Self-directed Support

Self-Directed Support Frequently Asked Questions

Can I change what I originally agreed to spend on? 
Yes this is possible but any changes need to be agreed with Highland Council before they are made.

Can the PA be paid to go on holiday with my child?

Decisions are based on an individual basis, however if the support is meeting an unmet disability need this is likely to be agreed. This may be included as an appropriate spend even if holiday is with the whole family.

Will I still have to do returns and keep receipts when I use the payment card?
Spending monitoring can be done in real time so no longer requires quarterly returns, however we recommend receipts are kept in case of audit and there may be occasion when a spend you make with the card cannot be identified as to where the payment was made or what was purchased, therefore you may be asked to clarify what the spend was on.

I want to pay my PA in cash. How will the card work for me?
The PA needs a bank account and you can then set up an instant bank transfer.  The card has no facility for withdrawing cash.

I give my child’s PA some cash for when they go out for drinks, snacks etc. Will I still be able to do that?
No, the payment card cannot be used at a cashpoint or to get cashback from a till. 

How does the payment card work?
Your Direct Payment element of your budget will be automatically transferred to your payment card account either as a one-off payment or every four weeks whichever has been agreed to meet your child’s needs. Remote monitoring means you no longer need to do quarterly returns and you can arrange bank transfers immediately to cover your support packages. A guide to using your card will be put out before you are changed over to using the payment card.

The guide talks about being able to put additional funds in other than the Direct Payment. Why would I be putting money into the account?
You would add funds to the account if it had been agreed at the planning stage. For example, if it is agreed that SDS can be used to to improve physical wellbeing but you wished to use a private gym which is beyond the agreed spend then you may be asked to top up the difference in cost on the card.

Why will family holidays not be funded by option 1?
If a holiday is considered as not meeting a child’s unmet disability need it is considered a family holiday and therefore will not be funded in part or whole. 

  • Example 1 - If the proposed family holiday is at a resort which exclusively offers holidays to children with disabilities and their families then your worker can discuss with you what contribution towards the holiday an option 1 may be used for.
  • Example 2 - If additional costs are incurred for a holiday due to the child’s disability (PA requiring to be in attendance, hire of disability specialist equipment etc) then these may be included in option 1 discussions with your worker.
  • Example 3 - If a holiday arranged due to personal preference (e.g. beach holiday or Disneyland) either of the child or the family then funding will not be awarded.

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