Date Revised:

If you, or the person you care for, live in Northern Ireland and need help from social services then you may be able to get a direct payment. 

A direct payment is an amount of money that you may be able to get instead of traditional services from your local Health & Social Care Trust (HSC). Direct payments let you arrange your support in ways that suit you best.

Find out more about direct payments in Northern Ireland on nidirect.

Direct payments for carers

You may be able to get direct payments as a carer if you are over 16 and have had a carer’s assessment. You can use the payments to buy any services your assessment says you need to support your caring role. 

You can’t use the money to buy services for the person you care for (they would need to buy those out of their own direct payments). 

Find out more about direct payments for carers in Northern Ireland on nidirect.

If you already get support from your local Trust ask your social worker or key worker if you can get direct payments.  If you don’t currently get any support from your local Trust ask them for a carer’s assessment

Find out more about assessments for carers in Northern Ireland on nidirect.

Direct payments for the person you care for

The person you care for may be able to get direct payments if they are in need of support and would be eligible for a traditional service from the Health and Social Care Trust.

They can use the money for anything that is agreed in their support plan. This could include help with personal care, with housework, with meals, or getting out and about. Most people choose to use their direct payments to employ their own personal assistant, but you can also use direct payments for an agency or other service.

If you look after a child with disabilities you may be able to get direct payments on their behalf.

Find more about financial support for people with disabilities in Northern Ireland on nidirect.

How is the money paid?

You must open a separate bank account that is only for your direct payments. The money will be paid into this account. The account will need a cheque book or online/telephone banking facilities for you to make payments.

Next update due: June 2017