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Financial Assistance for Looked After Children Aged 16 and Over and for Young People who have Left Care

SCOPE OF THIS CHAPTER

This procedure should be reviewed annually, on / after 6th April, to reflect the annual increase in Income Support. Young Persons Allowances are based upon a Basic Entitlement which is equal to the Government higher rate of Income Support.

The rate of Income Maintenance payable to young people will change annually based upon the annual increased rate of Government Income Support.

Other rates will be reviewed annually; however, they may not change. For example the 'rounded' figure for Holiday Allowance may stay the same and only be increased every 2 or 3 years. Rates which fall into this category are:

Setting up home allowances
Birthday allowance
Christmas / Cultural Celebration allowance
Holiday allowance
Books, Equipment & Clothing allowance

OTHER RELEVANT CHAPTER

Placement in Supported Lodgings Procedure

This is a new chapter for June 2010.

1. General Principles

The Children (Leaving Care) Act 2000 places responsibilities upon Local Authorities to support Care Leavers through the transition from being in Care to living outside the care system. To ensure all the young peoples' needs are met, there is a legal requirement at 16 for each young person to be allocated a Personal Adviser. The Social Worker works with the Personal Adviser and the young person to develop a Needs Assessment and Pathway Plan to ensure their accommodation, financial, education/training/employment; support, health and leisure needs are met.

The Leaving Care Act introduced financial arrangements for Looked After Children aged 16 and over and care leavers and makes it clear that the responsible authority will normally be the young persons primary source of income up to age 18.

16/17 year olds do not usually have access to Income Support, Job Seekers Allowance or Housing Benefit. All such financial assistance comes from Children and Young People Service and will include Income Maintenance, Accommodation, Housing Costs and other expenses such as Travel and Leisure.

There are exceptions to this, namely for Lone Parents, Children with a Disability and young people Placed at Home with their Parents who can claim Income Support but not housing benefit.

The Leaving Care Act created three legal categories of young people.

Eligible young people remain Looked After, aged 16-17, and have been in care for at least 13 weeks since the age of 14. The role of the Leaving Care Service with these young people is to develop a Pathway Plan which defines their current Service and is clear as to the support that will be available when they leave care.

Relevant young people are aged 16-17 who have previously been Looked After for 13 weeks including sometime as a 16 year old, who have left care. Relevant young people have their maintenance and accommodation costs paid by the Council as defined within the financial policy.

Former Relevant young people are Care Leavers aged over 18 but have not yet reached 21, and were Eligible or Relevant prior to their 18th birthday. These young people have their accommodation and maintenance needs met through the same systems open to other young people of the same age. i.e. they can usually claim Income Support and financial assistance with housing costs.

Former Relevant young people have access to personal support and some ad hoc financial support to assist with meeting some specific needs identified in the financial policy.

Qualifying

In addition, some young people qualify for support (1989 Children Act Sect 24).

Qualifying young people are over 16 and under 21, who have spent less than 13 weeks in care with at least some time as a 16 year old. These young people are entitled to advice and some limited financial assistance as defined within the financial policy.

Equality: Young people should not be disadvantaged because of where they are placed. The scheme applies to all children who have achieved school leaving age. 

Reasonableness: In determining the level of financial support we have consistently returned to the same question; How could a reasonable parent behave in such circumstances? That said, all parents are different and there may be nuances in their responses. However, the position that the paper adopts would be considered reasonable.

Independence: Young people living in the care system will eventually live in the "real world" with all its pressures and difficulties. As corporate parents, we need to prepare young people for living independently and not leading them to expect a standard that may not be available to them once they have achieved independence.

Reward: In order to support young people into independence, it is important to reward behaviour that will support them as adults. Pathway Plans identify a route to support young people achieve independence and young people following their plan will be appropriately rewarded. Young people not following their plan will not be penalised but neither will they receive the financial rewards available to other young people who are following their pathway plan.

Qualifying Age: This paper takes the view that a young person's 16th birthday does not in itself opens doors. Young people may not leave school until after their 16th birthday. This paper then proposed that the changes occur at the time of the official school leaving age rather than on the young person's 16th birthday. It is proposed that the level of "spend" etc. will continue at the same level as a 15 year old until the young person is officially a school leaver.

The Leaving Care Team exists to offer a comprehensive Leaving Care Service for those young people who are or have been Looked After. The Team works with young people aged 15½-21 (24 if the young person is completing full-time further or higher education).

2. Basic Entitlements

Young People become entitled to financial assistance from Children and Young Peoples Service from the statutory school leaving age, this is always on the last Friday of June of the school year in which they are 16. If young people are in employment then their earnings will be taken into consideration when determining their entitlement. For young people in full time education, any part time earnings will usually be disregarded. For young people in part time education, earnings will be means tested.

Income Maintenance

What is it

Income Maintenance is paid by the Local Authority and is set at the same rate as, and will increase in line with, Income Support - currently £50.95 (effective from 6/4/2009 05/04/2010) No young person should receive less than this amount per week; however, in a placement where food is provided, they will be expected to make a 'board' payment in preparation for living independently.

It is made up of:

Spending money    £12.45 (24.4%)
Board   £17.90 (35.1%)
Clothing/travel etc £20.60 (40.4%)

Who gets it

Once young people reach statutory school leaving age, they should start to receive Income Maintenance and continue to do so until their 18th birthday.

Former Relevant young people who are in full-time further education after their 20th Birthday are no longer entitled to Income Support. If a young person continues or commences education beyond their 18th birthday, this should be encouraged and the young person should receive Income Maintenance if unable to receive Income Support.

Qualifying young people, who are engaged in education or training and not in receipt of Income support, should also receive Income Maintenance.

Financial support for Former Relevant and Qualifying young people who are engaged in part-time education or training will be pro-rata based on the scale below:

Education  / Training Course Weekly Allowance
Full-Time (16 hrs per week) £50.95
Part-time £10.20 per day

Exceptions

Lone Parents, Children with a Disability and young people placed at home with parents are entitled to access Income Support and should do so.

Fuel Allowance:

Young people who are either in their own or a shared tenancy and have responsibility for paying utility bills (gas/electricity/water) will receive, in addition to all other payments, a weekly £10 allowance towards utility bills. Personal Advisors will make appropriate arrangements to ensure that the fuel allowance is offset against fuel costs.

Exceptions

Young people over 18 who are not in education would not be entitled to be paid a fuel allowance.

3. Incentive Payments

Education Maintenance Allowance

What is it

EMA is managed by the Learning & Skills Council (LSC) and is a means tested cash payment of up to £30 to encourage young people to continue in education beyond 16.

Who gets it

Eligible, Relevant, Former Relevant and Qualifying Young People should apply for EMA, if they are engaged in further education* for 16 hours or more per week. They will usually get the highest rate of £30 pw.

* EMA is payable for full-time further education courses, LSC funded entry to employment (e2e) or a Programme Led Apprenticeship.

Education / Training Incentive

What is it

An incentive payment to encourage Young People to continue to engage in Education after their 16th birthday. The amount of incentive payment is governed by the number of hours attended each week as in the table below:

Who gets it

Eligible, Relevant and Former Relevant young people should apply for the LSC funded EMA payment, only if they are unsuccessful, should they receive the Education / Training incentive payment.

If a Former Relevant young person is being assisted in this way with an agreed course or education or training and it is detailed in their Pathway Plan, then they remain a former relevant young person until the end of their agreed programme, even if it takes them past the age of 21. In these circumstances, the incentive should continue to be paid until the agreed end of the course.

If young people are on a course which would qualify for Educational Maintenance allowance i.e. over 16 hours per week, then they are considered to be in full-time education.

For young people on other courses, payment will be on the actual time attended in half days. Young people may be in college for 16 hours, but this may be counted as 4 days (£24) rather than full-time (£30).

Incentive payments are made pro-rata based on the grid below:

Full-time course 16 hours pw £30
Part-time course 4 days £24
Part-time course 3 days £18
Part-time course 2 days £12
Part-time course 1 day £6
Part-time course ½ day £3

NB. Young People should get either EMA or the Education / Training incentive payment NOT both.

EMA / Incentive payments during holidays

Young people who are in receipt of an incentive payment for engaging in education should continue to receive the same level of payment during non term time periods, for example summer holidays and Christmas break, provided that they are part way through their course of study and have every intention to resume the course when the next term starts. Young people, should, however, NOT receive a lunch allowance during these periods.

Young people who receive the Governments' EMA during term time, do not receive this payment during out of term periods. So not to be financially disadvantaged compared to other young people (see above), consideration, at the Leaving Care Team Manager's discretion, should be given to providing the same level of financial support during non term time periods as they receive during term time. The payment of 'Bonuses' for attendance / course content completion from Government funding, should be taken into account when deciding the appropriate level of payment.

Short courses

For young people attending a part time, time limited course, the incentive payment may be paid as a lump sum at the end rather than a weekly payment. For example - for a 10 week ½ day course, a young person will have the incentive of a £30 lump sum payment.

Travel Allowance

What is it

An incentive payment to Young People to engage in Education after their 16th birthday. The amount of incentive payment is governed by the number of days attended each week as in the table below:

Who gets it

Eligible, Relevant, and Former Relevant young people who are engaged in Further or Higher Education or Training. Qualifying young people, who are engaged in education or training and not in receipt of Income support:

Full-time course 16hrs per week £15 (weekly bus pass)
Part-time course 4 days per week £12
Part-time course 3 days per week £9
Part-time course 2 days per week £6
Part-time course 1 day per week £3
Part-time course ½  day per week £3

NB. Where young people are provided with a bus pass or fares by their training provider then they will not be entitled to travel allowance.

Employment

A basic rule is established that no young person should be financially disadvantaged by being in paid employment as opposed to being in Further Education, Higher Education or Training. The minimum a young person should receive if in Full-Time employment (over 16 hours per week) in a placement where food is provided is:

Income Maintenance £33.05 + EMA / Educational Incentive £30 + Travel Allowance £15 = £78.05

Where food is NOT provided, the minimum would be £50.95 + £30 + Travel £15 = £95.95

If this figure is not covered by the young persons weekly net earnings, then a top up to £78.05 (where young person is not responsible for buying food)or £95.95 (where young person is responsible for buying food) should be provided.

Similarly, those young people in Part-time employment should receive the following minimum weekly amount based upon the number of hours the young person is working. If the young persons wage does not amount to the following based upon number of hours worked, then top up payments should be made.

Who gets it?

Eligible and Relevant young people only.

P-T Employment Basic IM Equivalent Education / Training incentive Equivalent Daily Lunch allowance Minimum a Young Person receives
4 days per week £33.05 £24.00 £12.00 £69.05
3 days per week £33.05 £18.00 £9.00 £60.05
2 days per week £33.05 £12.00 £6.00 £51.05
1 day per week £33.05 £6.00 £3.00 £42.05
½ day per week £33.05 £3.00 £3.00 £39.05

4. Contributions

Board

The level of contributions made by a young person should be in relation to their earnings. Where a young person is living in accommodation where food is provided e.g. supportive lodgings, they should pay 'board' according to the scale below.

Board

Caption: Contributions Board
   
Each young person pays a minimum of £17.90 per week if in a placement where food is provided.
If earning: Contribution
Up to £100 £17.90
£101-£125 £21.00
£126-£150 £26.00
£151-£175 £31.00
£176-£200 £41.00
Maximum payable per week = £41.00  

Rent

Where a young person is in paid employment and their net weekly take home pay is above £95.95, they should pay a rent contribution based on the table of contributions at Appendix 1: Financial Authorisation Form.

Young people whose net weekly take home pay is less than £95.95 are not expected to make a contribution to their rent.

Young people who provide their own food should not be expected to pay both Board and Rent contributions.

5. Other Financial Assistance

Housing Costs

Rent

Who gets it

Support with rent payments is available to Eligible and Relevant young people.

Former Relevant young people engaged in Further or Higher Education would normally be entitled to financial support which include a rent element.

Qualifying young people and Former Relevant young people who are not in Further or Higher Education will not be entitled to financial support with their accommodation costs, instead, they should claim Housing Benefit.

What is it?

Reasonable costs will be paid for rent, these will normally be as approved by Housing Benefit, but higher rent costs will be considered on an individual basis.

Young people with an income over £78.05 per week will be expected to contribute to their rent. There is no upper limit placed on the rent contributions a young person is expected to make. Refer to table of contributions at Appendix 2: Earnings Based Rent Contributions

Setting up home allowance

Starter Pack £100
Setting up home allowance £1,700
After moving-in allowance £200

Who gets it:

Both Eligible and Relevant young people are entitled to access the Setting Up Home Allowance.

Former Relevant and Qualifying young people should apply for a Community Care Grant. Setting Up Home Allowance can be provided on an assessed needs basis. Should a Community Care Grant be awarded, this amount should be deducted from any Setting Up Home Allowance already paid.

Other than where a young person is in higher education, no one will be entitled to a Setting Up Home Allowance after the age of 21.

What is it?

Independent Living:

A setting up home allowance is a one-off payment which is used to enable a young person to move to an independent living situation, and can only be accessed when a young person secures a tenancy of a flat or a house and this is in accordance with their pathway plan.

The preferred option is for the accommodation to be provided by the local authority, a housing association or a voluntary sector housing scheme. In some circumstances a private rented tenancy may be appropriate.

The Setting Up Home Allowance should only be requested when it is considered appropriate for the young person to move to an independent form of accommodation.

Any shared tenancy should be jointly furnished and, as such, entitlement is up to half of the Setting Up Home Allowance.

The Setting Up Home Allowance is paid according to need and up to a maximum level. Refer to list of basic equipment at Appendix 3

Supported Accommodation

If a young person moves into supported accommodation, then they can access up to £250 of their Setting Up Home Allowance. This allowance can only be accessed after an assessment of need has been made and must be used for essential items only.

The after moving in element of £200 should only be made after the young person has successfully maintained their tenancy for at least 3 months.

Birthday Allowance

Who gets it?

Eligible and Relevant young person is cooperating will receive a Birthday Allowance of £150 on their 16th 17th and 18th Birthdays. 

A Former Relevant Young Person will receive a Birthday Allowance of £25 on their 19th and 20th Birthdays and £50 on their 21st birthday.

Young People who are Looked After and Placed at Home with Parents will receive a Birthday Allowance of £25 on their 19th and 20th Birthdays and £50 on their 21st birthday.

Exceptions

A Qualifying Young Person will not be entitled to a Birthday allowance.

Young people in custody at the time of their 16th, 17th or 18th Birthday who would normally be entitled to the Birthday Allowance should have their allowance banked and given to them upon their release from custody. A young person in custody should receive only one Birthday Allowance of this type i.e. if the young person remains in custody for more than 12 months a second birthday allowance should not be paid or banked for the young person.

Christmas / Cultural Celebration Allowance

Who gets it?

Eligible and Relevant young people will receive a Christmas or Cultural Celebration Allowance of £150 once a year.

A Former Relevant Young Person will receive a Christmas or Cultural Celebration Allowance of £25 once a year.

Young People who are Looked After and Placed at Home with Parents will receive a Christmas or Cultural Celebration Allowance of £25 once a year.

Note: Young People whose 18th birthday falls within the month of December or within the month of their cultural Celebration where appropriate, will still be entitled to both the 18th Birthday allowance and the Christmas / Cultural Celebration allowance.

Exceptions

A Qualifying Young Person will not be entitled to a Christmas or Cultural Celebration Allowance.

Young people in custody who would normally be entitled to the Christmas / Cultural Celebration Allowance will be entitled to a reduced allowance of £25 which should be  banked and given to them upon their release from custody. A young person in custody should receive only one Christmas / Cultural Celebration Allowance whilst in custody.

Holiday Allowance

Who gets it?

If Eligible and Relevant young people are co-operating with their individual Pathway Plans, they are entitled to a holiday allowance of £350 once a year up to their 19th birthday. If a young person is not co-operating with their Pathway Plan, payment of the holiday allowance will be at the discretion of the unit manager following assessment by the personal advisor, and will only be payable in exceptional circumstances.

Exceptions

Qualifying young people are not entitled to a Holiday Allowance.

Young People who are in custody are not entitled to a Holiday Allowance

Young People who are Looked After and Placed at Home with Parents are not entitled to a Holiday Allowance

Higher Education - Former Relevant Young People

Former Relevant young people will be expected to claim a student loan or grant. This will be considered as their income and they will be supported to the Basic Level plus incentives as follows:

Income Maintenance (£33.05) +
Education Incentive (£30) +
Daily Travel allowance (£15)
= £78.05

Where the young person is responsible for their own food provision, the young person should receive an additional £16.83 per week.

£78.05 + £17.90 = £95.95

If the weekly amount of student loan / grant totals less than £78.05 (or £95.95) where own food is provided, the Local Authority will 'top-up' the amount to £78.05 (or £95.95 where own food is provided) plus pay reasonable rent costs.

The young person will be financial supported during term time and at Christmas and Easter holidays. During the summer vacation, financial assistance will be available but the young person would be expected to be employed, and make a rent contribution, during at least some of this time.

Any income from part-time employment during term time should be discounted and will not affect the financial support available.

Books, Equipment & Essential Clothing

An allowance of up to £100 per academic year may be paid towards books, equipment and essential clothing for Eligible and Relevant young people who are in employment or attending a full-time course of education or training. For those attending a part-time course of education or training consideration may be given for a partial payment based on assessed need.

Former Relevant and Qualifying young people who are in full-time education or training may be entitled to an allowance of up to £200 per academic year based on assessed need. In addition, consideration should be given to payment of additional expenses up to a maximum of £100 per academic year for field trips, graduation expenses and specialist equipment.

The above are guideline figures, in all circumstances; the Personal Advisor should make a recommendation for approval by the Team Manager.

Exceptional travel payments

An Eligible, Relevant, Former Relevant or Qualifying young person may however, request an exceptional travel payment where it is necessary for the young person to travel out of area, for example, to attend a job interview.

Child Care Equipment

Eligible, Relevant and Former Relevant young people should apply for a one-off maternity grant of £500 using Form SF100, claims should be submitted in the eleventh week before the baby is due. Where a young person is unable to access this grant, consideration can be made to provide an allowance of up to £500 for essential childcare equipment. If an allowance is given and the maternity grant is subsequently received, then the allowance must be repaid.

Exceptions

Qualifying young people are not eligible for Children & Young People Service funding for childcare equipment.

Dental / Optical assistance

Eligible, Relevant and Former Relevant young people should use form HG109 to entitle them to dental and optical care. In addition, and only where necessary, additional funding can be provided for essential dental care and for spectacles/lenses/frames.

Exceptions

Qualifying young people are not eligible for Children & Young People Service funding for dental or optical assistance.

Emergency Payments

Eligible, Relevant and Former Relevant young people may access emergency payments only in exceptional circumstances. These payments are made to alleviate a particular crisis where a young person has no other access to finance. Such payments should only be made after careful consideration of the circumstances and will be on a one-off basis.

A young person may receive up to £4 per day until they next receive their Income Maintenance. A weekend cash payment of up to £12 can be made to alleviate crisis, however, food parcels or supervised spending on food should always the preferred alternative wherever possible.

Exceptions

Qualifying young people are not eligible for Emergency Payments.

Young people in prison / Custody

Eligible, Relevant and Former Relevant young people in prison /young offenders institutions serving custodial sentences are not deemed to be living independently and therefore do not qualify for Income Maintenance. 

Eligible and Relevant young people will be paid an allowance of £10 per month. This is to enable them to buy toiletries, phone cards etc. Payments must be made by postal order and made payable to the Governor with the young persons details entered on the reverse.

Former Relevant young people, will generally not be entitled to an allowance, however at the Leaving Care Team Managers discretion, can receive up to £50 per year.

Eligible, Relevant and Former Relevant young people who have been granted financial support whilst serving a custodial sentence may, upon release, apply for a clothing grant. This should only be paid in exceptional circumstances upon the discretion of the Team Manager.

Qualifying young people are not eligible for payments of any kind whilst serving custodial sentences.

6. Disabled Young People

Disability Living Allowance

Care component Weekly rate
Highest rate £70.35
Middle rate £47.10
Lowest rate £18.65
Mobility component Weekly rate
Higher rate £49.10
Lower rate £18.65

Guidance on what DLA is payable for:

If you have care needs

To get the care component of Disability Living Allowance, your disability must be severe enough for you to:

  • Need help with things such as washing, dressing, eating, getting to and using the toilet, or communicating your needs; or
  • Need supervision to avoid you putting yourself or others in substantial danger; or
  • Need someone with you when you are on dialysis; or
  • Be unable to prepare a cooked main meal for yourself (if you had the ingredients), if you are aged 16 or over.

There are three rates of care component depending on how your disability affects you:

  • The lowest rate, if you need help or supervision for some of the day or you are unable to prepare a cooked main meal;
  • The middle rate, if you need help or supervision frequently throughout the day, or during the night, or someone with you while on dialysis;
  • The highest rate, if you need help or supervision frequently throughout the day and during the night.

You can get Disability Living Allowance for your care needs even if no one is actually giving you the care you need, even if you live alone.

If you have mobility needs

To get the mobility component of Disability Living Allowance, your disability must be severe enough for you to have the following walking difficulties, even when wearing or using an aid or equipment you normally use:

  • You are unable or virtually unable to walk, or you have no feet or legs; or
  • You are both 100% blind and 80% deaf and you need someone with you when you are out of doors; or
  • You are severely mentally impaired with severe behavioural problems and qualify for the highest rate of care component; or
  • The effort of walking could threaten your life or seriously affect your health; or
  • You need guidance and/or supervision from another person when walking out of doors in unfamiliar places.

There are two rates of the mobility component depending on how your disability affects you:

  • The lower rate, if you need guidance or supervision out of doors;
  • The higher rate, if you have any of the other, more severe, walking difficulties.

Some people will be entitled to only the care component or the mobility component, others will be entitled to both.

Effect on other benefits and entitlements

If you start to get Disability Living Allowance it might increase the amount of other benefits or credits you're entitled to, such as Income Support, Pension Credit, Housing Benefit, Council Tax Benefit, Working Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit.

Disability Living Allowance is normally ignored as income for working out these income-related benefits and credits.

Independent Living Fund

The Independent Living (1993) Fund is designed to help you, if you are disabled, to live independently at home rather than in residential care. You can use payments from the fund to employ people to give you personal and domestic care in your home.

Who can get it?

You can apply to the Independent Living Fund if you:

  • Are over 16 and under 66;
  • Already get social services support to the value of at least £200 a week (this can include direct payments and/or services from your local authority, such as day-centre placement);
  • Receive or are entitled to the care component of the Disability Living Allowance at the highest rate;
  • Live alone or with people who cannot fully meet your care needs;
  • Are at risk of entering residential care (or are currently in residential care and wish to leave and live independently);
  • Are capable of living in the community for at least six months;
  • Have savings of less than £18,500.

How much do you get?

The amount you receive is based on the cost of the care you need, worked out on an hourly or weekly basis.

The maximum available payment is £455 per week. Your savings (capital), income and certain other benefits and expenses also affect how much you get.

See Leaflet 3 - How the Fund Works out your Payments.

Effect on other benefits

Payments from the Fund won't affect your other benefits. This is because they are used to pay for your care so are not counted as income.

But the Independent Living Fund takes half of the Disability Living Allowance and full Severe Disability Premium into account in their financial assessment.

What you can use it for

You can use payments from the Independent Living Fund to pay for employing a care agency or personal assistant(s) to help you with personal and domestic tasks including:

  • Bathing, toileting, washing and dressing;
  • Cooking and shopping;
  • Laundry, cleaning and other household tasks.

You may be able to get personal care when you're socialising or at work.

What you can't use it for

You can't use payments from the Independent Living Fund to pay for:

  • Wages of a spouse, partner or relative (including in-laws) acting as a personal assistant who lives in your house (but it can be used to pay them if they don't live with you);
  • Help from social services, including residential respite care, home care stamp or any other charges;
  • Household bills, including heating, food and clothes;
  • External laundry costs;
  • Childcare;
  • Gardening;
  • Wheelchairs or other equipment or furniture;
  • Adaptations to your home;
  • Care assistance to anyone other than yourself;
  • Holidays;
  • Petrol and other travel expenses;
  • Private hospital or residential care home fees;
  • Hairdressing or chiropody, unless for essential personal care;
  • Physiotherapy, aromatherapy, hydrotherapy or massage.

Direct payments

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.

Who is eligible?

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).

How much do you get?

The amount you receive will depend on the assessment your local council makes of your needs.

What you can use direct payments for

The money is for you to use to arrange the services (including equipment) which will meet the needs the local council has assessed you as having.

As a general principle, councils should aim to leave you to choose how best to meet your assessed needs as long as they are satisfied that agreed support and/or arrangements made, are being met.

What you can't use direct payments for

You cannot use direct payments to:

  • Pay for permanent residential accommodation (but you may be able to use direct payments to secure occasional short periods in residential accommodation, if your local council agrees that is what is needed);
  • Secure a service from your spouse or civil partner, close relatives or anyone who lives in the same household as you, unless that person is someone who you have specifically recruited to be a live-in employee (other than in exceptional circumstances, which your council may agree with you).

Carers and direct payments

If you are a parent or carer aged 16 or over (including people with parental responsibility for a disabled child) you may be eligible for direct payments.

However, you cannot use direct payments to buy services for the person you care for. They can only be spent on getting the support you, as a carer, have been assessed as needing. 

Effect on other benefits

Direct payments are not a replacement of income and therefore do not affect any other benefits you may be receiving.

Appendix 1: Financial Authorisation Form and Housing Costs for Young People Financial Authorisation Form

Click here to view Financial Authorisation Form

Click here to view Housing Costs for Young People Financial Authorisation Form

Appendix 2: Earnings Based Rent Contributions

Click here to view Appendix 2: Earning Based Rent Contributions.

Appendix 3: Setting up Home Allowance - List of Basic Equipment

Essential Items:

  • Smoke Alarms;
  • Contents Insurance;
  • Television Licence;
  • Delivery / Removal Costs.

Furniture:

  • Bed;
  • Wardrobe;
  • Chest of Drawers;
  • Sofa;
  • Easy Chair;
  • Dining Table and Chairs;
  • Coffee Table;
  • Shelving.

Kitchen and Household Equipment:

  • Cooker (including fitting of);
  • Fridge / Freezer;
  • Cutlery;
  • Crockery;
  • Pans;
  • Kettle;
  • Iron / Ironing Board;
  • Bowl / Drainer / Bin;
  • Vacuum Cleaner;
  • Washing Machine (including fitting of);
  • Mop and Bucket;
  • Small Stereo.

Linens and Soft Furnishings:

  • Carpets;
  • Curtains and curtain rails;
  • Duvet;
  • Duvet Sets x2;
  • Sheets x2 Pairs;
  • Pillow x2;
  • Towels x6;
  • Tea Towels x6;
  • Lamp and Lampshade.

Appendix 4: Allowances and Financial Support

Click here to view Appendix 4: Allowances and Financial Support.

Trix procedures

Only valid for 48hrs