The Independent living scheme coordinators provides support and advice to people who use Direct Payments, or who are interested in receiving Direct Payments or other support to live independently.

Direct Payments are not a benefit like DLA, but are paid by Social Services instead of providing services, such as home care, or a place in a Day Centre. The money must only be used to buy the services that Social Services were providing you with, or would provide to you following a Community Care Assessment.

Below are some example of how ‘Direct Payments’ can be used:

Mary has a learning disability and attends a Social Services day centre two days each week. This is so Mary can learn to cook and meet other people. The day centre is quite big and Mary does not like going there. Her social worker and advocate helped Mary to get direct payments instead of going to the day centre. With help from her mum and next door neighbour, Mary employed two people, one of whom assists her to attend cookery classes at her local college, the other assists Mary to take part in activities at the local Women’s Centre where she has now made several friends who she goes to the pub with.

Carl needs assistance to get up in the morning and go to bed at night. He also needs assistance to go shopping and to get out and about after work and during the weekends. Carl was receiving help from a care agency paid for by Social Services. However, he found some of the staff patronising and didn’t like a constant stream of strangers assisting him with personal care. Using Direct Payments, Carl now employs three young men who work on a rota.

John has been living in a residential home since becoming disabled ten years ago. He needs 24 hour care and always thought that living in a residential home was the only way of having his needs met. After discussing the situation with his social worker and family, John decided to leave the residential home. He then used his Direct Payments to employ four personal assistants who live in on a weekly rota.

There are many more examples of how disabled people are using Direct Payments. If you are living in the Hull area and would like to know more about using Direct Payments, either phone the independent living scheme team on 01482 878778 or e-mail to: office@choicesandrights.org.up