March 16, 2019 at 12:44 pm #176338Direct Payments
I have been getting Direct Payments from our local County Council for a few years now. The past year or two it has had to come on one of the pre loaded cards.All of a sudden that has changed. When trying to get money out via an ATM it would not work. After a while I discovered (rather my County Councillor found out) that the payments people had blocked the card, simply because I used it in an ATM. They had not told me about this either before or after. In conversations with them I was told that in future I now have to ring the bank holding the money, on a premium rate line, and sask them to undertake any payments. This I find is offensive in many ways. Having to pay to access my own money, not being able to chose how I receive it (contrary to the council’s own website), having to to ask someone to do these simple things for me attacks my dignity, and last but not least the extra pain and suffering caused by having to hold a telephone for so long whilst they go through the whole process or making payments. Additionally I was told that a social worker would contact me to discuss the matter, but they were not permitted to say how long that would be.So for now I am in limbo holding a worthless card which my suppliers do not take.
My question thus is has anyone had a similar experience trying to get this money, or am I just unlucky? I wold love to hear your thoughts.
So many love songs, so little love.embayweatherModeratorPosts: 8Joined: 02/11/2015March 16, 2019 at 3:56 pm #176341Reply To: Direct Payments
Have the conditions been change on how your council permits the money to be spent? Who are your suppliers?
Our system in scotland is that Direct Payment can only be used to pay personal care assistants and in some cases some aids or adaptations. Although the money is sent to a bank account in my name, I then send each month to an accountant to pay as wages and deal with tax man for my staff. Everything needs to have paperwork. Ie the insurance for my staff is paid over-phone with this card and I must keep the receipt and paperwork.
I would suggest looking out your original paperwork for assessment outlining the agreement on your Direct Payment Care plan to see what the spirit of the agreed payment was. Then try Citizens advice and your councilor.
I have seen other reports of these cards across England but in all cases the people had been paying either registered staff or agency for physical personal care. In one case it was support worker companion to travel by taxi to university. The taxi as you can imagine couldn’t agree to service then invoicing system.
"""""""What doesn't kill you makes you stronger""""""March 16, 2019 at 4:22 pm #176345Reply To: Direct Payments
above is example and the clearest terms of the various councils I looked at.
How does the prepaid card work?
Wirral Council will put your Direct Payment money onto the card every four weeks in advance
you will need to activate the card once you have received it
you can pay for your assessed care need by bank transfer or telephone directly to your personal assistants or care agency bank account
you can check your account balances online or by telephone at any time
you can pay your client contribution directly into the account
you cannot go overdrawn or get into debt by using the prepaid card
you will no longer need a cheque book for the account
"""""""What doesn't kill you makes you stronger""""""March 16, 2019 at 4:41 pm #176346Reply To: Direct Payments
“Spending your direct payments
Direct payments are for buying support, services and goods to meet your social care needs as identified in your social care assessment. Some people use the money to recruit and employ a personal assistant and /or buy support from an agency or organisation of their choice. The details of what you decide to spend your direct payment on needs to be agreed and written in your support plan.
Direct payments are not intended as a replacement for support from families, friends or from voluntary organisations and should not be used to pay someone who lives with you in your home.”
This is blurb on Lancashire councils pages. It does say “should you choose” payment card. You would need to seek advice on opting out of the card if its indeed an option. some of the other councils give option to opt out of the card scheme.
"""""""What doesn't kill you makes you stronger""""""March 17, 2019 at 1:41 pm #176349Reply To: Direct Payments
Thank you Cat for your help. As ever very knowledgeable. I have not got any copies of any assessments, none were ever made as far as I am aware. I would contact my social worker but again, as far as I know, there is not one in place. They seem to change almost every time I ring to ask for advice. I pointed out the “should you choose” statement on their website, and they were not ware of it, nor any of the content on there. They imply said , you have no choice, it is the car or nothing. To use it I have to contact the bank on a premium rate line, hang on to the phone for a protracted time which is painful to say the least, and then also pay for the privilege of using the service as well.I downloaded the government’s take on this and it is quite clear in that that a choice should be allowed. As usual its not happening. So it appears that it is the County Councillor again and hope that he cn make some progress. To be honest I am at that point where I want to tell them where they can file the money, which is, I suppose, what they want.
So many love songs, so little love.embayweatherModeratorPosts: 8Joined: 02/11/2015March 17, 2019 at 6:38 pm #176350Reply To: Direct Payments
Mike I would suggest you file a request via your councilor or MP to submit a ‘freedom of information’ request for your paperwork and agreement of the terms of how you can spend and handle your budget. And also to make sure you have been assigned a social worker or case worker that you can actually meet with. Ask your MP or councilor to attend meeting.
Contact MDUK advocacy may also be useful to have as many organisations writing as possible.
I would ask MP/Councillor to inquire what reasonable adjustments they have put in place to help people access the service. If all they have is a phone number. this prohibits some people calling due to whatever reason. health, nerves, hearing or physical effort to place long calls.
"""""""What doesn't kill you makes you stronger""""""
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