Direct payments: Answering frequently asked questions

SCIE Guide 10

Published November 2005

About this guide

This guide has been written with support from the National Centre for Independent Living. It aims to offer creative and innovative examples of how the legislation on direct payments can successfully be applied to achieve positive outcomes for those who use them.

It is hoped that the guide will inspire health and social care staff to embrace the principles of independent living and think more freely in applying direct payments to a wider audience. It answers a range of questions through a series of examples, which have been captured by a practice survey undertaken by the Centre for Social Action at De Montfort University. (1) This has been supplemented by information and material from several other sources to provide a comprehensive document for health and social care staff. The guide is designed to answer specific questions easily, as well as provide access to numerous useful websites.

The text contained within the boxes are examples of practice provided by service users, social care staff and staff from Direct Payment Support Services. This information is taken from the De Montfort practice survey. Any examples from other sources are accredited accordingly.

The guide is produced as part of the SCIE work plan under the theme of adults. Consequently, direct payments for children and young people are not explicitly reported on. However, for helpful information and advice in this area there are numerous resources available:

As a whole, this guide should offer interesting reading for people using or considering direct payments, as well as other stakeholders.


All SCIE resources are free to download, however to access the following downloads you will need a free MySCIE account:

Available downloads:

  • Direct payments: answering frequently asked questions
  • Direct payments - summary
  • Direct payments - Welsh summary