Using your Direct Payment

You can use your Direct Payment for anything that meets the needs and the goals identified in your assessment and support plan.

The services you buy must:

  • meet the outcomes as agreed in your support plan
  • be affordable within your allocated budget
  • be legal.

Examples of what you can spend on

Direct Payment spending may include the following...

Personal care

Choose a personal assistant who can visit you at a time of your choosing to support you with washing and dressing. A personal assistant can also help you with a whole range of other tasks. For example, shopping, gardening and cooking.

Social activities

For example, you can employ a friend who can take you to an art gallery, football match, or theatre.

Respite care

You can use Direct Payment to pay for support so you can go on holiday or to give your carer a break.


You can use Direct Payment to buy equipment such as a washing machine for helping with the laundry.

Things you can't spend on

Remember, your personal budget is designed to meet your social care needs, so there are some things you can't spend it on. You will not be allowed to pay for:

  • services that are not related to your support plan or assessment
  • long-term residential or nursing care
  • anything that makes life worse for you, or places you at unacceptable risk
  • anything illegal, including drugs, alcohol, gambling, prostitution, or paying people 'cash in hand'
  • employing family members who already live with you (except in exceptional circumstances)
  • household bills, clothes, food, paying off debt, or anything not related to your social care needs
  • things that are not value for money because there are more cost effective options
  • services that should be provided by the National Health Service (NHS), such as physiotherapy.

Note: You should not need to use your budget to purchase daily living equipment as suitable items may be loaned to you, or provided free on prescription. Your budget is also not designed to pay for adaptations to you home.