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Direct Payments

What are Direct Payments? 

If you or someone you care for has been assessed by social services as eligible for care and support from the Council, you will be offered a personal budget to meet your care and support needs.  You can ask the council to arrange your care for you and manage your personal budget, or you can opt for a Direct Payment. Bradford Council will make payments directly to you so that you can buy the care and support you need yourself, rather than the council arranging it for you.

Direct Payments aim to give you more flexibility in how your services are provided.  By giving you money instead of social care services, you have greater choice and control over your life and are able to make your own decisions about how your care and support is delivered.  You can choose and pay for the services you want through your Direct Payment as long as you are able to show how they meet your assessed needs.

Who can have a Direct Payment? 

To receive direct payments, you will have had an assessment which identifies that you are eligible to receive social care support.  People who can receive Direct Payments include:

  • older people who need community care services
  • carers aged 16 and over
  • people with parental responsibility for a disabled child
  • a disabled person with parental responsibility for a child for children’s services
  • disabled people aged 16 or over with short or long term needs

To receive a Direct Payment, you, or somebody acting on your behalf (usually a close family member), must be able and willing to arrange, manage and pay for your services and manage your personal budget.

What can Direct Payments be used for? 

  • Employing your own staff (sometimes referred to as Personal Assistants) to help with personal care, social activities, maintaining relationships and support around the home
  • Buying services from a care and support agency
  • Buying services from voluntary and community organisations
  • Arranging short breaks
  • Buying assistive equipment for the home
  • Helping to support you to live a healthy lifestyle

What Direct Payments cannot be spent on

  • Permanent residential and nursing care
  • Employing family members or a partner living in the same household as you
  • Council run care and support services
  • NHS services
  • Personal household items
  • Accommodation and housing costs

Is there a charge for Direct Payments?

As for all adult social care services, there is a charging policy for people over 18 years old.  The amount of money you may have to contribute to the cost of your Direct Payment will depend on your income.  Our team will discuss with you arrangements for paying the contribution.

Are Direct Payments difficult to manage?

We try to make Direct Payments as easy to manage as possible. If you do decide to opt for a Direct Payment, Bradford Council’s Support Options – Direct Payment Team can provide information and advice around managing your Direct Payment. The Direct Payment Team can be contacted between 8.30am and 5pm, Monday to Thursday, and 8.30am to 4.30pm on Fridays. The Direct Payment Team can be contacted at:

Support Options - Direct payment Team

Telephone: 01274 434191


Most people who have a Direct Payment use a payroll company to support with Direct Payment responsibilities, such as paying staff wages and agency invoices.  The cost of using a payroll company will be met through your Direct Payment.

What am I responsible for?

You will be responsible for the following things:

  • Managing the money. You must have a separate Direct Payments bank account and keep records of how the money is spent
  • Arranging any services and sorting out any problems
  • Employing any staff and taking on any legal responsibilities related to them

How can I apply to have a Direct Payment?

If you currently receive care and support funded by Bradford Council and would like to change to Direct Payments, then you should contact your social worker.  If you do not have a Social Worker at present you can contact the Independence Advice Hub on 01274 435400.

If you are applying for support for the first time, your social worker should discuss the option of Direct Payments with you.

If you are eligible for Direct Payments, we will discuss a start date with you so you can make arrangements for your own care and support. When you are happy with the arrangements you will be asked to sign a contract with us, then the payment will be set up.

Further information

For more information about Direct Payments please visit the Bradford Connect to Support Direct Payment Zone.

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