Shropshire Council

I'm a carer

Can I have a direct payment as a carer?

Three adults, one elderly

As a carer you're entitled to have a carers assessment under the Care Act 2014. Carers can receive funded support following an eligible carers assessment. 

You have the option of asking for a direct payment so that you can choose, arrange and pay for support instead of us arranging it for you. The main difference in a carer’s direct payment is that support for carers isn't financially assessed, so you won't be asked to make a financial contribution to the direct payment.

What is a carer's assessment and eligibility

A carer's assessment is an opportunity for you to speak to someone about your caring role and the impact it has on your life. It's not a test to see how well you're caring, but a conversation to identify the support that may assist you to maintain your own health and wellbeing. 

It will consider the impact providing necessary care and support has on you and includes important aspects such as: 

  • Whether you're able and willing to carry on caring
  • Whether you're currently working or want to work in future
  • Whether you want to study or socialise more
  • What can you do to remain well

There are various organisations which can support you in this, and you should ensure that you have regular health check-ups, and try to stay fit and active and remain independent.

How will the local council decide if my needs as a carer are eligible for their support?

Person thinkingThe Care Act 2014 introduced national rules for deciding who is eligible for care and support. You'll meet the eligibility criteria if there's likely to be a significant impact on your wellbeing as a result of your caring role.

Find out more about carer assessments on our Shropshire Choices pages. 

Following confirmation of eligibility your social care worker should discuss and plan with you how to meet your eligible outcomes. This will be written in your carer's support plan. If you choose to have a direct payment, it will be written and agreed with you here. 

Hear from a carer in Shropshire

"I'm a full-time carer for my adult daughter who has Down’s syndrome. She’s past college and I don't think a day centre is for her. Instead, she goes horse riding, to the gym and to other activities.  

Since this madness (coronavirus) started her routine has gone. We have no routine.

I use my direct payment for massages as I have a bad back and fibromyalgia. I’ve been unable to have a massage since Covid restrictions started. I read about a body pillow to sleep with as it aligns the spine and helps to give a more restful sleep. Sleep has been a struggle for years!  

I asked if I could buy the body pillow with my direct payment. Thankfully, the direct payments team said yes. Good on them for thinking outside the box as everyone has different needs. If carers are cared for then we do a better job, and let's face it we save the government a fortune! 

I’ve wanted a camper van for a couple of years but thought I would do it now. If my daughter is miserable, we can just up and go and have a change of scenery whilst social distancing. Having the toilet with us means we don't have to use public toilets. Sometimes I've gone on my own when my husband is home. I come back feeling better for the break and continue doing what I do happier and with more energy.  We stopped overnight on a site a few weeks back, but the mattress was terrible. Yet again the direct payments caped crusaders agreed to let me use my money to get myself a better mattress for the camper. 

My direct payment built up during this lockdown. There are so many other ways that it could be used to help us when we need it most. I asked for help in these difficult scary times and they helped." 

What can I spend my direct payment on?

Question mark

The direct payment is for goods and/or services that achieve the outcomes detailed in your carer's support plan. We can't give an exhaustive list of what it can be used for as everyonetheir outcomes and support plan will be different. Some examples:  

  • A large condenser tumble dryer to enable a carer to continue caring whilst working and maintaining their daughter’s health 
  • Agency hours to provide sitting service for carer to have a break 
  • Amount per week for leisure activities that they can't access with cared-for person. Examples include, but aren't limited to, a meal out, days out, shows, travel for days out  
  • Night sits to provide cover for when a carer needs to travel for work or wants to stay with a friend/family member overnight 

You must use the direct payment legally and can't use it for:  

  • Long term residential or nursing care  
  • Services from Shropshire Council 
  • Items that don't meet the agreed outcomes in your support plan
  • Services or equipment for which we're not responsible, for example health services funded by the NHS
  • Anything illegal

The steps to setting up a direct payment

Take a look at our 'I'm an adult' page for more information, but please note that financial assessment and contribution don’t apply to carers' direct payments.

Helpful links