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Direct payments are local council payments for people who have been assessed as needing help from social services, and who would like to arrange and pay for their own care and support services instead of receiving them directly from the local council.

A person must be able to give their consent to receiving direct payments and be able to manage them even if they need help to do this on a day-to-day basis.

Quick links to questions:

Who is eligible for Direct Payments?
How much do you get?
How is it paid?
What can you use direct payments for?
Do I have to provide records?
Can carers get Direct Payments?
Will they affect other benefits?
What to do if your circumstances change?
Where do I go for more information?
How can I appeal against a decision?
Help and Advocacy from Age Concern Leicester, Shire and Rutland

Who is eligible?
If you already receive social services, your local council is obliged to offer you the option of direct payments in place of the services you currently receive. (There are some limited circumstances where you are not given this choice and your council will be able to tell you about these.)

If you're not receiving social services, you'll need to contact your local council to ask them to assess your needs. Social services (and therefore direct payments) are normally available if you are:

• Disabled and aged 16 or over

• A parent or carer aged 16 or over (including people with parental responsibility for a disabled child)

• An older person

• If you've been refused social services

• If your local council has decided that you do not need social care services, it will not offer you direct payments. If you think your needs or circumstances have now changed, ask your local council for a new assessment.

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