Social Services and Direct Payments

  hssutton 21:03 30 Jan 2012

Your thoughts on the following.

A severly disabled adult female with learning difficulties receiving direct payment is allowed to spend approx £4500 on a one week supported holiday using money from her Direct Payment. Agreed by her Social Worker.

Alternatively could go on a supported holiday with her carer for 14 days. The carers wages would amount to approx £1680 (£9 per hour for ten hours per day)+ £30 per night sleeping allowance, plus the cost of holiday approx £1000 x 2. The downside of this is two carers would be required escalating the cost somewhat. Again agreed by her Social Worker.

A third alternative of going on holiday supported by her parents and brothers + partners would not be allowed to use any of her Direct Payment. Stated in letter from her Social worker.

Surely there's something seriously amiss here. Not allowed to use approx £1000 of her Direct Payments to go on holiday supported by her parents and siblings, but allowed £4500 + to go on a supported holiday with carers.

I'm at a total loss to understand the logic or financial reasons for this.

What are your thoughts?

  lotvic 21:34 30 Jan 2012

Apparently: The money is to buy the Care Services needed, not to pay for the holiday itself, direct gov uk

"Unless your council decides that exceptional circumstances make it necessary, you cannot use direct payments to pay for a service from:

your spouse (husband or wife) | your civil partner | a partner with whom you live as a couple | a close relative with whom you live, or the spouse or partner of that close relative"

It's a pity the Social worker hasn't made a suggestion of how to arrange for one (or two) of any of the not close relatives to qualify as carers for the duration of the holiday (if that is possible to do).

  hssutton 22:13 30 Jan 2012

¬Lotvic. I think you are missing the point. Social workers say she can use direct payment for an holiday.

Also the family would not be receiving any benefit from the the Direct payment, actually the reverse as they would be saving several thousand pounds.

Also the parents are the main carers, the independant carer only work 9 hours per week

  Condom 00:26 31 Jan 2012

Oh this brings back memories of the problems I had many years ago when I was financially responsible for the money of over a hundred people. Some had quite large balances in part due to Mobility Allowance as it was called in those days. We tried to arrange holidays each year but there were always problems with either families not wishing to see what they thought was their inheritance dwindle or Social Services wishing to check everything with a fine toothcomb.

As far as holidays are concerned anything reasonable is the order of the day and as long as there is no permanent payment involved get the person to do what she or he wants to do and let Social services try and stop it.

  hssutton 09:58 31 Jan 2012

"As far as holidays are concerned anything reasonable is the order of the day and as long as there is no permanent payment involved get the person to do what she or he wants to do and let Social services try and stop it."

Yes I think you right. I was discussing this with a carer working for a large organisation who help control the spending of Direct Payments of clients who cannot handle their affairs. She informed me that the organisation involved arranged for individual clients to go on several holidays last year, just to make sure all of their Direct Payments was used up.

  lotvic 13:38 31 Jan 2012

Yes, it seems I did not quite 'get the point'. Hope it gets sorted for them, sounds as if it is that particular Social Worker that is making it difficult.

  hssutton 13:47 31 Jan 2012

Hi Lotvic, sorry my original posting wasn't all that clear. As you say it may be "that particular Social worker" actually the it's a social worker with a small "s" unqualified or as they are called "Practitioner"

  spuds 18:35 31 Jan 2012

I know this is off subject, but yesterday evening there was a documentary type program on BBC2 Protecting Our Children. Seeing how the social workers performed in that program, you can perhaps fully understand how decisions are being made, and why people might complain?.

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