in a way that best suits you.

If you are eligible for Direct Payments, we will assess your needs in order to calculate a personal budget specifically tailored for you. Control of the money is then passed to you so that you can buy the support you have been assessed as needing.


Direct Payments are a part of the Choice and Control procedure within Health and Adult Services. To be eligible for a Direct Payment, you must first meet the national eligibility criteria.

You may be entitled to a Direct Payment if you are:

  • disabled and aged 16 or over
  • a carer aged 16 or over, including having a parental responsibility for a disabled child or older person
  • a person with learning difficulties
  • a mental health service user.

In order to get a Direct Payment, the first step is to contact the Royal Borough's Contact Assessment Team (CAT) so that we can carry out an assessment of your needs.