Your Agreement with Your Local Authority (Council)

Agreement with the Council to receive a budget under Option 1

Once someone has decided to receive a direct payment under Option 1 of SDS and to employ Personal Assistants, the Council will provide a Direct Payment Agreement. This isĀ  a contract for agreeing to manage the direct payment as set out in the council’s policy.

The agreement 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 your identified needs, as they have been written in your Support Plan
  • What you can’t use the direct payment for
  • How often payments are made by the Council
  • Whether your direct payment will be paid into a bank account or if you will get a pre-payment card, which is like a credit card with money loaded on to it
  • How you will report their use of your direct payment and how much you have spent on employing your PA(s)
  • If the Council can reclaim any money that is not spent
  • Information about when payments may be stopped
  • If there is a Contingency Budget available to use and when you can make use of this
  • How often reviews will take place
  • That your PAs will be enrolled in the PVG scheme and an updated check undertaken before they are employed
  • Whether you can employ a family member as a Personal Assistant and what permission might be needed
  • That all tax and financial requirements will be met by you, or by a Payroll Service on your behalf
  • That you have Employer Liability Insurance before employing any PAs
  • The period of notice that can be given by you and your Council to end the agreement
  • Where you can get help to manage your direct payment, and where you can get independent advice.

What to do when you get a Direct Payment Agreement

When you are sent a Direct Payment 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 talked about with your social work professional.

Make sure you have everything you need to be a good employer. You might want to ask more questions to find out about anything you are not sure of. For example:

  • is there money in your direct payment for training your PAs?
  • is there any money to help with recruitment costs?
  • what happens if you have to make a PA redundant?

Next steps

It is a good idea to speak to an Independent Support Organisation in your area who can help you understand your Direct Payment Agreement. Some also provide practical help with managing a Direct Payment. You can find details of a local organisation using the Find Help search tool.

Part of
Last Updated
20 February 2024
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.