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
- A Guide to Receiving Direct Payments (Revised 2008) (PDF 313 KB)
A guide offering advice and information for those in receipt of Direct Payments or those thinking about requesting or accepting Direct Payments. (Revised version published November 2008)
- Cantonese Translation of Direct Payments Guide (PDF 406 KB)
A guide for cantonese speakers offering advice and information for those in receipt of Direct Payments or those thinking about requesting or accepting Direct Payments. (Published 2005)
- An Easy Read Guide to Direct Payments (PDF 589 KB)
An easy-read version of the guide offering advice and information for those in receipt of Direct Payments or those thinking about requesting or accepting Direct Payments. . (Published March 2007)
Direct Payments Guidance
- HSC (ECCU) 1/2012 - Direct Payments for persons who lack capacity to consent - interim arrangements (PDF 128 KB)
- Appendix 1a - Enduring Powers of Attorney (EPA) (PDF 65 KB)
- Appendix 1b - EPA Prescribed Form (PDF 31 KB)
- Appendix 1c - EPA - Planning for the Future (PDF 142 KB)
- Appendix 2a - Direct Payment application form (PDF 19 KB)
- Appendix 2b - Office of Care and Protection application form (PDF 49 KB)
- Appendix 2c - Office of Care and Protection medical certificate (PDF 17 KB)
- Appendix 3 - Extra Statutory Authority and monitoring proforma (PDF 20 KB)
- Appendix 4 - Useful contacts (PDF 19 KB)
- HSC (ECCU) 3/2009 - Revised Guidance on Accounting and Monitoring Requirements for Payments made under the Carers and Direct Payments Act (NI) 2002 (PDF 66 KB)
This version replaces the 2005 guidance by the same name which deals with the financial arrangements and responsibilities for accounting and monitoring of Direct Payments (Revised version published December 2009)
- HSS (ECCU) 1/2007 Training of Personal Assistants (PDF 1.15 KB)
Guidance for Boards and Trusts on the training of personal assistants employed by clients under the Direct Payments scheme. (Published May 2007)
- HSS (ECCU) 5/2006 Allocation of Direct Payments Development Fund (PDF 109 KB)
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 244 KB)
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 Legislation and Guidance for Boards and Trusts (PDF 188 KB)
This guidance has been prepared in order to assist Boards and Trusts in understanding the Carer's and Direct Payments Act 2002. (Published April 2004)
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.
- View Direct Payments statistical information.
Direct Payment Links
- Health and Social Care Board
- Belfast Health and Social Care Trust
- Northern Health and Social Care Trust
- South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust
- Southern Health and Social Care Trust
- Western Health and Social Care Trust
- Centre for Independent Living
- Carers Northern Ireland
- Carer's Centre Belfast
- Vela Microboards Northern Ireland