Direct Payments

What is a Direct Payment?

If you have eligible social care needs you have a choice about how you can receive your 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 we set aside to pay for your care and support. A Direct Payment is where you decide to buy the care and support yourself, rather than have us do this for you.

If you are eligible to have a Direct Payment and would like to arrange your care and support yourself, we will provide money directly to you to buy the support you need. You can also arrange for someone to manage the money for you.

We provide Direct Payments to help you meet your eligible needs. This gives you greater independence as well as choice and control over the care you receive.

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 link below.Read the Direct Payment Policy

Read the Direct Payment Policy Easy Read Guide

Direct Payment Declaration

The Direct Payment declaration sets out the responsibilities for both us and individual receiving a Direct Payment . The declaration will include details such as:

  • your reference number (MOSAIC) which you can quote if you need to contact us;
  • sets out both the Council's and your responsibilities;
  • confirms requirements such as:
    - reporting expenditure
    - returning unspent funds
    - changes in the support you receive

The Direct Payments Team will support you with the set up of your direct payment and share the declaration with you.

Direct Payment Declaration

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 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 children's services direct payments pages.

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 request a review of your care needs via our Request help for an adult page. 

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 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 websiteSetting 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 a 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

In line with the Direct Payment Policy, we have agreed the update for the standard Direct Payments Rates for 2023-24. We use this to calculate the budget we give you to spend on your care and support. The agreed rate ensures you have you have enough funds to meet the cost of inflation and, if you have one, to pay your personal assistant.

This means if you arrange care with a self-employed Personal Assistant, you can increase their hourly rate of pay to £13.54. Your self – employed Personal Assistant will cover their own on-costs including insurance and tax.

If you employ a Personal Assistant, part of your legal responsibilities is to ensure you pay your employee(s) the Foundation Living Wage. This is now £10.90 per hour for those over 18 years of age. Your Direct Payment budget will cover this amount to enable you to pay your Personal Assistant at the rate of £10.90. The remaining £2.64 of the total £13.54 available is to cover your employer on-costs. This includes holiday pay, insurance and tax.

We will also pay an annualised Employment Liability Insurance payment of £99 to those who employ a Personal Assistant. This is now separate from calculated on-costs within your budget.

Care Type 2023/24 Hourly Rate

Personal Assistant (Inclusive of On-costs for employed PAs) Day and Respite


Personal Assistant – Night Support (including Respite)

Waking £14.67
Sleeping £9.78

Homecare Agency


Supported Lifestyles – Agency

Day £20.97
Waking Night £20.16
Sleeping Night £14.91

Respite in Care Home (Residential)

Tier 1 £883
Tier 2 £938
Tier 3 £1105

Respite in Care Home (Nursing) excluding Funded Nursing Care Payment

Tier 1 £1219
Tier 2 £1387
Tier 3 £1554


Full Day £44.51
Half Day £23.82

Barrier Products Allowance (Where PA employed only)


Custom rates

Increase of 4.92%

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

Direct Payments Newsletter

In response to the feedback you have given us, we produce a regular update for our Adults' Direct Payment holders. 

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


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