Self-directed Support frequently asked questions
Questions and answers from the sessions throughout Highland held from February to March 2018
Will I still get my daughter’s horse riding lessons paid for by direct payment?
Yes, if the outcome is linked to her disability causing an unmet need.
Can I change what I originally agreed to spend on?
Yes, but any change needs to be agreed with Highland Council.
Can my son’s PA be paid to go on holiday with him?
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 son’s PA some cash when she takes him out to get drinks, snacks etc. Will I still be able to do that?
No, the payment card cannot be used at a cashpoint or get cashback from a till. However, if money for snacks and drinks are agreed as appropriately meeting an unmet disability need, there may be opportunity to have a second card which you can top up with small amounts to give to the PA to use whilst out. This would need to be agreed at the putting the plan together phase.
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 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.
Will my son’s holiday be covered by SDS?
Yes if he is going on his own and it is considered to meet an unmet disability need but no if it is a family holiday. The only other exception would be the additional costs for a specialist room or rental of equipment (ie. Hoist) whilst on holiday.
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.