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Frequently Asked Questions > FAQ > What are Direct Payments?

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There are two types of direct payment which could be relevant to you and the person you care for.

Direct Payment - pensions and benefits. If you receive benefits or state pensions your money will normally be paid directly into a bank or building society account. This is the safest way to pay you and lets you choose how and when you get your money.

Direct payments - arranging your own care and services. If you qualify for help from social services following an assessment, you can choose to receive payments from them (called 'direct payments') to buy the services you need to meet your needs. This is instead of receiving the services direct from your local council.

Direct payments can be made to


  • disabled people aged 16 or over (with short or long-term needs)
  • disabled parents for children's services
  • carers aged 16 or over (including people with parental responsibility for a disabled child)
  • elderly people who need community care services

The aim of a Direct Payment is to give more flexibility in how services are provided to people who are assessed as eligible for social services support. Providing money instead of social care services can give people greater choice and control over their lives, and let them to make their own decisions about how their care is delivered. Devon County Council has a page on its website which tells you about Direct Payments.


Last updated on April 9, 2012 by Devon Carers