Direct payments


Please see our direct payments covid-19 page for specific information

What is a Direct Payment?

A person who has eligible social care needs has choice as to how they can receive their care and support. A social work professional will assess your eligible social care needs and determine a Personal Budget.  This is the amount of money the Council sets aside to pay for the person's care and support.  A Direct Payment is where the person decides to buy the care and support themselves, rather than have the Council do this for them.

If a person is eligible to have a Direct Payment and would like to arrange their care and support themselves, the Council will give the person enough money to buy the support they need.

Cornwall Council supports Direct Payments to help people in meeting their eligible needs. This helps them have greater independence as well as choice and control over the care received.  

Direct Payment Policy

The Direct Payments Policy sets out Cornwall Council's approach for adults who:

  • have eligible needs
  • want to arrange their care and support with a Direct Payment
  • and management and monitoring / review of the Direct Payments for adults.

the Policy will be reviewed regularly and published on this site, you can read the latest version by clicking the click below.Read the Direct Payment Policy

Review of the Direct Payments Policy

We want to review our Adult Direct Payment policy so it allows choice, control and flexibility. We want your views on what works well and what could be better. Your feedback will be used to help us review our policy.

You can access the survey below:

Complete the survey online

The closing date for completing the survey online is 27 January 2023.

If you receive a direct payment or support someone who does you will have already received:

  • an email with the survey link
  • a paper copy of the survey in the post

This includes a freepost address to return your copy of the survey to us if you do not wish to complete the online version. We apologise for any inconvenience or delays with the paper copies due to the current postal strikes.

Please call the Adult Direct Payment Team on 01872 324829 if:

  • you would like to speak to a member of staff about the survey
  • you would like the survey in a different format

Thank you for your help with this important piece of work.

Direct Payment Agreement

The Direct Payment Agreement sets out the responsibilities of both the council and individual receiving a Direct Payment . The Direct Payment is:

  • clear and easy to follow;
  • provides your reference number (MOSAIC) which you can quote if you need to contact us;
  • sets out both the Council's and your responsibilities;
  • clearly shows the options available to you in line with the Care Act 2014
  • provides useful contact information and websites for further information and resources;
  • confirms requirements such as:
    • reporting expenditure to us on a quarterly basis
    • returning unspent funds
    • changes in the support you receive

This is to ensure the Council carries out due diligence with public funds. It also enables us to manage Adult Social Care budgets. This means they can remain available to all people with eligible social care needs.

Direct Payment AgreementEasy Read Agreement

We worked with the CHAMPs (Cornwall Health & Making Partnerships) team and disAbility Cornwall & Isles of Scilly to produce an Easy Read version of the Direct Payment Agreement.   This is written in a way we hope will be easier for everyone to use and understand.  There is a checklist at the back which sets out clearly what you are agreeing to and the responsibilities of the Direct Payment.

Easy Read Direct Payment Agreement

Transitioning from a Children’s Direct Payment to Adults

If you have had a 'Children’s Direct Payment' you may wish to continue that arrangement once you become an adult.

An assessment of your needs will be need to be carried out.

This will be done by a social worker.

They will review whether you are eligible for social care support and services.

If you are eligible, the social worker will support you to transition to Adults Direct Payment.   

For more information about the direct payments and personal budgets for children and young people please visit our childrens services pages.

Direct Payments and Personal Budgets for children and young people

Keeping in contact

Do you have an email address, so we can send you information quickly? 

If you are in receipt of a Direct Payment, we would like to send messages and updates which relate to you and your situation as quickly and as easily as possible. 

Do you have an email address where we can reach you?

This could be the email of a trusted person such as a family member or your PA if you don’t have one yourself.

Please send it to us at

Change in current circumstances?

 If your current care needs have increased or you no longer require the same level of support then we encourage you to please get in touch with us. You may require a reassessment of your care needs from a social work professional.

You can also contact the Access team to request a review of your care needs. or 0300 1234 131

If you have a change in the way your care is supported via a Direct Payment , for example you may now wish to employ a personal assistant instead of support from a care agency, please get in touch so we can assist with relevant information and ensure your social care needs are being met by the payment you receive.

Direct Payments questionnaire

During December we will be asking all our Direct Payment users to complete a short survey about your experience of using a Direct Payment. We want to review our policy to make sure you can get the best out of your Direct Payment.

The survey will be sent out via email and also in the post. If you we do not have your email contact the survey will be sent in the post. Please be aware there may be a delay during the industrial strike action by Royal Mail. If you would prefer to complete the survey online a link will be provided shortly on this webpage.

We thank you in advance for taking the time to complete the upcoming survey.

Direct Payments Newsletter

 In response to the feedback you have given us, we are launching a regular newsletter update for our Adults Direct Payment holders.  The first issue sent December 2020 included  information about our plan for supporting our Direct Payment holders throughout the winter.  

If you want to access an electronic version of this or future Direct Payment update documents, these can be found here

Direct payment information for new users 

If your Social Care Assessment shows that you have eligible social care needs, you can decide whether to arrange the care and support yourself or have the support arranged by the Council.  

If you choose to arrange the care and support yourself a personal budget will be provided to help meet those needs.  This is arranged as a Direct Payment.  We will give you the personal budget to you to arrange your own care and support.

The Direct Payment can be used in a variety of ways, but it must meet your social care needs reflected in your assessment. 

You will have a financial assessment to identify how much you may need to pay towards the cost of your care. The Council will pay the remaining Personal Budget amount.

A Direct Payment will let you arrange and manage your own support. You can choose the people who support you whether this is from a care agency or employing your own staff. Services can be flexible to suit your social care need and you will have more choice and control over the support you receive. You can also arrange for a suitable person to support you with managing the Direct Payment. 


If you would like more information about Direct Payments and how to manage your own support at home please read our factsheets.

Should you choose support from a care agency we recommend that any care provider is CQC registered. You can find available care agencies in Cornwall using the Support in Cornwall webpage.

View the Support in Cornwall website 

Setting up a direct payment – what happens next?

If you have chosen a Direct Payment following your social care assessment, the Direct Payments Team will contact you and arrange the set up of the Direct Payment.

The Direct Payment Officer will provide advice if you have chosen to arrange an care agency or employ your own staff. You will need to read and sign the Direct Payment Agreement as well as set up an account for the Direct Payment to be paid into. This can be a separate bank or building society account. However the Council has a preferred method of payment when providing money to you. This is a card which is preloaded with your monthly Direct Payment amount.

Using an Allpay card for your Direct PaymentThe Direct Payment money will then be paid into this account on 4 weekly basis. The Direct Payment Officer will arrange an initial review within the first 3 month to check how things are going. An annual review is then arranged, the Council may advise an different review period for you but this will be discussed following your initial meeting. 

Support with your direct payment

You can arrange for a suitable person to support you with managing your direct payment.  You or your suitable person can also arrange support from service to help manage Payroll of the Direct Payment. We call these managed accounts.
Existing Direct Payment users often use one of the following;

Included in your personal budget is an amount to cover the costs of a managed account.

Information for existing direct payment users

If you have already chosen to arrange your support via a Direct Payment, then below is further information relating to the review of your Direct Payment and information if you are employing a personal assistant.

Payments and reviewing your direct payment expenditure form and bank statements

Every 3 months, we ask you send us a record of the money you have spent from your Direct Payment if you use a bank account, rather than an Allpay account.

We ask you to send us your bank statements for us the review your Direct Payment expenditure, this is noted in Section 9 of the Direct Payment Policy. 

The expenditure form can be used by you or the person helping to manage your direct payment to track expenditure. We ask you return this information to the email or postal address provided on the form.

We may agree a longer review period with you if all is running smoothly with your Direct Payment. We may also write to you to request bank statements for a period of up to 12 months (or more) if we have not had contact from you. 

Bank Statements can be sent to

Payment rates and dates

In line with the Direct Payment Policy, the Council have agreed the update for the standard Direct Payments Rates for 2022-23 which is used to calculate the budget we give you to spend on your care and support. The agreed rate for the period 1 April 2022 to 31 March 2023 ensures you have you have sufficient funds to meet the cost of inflation and to pay your personal assistant. The Personal Assistant Rate is £12.70, allowing you to pay your PA an hourly rate of £10.50, with the remainder of the rate an allowance of employee on-costs. The self-employed PA rate is £12.70


Type of Support 2022/23 Rate
Personal Assistant (PA) £12.70
Home Care Agency £20.64
Supported Lifestyles Agency £19.99
Night Rate Sleep in £9.17
Waking £13.76


You can read the detailed charges in the letter sent to all direct payments recipients. 


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