Your Agreement with Your Local Authority (Council)

Agreement with the Council to receive a Self-directed Support (SDS) Budget under Option 1

Once a Personal Assistant (PA) Employer has decided to employ their own PA(s) and receive a direct payment under Option 1 of SDS, the Council will provide a Direct Payments Agreement, a contract for the employer to agree terms for issuing the payment. This will explain in detail the responsibilities that both the PA Employer and Council have. The agreement is likely to cover areas such as:

  • Using the direct payment to pay for things that only meet the persons identified needs as they have been written in their Support Plan
  • How the PA Employer will report their use of the direct payment and how much they have spent on employing their PA(s)
  • That PAs will be enrolled in the PVG scheme and an updated check undertaken before they are employed
  • How often payments are made by the Council
  • Whether there is an option to use a pre-paid Card to receive the direct payment, which is like a credit card with money loaded on to it
  • If the Council can reclaim any money that is not spent
  • How often reviews might take place
  • Whether the PA Employer can employ a family member and what permission might be needed
  • That all tax and financial requirements will be met by the PA Employer, or by a Payroll Service on their behalf
  • That the PA Employer has Employer Liability Insurance before employing any PAs
  • If there is a Contingency Budget available to use and when a PA Employer can make use of this
  • What you can’t use the direct payment for
  • The period of notice that can be given by the PA Employer and Council to end the agreement

Next steps

  1. If issued with an agreement, before signing you should check information is accurate. It may be a general agreement but it could have detail that you have not yet covered with your social work professional.
  2. Take further guidance from your Independent Support Organisation and ask questions if you don’t understand something.
Part of
Last Updated
21 June 2022
First Published
28 March 2022
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Please note that the information contained in this Handbook is provided for guidance purposes only. Every reasonable effort is made to make the information accurate and up to date, but no responsibility for its accuracy and correctness, or for any consequences of relying on it, is assumed by Self Directed Support Scotland or any other contributing party.

The information does not, and is not intended to, amount to legal advice. You are strongly advised to obtain specific, personal and professional advice from a lawyer about employment law matters, or an accountant/ tax specialist about taxation matters, and from HMRC and your insurers. You should not rely solely on the information in this Handbook. Support organisations listed in this Handbook can help you find appropriate sources of advice.