Self-directed support - Option 1

As part of self-directed support, there are several options for managing your care. Option 1, Direct Payment is one of these options.

You can choose to have your individual budget paid direct to yourself, or a nominated person. You would use this money for your care needs. You choose and direct how the budget is used, and manage your own budget. This is known as an Option 1, or a Direct Payment.

Bank account

You will be asked to open a bank account for us to make payment to, and this must not be used for any other personal banking transactions. Payments will be made to this account every four weeks.

Payroll service

If you are going to be employing staff, you can ask us to pay the employee wages and expenses to an approved payroll company, who will make payments on your behalf. Or, if you would prefer to be responsible for paying the employee wages, we can make payment directly to you. You still can ask a payroll company to calculate the amount of wages and national insurance payments. 

Please note that the payroll companies charge for these services, and the cost will be added to your Individual Budget. If you would like to use a payroll service, you should let your worker know this when you are agreeing your Support Plan. Your worker will explain the options available to you, and can make arrangements for a managed bank account to be opened with the provider if required. We cannot make payment to a payroll company for anything other than employee related costs. So we may still ask you to open your own separate bank account, depending on your Support Plan.

Your contributions

If you are asked to pay a contribution, the way we will ask you to pay it will depend on how your Support Plan is made up.

You may be asked to pay your contribution in to the bank account that you opened for your Individual Budget payments (every four weeks). You should never pay your contribution to an account held with a payroll company.

We may send you an invoice for your contribution (in most cases, every four weeks). There are many ways in which you can make payment, and these will be listed on the invoice. You should not pay the invoices from your Individual Budget money, they should be paid from your personal funds. When your Individual Budget is set up, we will write to you confirming the details, and this will include how you should pay your contribution. If you do not understand how you should pay, it is important that you ask your worker to explain it to you.

Keeping records

You will be asked to keep records of how you spend your Individual Budget. You will be asked to complete what we call a Budget Monitoring return on a regular basis and you should send this to your worker. 

This is a simple form in which we ask for information on the amount of money you have received from us, and a breakdown of how you have spent the money. Your worker will explain how to complete these forms and how often you should complete them. You will also be asked to send a copy of your bank statement to your worker (for the bank account we make payments to). You will be asked to keep all bank statements, employment records, receipts, invoices etc. for a period of six years plus the current year. You may be asked to send them to us at a later date. 

Left over money

If you haven’t used all of your budget and have money left over in the bank account, it doesn’t mean that you can spend it on anything other than your agreed outcomes. Any balance may go towards your following year’s budget, or we may ask you to return it to us. If you would like to use the budget in different way from what was agreed, you must seek approval from your worker before making any purchases. 

If you do spend your budget on things not agreed in your Support Plan, then we will ask you to pay the money back to us.

Forms to complete

Your worker will ask you to complete some forms to allow us to set up your Direct Payment. Your worker will be on hand to help you complete the forms.

Payment by BACS form

This form asks for details of your name, address and the bank account that we will be making payment to. We need this so we can add your bank account details to our payments system. We cannot accept your bank details on anything other than this form. We cannot make payment to you until this form has been completed.

Financial Assessment Form

This allows us to calculate if you need to pay a contribution towards your Individual Budget. You may also be asked to sign a mandate giving us permission to access your financial information. This is a separate form. Your worker may ask you to sign this if your financial information requires to be verified.

If you do not wish to have a financial assessment carried out, and are happy to pay the maximum contribution, then you will be asked to sign the appropriate section on the form.

Supported Person Agreement

You will be asked to sign an agreement to confirm that you understand your responsibilities of holding an individual budget. Your worker will explain terms of the agreement before they ask you to sign it. 

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