Direct Payments

Direct Payments are cash payments, made in lieu of social service provisions, to individuals who have been assessed as needing services. Direct Payments increase choice and promote independence.  
They provide for a more flexible response than may otherwise be possible for individuals and their carers. They help people to decide when and how services are provided and who provides them, who comes into their home, and who becomes involved in very personal aspects of their lives.  
Individuals are able to make their own decisions about how their care is delivered and how this support is shaped. This often takes the form of help around the house, getting out and about - going shopping or to new social settings.
Direct Payments can be paid to: disabled people aged 16 or over; carers; people with parental responsibility for a disabled child; and 16 and 17 year old disabled children.
The Department has produced practical guidance for Health and Social Care Trusts and guides for potential recipients. This information can be viewed on this website.

Guide to receiving Direct Payments

Direct Payments Guidance

  • HSS (ECCU) 5/2006 Allocation of Direct Payments Development Fund (PDF 109KB)
    Guidance for Boards and Trusts on the allocation of the Direct Payments development fund. (Published September 2006)
  • Direct Payments Policy and Practice Review Report  (PDF 244KB)
    This report contains the findings of the review of policy and practice of the administration of Direct Payments by the  Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety. The purpose of the review was to identify the critical success factors which would promote and support the uptake of Direct Payments and to identify management systems which need to be put in place.  (Published April 2005)

Direct Payments Statistics

Information on Direct Payments is collected using the quarterly return CC8. This return monitors the number of Direct Payments and the amount of payment for domiciliary care packages and other activities in effect at the end of the quarter.

Direct Payment Links


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