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January 2012’s guest speaker, Daniel Lummis from Suffolk Independent Living talks about ...


Direct Payments and Suffolk Independent Living

What are Direct Payments?

If you have an assessment from Suffolk County Council and they decide you need support you will be offered either money to arrange and buy your own support (Direct Payments) or a service arranged by Suffolk County Council. People who receive Direct Payments take responsibility for choosing and providing their own support services.


Why choose a Direct Payment?

Direct Payments can enable you to live independently. Independent living is about having choice, control and responsibility over your life, it is about getting the most out of all areas of life. Choosing direct payments means you take both control and responsibility for your support arrangements. This gives you more freedom to meet your assessed needs in the way that is best for you. Some people use direct payments to employ personal assistants or care workers. You can choose who works for you and when the work is done. An example of a Direct Payment is - Alice needs support to get out of bed in the morning and ready for the day ahead. The agency arranged by Suffolk County Council can only come at 8 o’clock but Alice would prefer to get up later. Alice uses direct payments to employ someone to come at a time that suits her and fits in with her life.


What can a Direct Payment be used for?

A Direct payment has to be used to meet your individual assessed need so this could be care in your home, supported or daytime activities, short breaks or respite care or buying a piece of equipment. You can’t use a Direct Payments to pay for a service from Suffolk County Council or buying long term residential care.


What support is available?

Taking responsibility for managing your own services can seem a little daunting, but you’re not on your own. Suffolk Independent Living (SIL) is the advice and support service for Direct Payment recipients in Suffolk. A SIL adviser can visit you in your own home or other suitable location or can provide advice over the telephone or by email.

SIL can support you:

• to arrange care or support for yourself

• to arrange care or support for your disabled child

• to find personal assistants or care workers

• to keep records

• to be a good employer


SIL also runs other services you can access for support with your direct payments. These are:

• A payroll service that can work out the money you need to pay your workers

• A supported accounts service that can hold the money in a bank account on your behalf


How do I get more information?

For more information on direct payments please contact SIL on 01473 603 876 and one of our advisers will be happy to talk to you or visit our website


How do I get direct payments?

If you have not yet had an assessment from Suffolk County Council (ACS or CYP) you can contact Customer First on: 0808 800 4005


If you have had an assessment and would like to consider direct payments further, you can speak to your social worker or care assessor. You can also contact SIL and one of our advisers will be happy to give you more advice and to support you to set up your direct payments.

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