New and Confused re direct payments

Its great to join . I wonder if anyone could give me some advise please
I live and care for my 95 yr old mum who is bed bound. I was a teacher , but now just work a few hours per week as she cannot be left for very long .
In December as my own health deteriorated , I finally started to get a lovely nurse to help for around 6 hours per week . My daughter , a psychology graduate who lives away also started to come at weekends to give me a break with caring ( around 4 hours )
It was then i was told about getting some finding for care through direct payments.
I finally had the financial assessment last week and it has been agreed that we will get the payments plus a back payment from December .
Unfortunately I have been naive, and haven’t gone about things properly !

So these are the questions:

  1. The nurse doesn’t want to be self employed so I will have to employ her , which having looked into it looks so complicated! She is brilliant and i don’t want to lose her . I was presuming I will employ my daughter also as she cant be self employed for one person ?Obviously I should have already done this from December !
  2. Becoming an employer and registering seems so complicated : I gave up on the HR site !
  3. I have now been told my daughter cant be a PA at weekends despite the fact she is brilliant with mum and experienced and doesn’t live here .
  4. If I get the lump sum I will need to back pay to myself even though I have already paid in cash ! ( I haven’t paid my daughter yet as we were waiting for the direct payments to get sorted )
  5. If i cant back pay or use my daughter , I will have a large sum of money to do something with ? Can it be used for new bedding , soiled carpet replacement , new kettle , toaster , towels , tumble drier for mum as she is terribly incontinent and needs these things . There will still be lots left !
  6. Im so confused and depressed my this. Thanks for reading

Hi Chris … welcome to the canteen.

Direct Payments ?


( No. 3 above … the very essence of the minefield ! )

Numerous appearances on the forum … links to just some of the most relevant follow
… the first being THE MINEFIELD :\\\\

For the cherry on the top , the official guide to DPs :

Personal budgets for social care - NHS

Also , you’re probably find an old kitchen sink in one ?

Enough from me … time for some reading ?

( Understand that lot and select DPs as your specialist subject on Mastermind ? )

Feel very free to bounce observations and further questions off us here on the forum !

Thanks so much Chris .
Yes I had already done some reading !
I guess the difference is my daughter doesnt live here !
Feel ready to give up on it all really :confused: :-???

Your welcome.

Daughter ?

No problem being EMPLOYED under DPs … either living in or outside … it’s what comes with it … bye bye carer , hello
employee … Employment law / Health & Safety / Pensions etc. … even a trade union ? … beginning to see the picture
… painted , perhaps , by Picasso … on a bad day ?

Give up ?

Only DPs !

Shame … CHC / NHS Continuing Healthcare … could have been on the menu !

Some out there leave it either the LA or local care agency to play mum … THE EMPLOYER … leaving the mountain of
paperwork to them.

How cost effective that may be will be down to you to try some " What ifs " when comparing prices.

Others , perhaps more prosperous , would seek a p.a. type carer … and then take on the role of the employer and
all that comes with it … feelin’ lucky , punk ?

( interview 4 likely candidates … job goes to one … one of the other three shouts DISCRIMINATION !
And that could well be just the start ? Chosen candidate might have supplied false references ? )

Hi Chris,
Welcome to the forum.

Carers Uk have fact sheets on DP’s here Direct payments | Carers UK

I have DP’s for S, although I’m the employer in name, we use a payroll service - Penderels Trust. The DP money goes straight to them and the paid carers submit time sheets and Penderels pay them.
The LA include the cost of using a payroll service in the DP sum.

Beware of using the DP for things other than care, unless this has been agreed in advance.

Does your Mum claim Attendance Allowance? Thus would be a good way to juggle the money a bit?

I think you need to ask the social worker how to deal with the backdated money and the fact you have already paid the nurse in cash, as you need to be clear and transparent over this. Don’t be surprised though if they don’t know though! Ours didn’t. Luckily Penderels could advise us. If necessary, contact Carers Uk helpline.

Re your daughter, you can pay her with DP’s as she doesn’t live with your Mum. I think they might be bring pernickety about this as she sleeps over at weekends? Do they realise she lives elsewhere? Most people use DP’s to employ people they already know.


On the question of paying a family member AS AN EMPLOYEE living in house or outside … no problem under
Employment law … LAs might be misinterpreting the law or something within the DP guidelines that clash
with said Employment law.

Idea time for the Carers UK Advice Team to report back on this Issue ( An issue picked up by US ) … been
upstairs since … 29 September 2018.

DPs ?

Only been out there for … TEN years ?

Back then , who didn’t do their homework … and … it was not CarerWatch … we did warn anybody who was listening !

Page 3 !

Thanks so much for the advice .
I guess the big mistake I have made is not regestering with HR as an employer and the taking out libality insurance .
What is the best way of setting up the liability insurance and how much is it ?
I suppose at the begining of December I didnt realise the complexities .
Now having looked at the HR site and how I have to set up my own business , name etc : Im really panicking .
Could you suggest a step by step guide ?
I didnt realise how stupid I was haha . All the sleepless nights with mum have obviously taken its toll !
Thanks again .

Your welcome , Chris.

Assuming setting yourself up as an employer and hiring a paid care worker ( ? ) … a guide to the basics ;

Employing personal assistants

Employment liability insurance … the basics :

Employers' liability insurance - GOV.UK

Cost ?

Numerous price comparison sites out there … an Internet search will reveal.

Caveat emptor ???

When it comes to pay rates , please don’t fall into the trap.

PAID carer workers … MINIMUM WAGE … not family / kinship carers … 38p per hour if a " 168 less sleep " hours one !!!

( " Ah , why employ one care worker when I can get 3 family / kinship ones … and change ? " )

( " Sorry squire , it doesn’t work like that ! Mmmm , £ 1.81 an hour … tempting ? " ?

Even with Carers Allowance , different hourly rates apply … depending on the hours you care !

Hi Chris
Beware Direct Payments. They should only be used to cover the care detailed in your Mums care and support plan. If you don’t have a copy get one from the SD asap.
If that doesn’t cover your daughter caring at weekends, then that might be why they are saying the money can’t be used for that.
There was a recent Ombudsman case where part of the direct payments were supposed to be used for swimming sessions but the family couldn’t find a Paid Carer who would take the person swimimng so they used the money for other activities but then the SS demanded the money back because it hadn’t been used for the purpose in the care Plan. The Ombudsmen agreed.
Likewise if Direct Payment money isnt spent it can be reclaimed by the SS which has caught out some people who were saving it for a respite break

Yep … A MINEFIELD , Chris ?

And , without a map … at times ?

What Mrs.A’s post omitted was the amount involved … a hundred at the most … even two ?

Perhaps a monthly stocktake will be in order ?

Unused teabags … 4 … there should be 5 … panic ?

Those bean counters out there really earn their monies … fiddling their own overtime and expenses sheets ?

Thanks Mrs A and Chris

Oh dear . Why is it so complicated when its supposedly there to help .
As far as I know i havent had a care plan .
I was just told that mum would be entitled to 10 .5 hours per week in care to enable me to get back to work and that I could arrange the hours accordingly .
Maybe the care plan is arranged once the direct payments are sent ?

I obviously need to register with HR immedietely ( so I have to set up a company ) ? and take out liability insurance in that order ?
If they wont accept my daughter as a weekend PA , then there will be a lot of left over money from December . I guess I just give it back ? :frowning:

Care plan ?

Any LA is obliged to sent you a written care plan.

**Care and support plans> Care and support plans are for anyone who needs care or cares for someone else.

A care and support plan says:
the type of support you need.

how this support will be given.

how much money your council will spend on your care.

This means you can :

stay as independent as possible.

have as much control over your life as possible.

do the things you enjoy.

know what type of care is right for you.

understand your health condition and care needs better.

It also helps your family and friends understand how they can help you.
How to get a care and support plan

First, you’ll need to contact social services at your local council.

They’ll speak to you about the problems you’re having. This is called an assessment.

Afterwards, the support you need is written up as a care and support plan. You should get a copy of this within a few weeks.

There are 2 types of assessment. One is for people who need care and the other is for people who care for someone else.

What care and support plans include

Care and support plans include:
what’s important to you.

what you can do yourself.

what equipment or care you need.

what your friends and family think.

who to contact if you have questions about your care.

your personal budget (this is the weekly amount the council will spend on your care.)

what care you can get from your local council.

how and when care will happen.

If you’re a carer, it will also include:
respite care options so you can take a break.

details of local support groups.

training, such as how to lift safely.

Reviewing your care and support plan.

Your care and support plan will be reviewed regularly to see what’s working and not working, and if it’s still the best support for you.

This usually happens within the first few months of support starting and then once every year.


If at any time you’re unhappy with your care, call adult social services at your local council and ask for a review.
How to complain about an assessment or care plan

If you’re not happy with how your assessment or care plan was done, you have a right to complain.

First complain to your local council. It should have a formal complaints procedure on its website.

If you’re not happy with the way the council handles your complaint, contact the local government and social care ombudsman. This is an independent person who looks into complaints about organisations.**

Time and a half on Sunday ???

Time and a quarter for cash !

All donations to your local food bank … 1 in 13 chance a family / kinship carer will be most grateful !!!

The Care and Support Plan should have come out of the assessments. Often the SS are a bit tardy actually writing them up, but I suggest you call asap and ask for your copy as you are unsure what it covers.

Who told you you can’t pay daughter? From what you’ve said I think you can, but often SS get it wrong but let’s get the Care Plan first then see.

You don’t have to be a company or set one up to employ a Carer - think of all the Mums that employ Nannies .
Try to get, or create receiptsfor anything you have paid put carewise so far, especially the payments to the nurse. Or keep bank statemtns that show the money going out.

Take a deep breath and re-read the responses so far including all the links. There’s no rush to this. Your council should have leaflet on direct payments, or on their website too.

Btw, my local council are going to put direct payments as the default option, as if carers didn’t have enough to cope with already. We’ll all need law and accounting degrees at this rate :unamused:

Mmmmm … Direct Payments basics ?

Personal budgets for social care - NHS

Choosing how to receive your personal budget

You can ask the council to either:

manage your personal budget for you.
pay the money to another organisation – such as a care provider.
pay the money directly to you or someone you choose – this is known as a direct payment.

You can also choose a combination of these options. For example, the council could arrange some of your care but send you the rest of the money. This is often called a mixed package or “mix and match”.

If the council manages your money

The money in your personal budget will be spent for you by the council. They will arrange all your care and support based on your agreed care plan.

They still need to check you’re happy with the care they’re arranging for you.
If your money is paid to another organisation

The organisation you choose, such as your care provider, will speak to the council and arrange the payments.

Sometimes other organisations charge you extra money to arrange payments from the council.

More the " Basics " within the above link.

Social services are saying no family members !
I dont know how much i can argue about this !,
It also means I will have the payment to my daughter since December as a build up on the difect back payments with no where for it to go !
Any idea how I can argue this ?
My daughter doesnt live at home . Is experienced at care work . Is DBs checked and is really good with my mum .
SS say if I cant find someone to do the time alloted they will contact an agency , but thats not something we want !

One for the Carers UK Advice Team , Chris.

( If EMPLOYED as a carer , I don’t see the problem but … let’s see what CUK make of it ? )

They are aware of the DP / family member problem under the whole aspect of DPs as mentioned in that
very first link in answer to your first post.

Contact details follow … best by email :

Let us know the outcome … I can then update that thread if necessary.