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Direct payments: finance and monitoring

The Direct Payments team are responsible for making sure your payments reach your direct payment account on time. Your direct payment will be made 28 days in advance. We will regularly review your direct payment account and will contact you if they find any issues to support you to help you manage your direct payment effectively.

Frequently asked questions

Q. When will the first payment be made?

A. We will make payments to you every 28 days, in advance.

Q. When can my PA start work?

A. Unless agreed with your Care Manager your PA should start work on the day that your agreement commences. You should agree all of the terms of their employment, including when they will be paid, before their start date.

Q  How will I know the money has been credited to my pre-paid card?

A. You can check your balance on line, by calling the pre-paid card provider, or by calling us.

Q. What will my direct payments cover?

A. The payment covers the support described in your assessed Care Plan and any costs involved in being an employer, where applicable.

Q. When should I pay my PA/agency?

A. We will provide you with the money as part of your direct payment to buy a professional payroll service every four weeks. A payroll service can assist you with the management of employing your PA as outlined below.

Q. How do I pay my financial assessed contribution onto my pre-paid card account?  

A. You can arrange with your bank to set up a monthly standing order, to be paid to your account and sort code printed on your pre-paid card.

Payroll agencies and tax

Q. Why do I need a payroll agency?

A. Your PA must pay tax and national insurance. HMRC will hold you responsible as an employer for deducting your employee(s) tax and national insurance contributions. You must then pay this to HMRC. We can assist you to find a professional payroll company to do this on your behalf.

Q. How do I know if my PA needs to pay tax?

A. The payroll company will be able to tell from your PA's tax code and their P45 exactly how much needs to be deducted each month. If your PA only works a few hours but undertakes other paid work, they will most likely have to pay tax.

Q. What will the payroll agency provide?

A. They will process payments for your PA directly into your PA's bank account. They will also correctly calculate and deduct tax, National Insurance and pension contributions, set up a pension scheme for your PA, and report to and pay HMRC anything owed. They will also issue payslips and other important documents to your PA together with maintaining records for HMRC and your local authority.

Q. How do I know if a PA needs to be registered with a payroll agency?

A. All PA need to be registered with a payroll agency to pay tax and National Insurance. Only if a person is self-employed are they are responsible for paying their own tax and National Insurance with HMRC. Therefore, self-employed PA will not need to be registered with a payroll agency.

Q. How can I check if some is self-employed?

A. All self-employed persons will be registered with HMRC with a unique tax reference. This will be a 10 digit reference issued by HMRC. For further information please see:

Q. When do I need to purchase employer's liability insurance?

A. You will need to purchase insurance if you are employing an individual. If a person is self-employed or an agency worker this is not necessary. The agency and self-employed person should have their own insurance.  

Q. Should I keep all my paperwork?

A. Yes, all your paperwork should be kept for at least seven years, whether you do your own payroll or use a professional payroll company to do this for you. It is your responsibility to keep these records.


Q. Do I need to send any information about how I have spent the direct payment?

A. We will be able to see your spending record on line via your pre-paid card account onto which your direct payment is paid. If we need to see any paperwork after this we will contact you. Please keep all invoices and payslips in a safe place until we need them.

Surplus money in your direct payment account

Q. What happens to money that I haven't been able to use?

A. If there is surplus money in the account after you have paid for all of your care services and other associated costs, we will recover the money from time to time from your pre-paid card.

Q Can't I just buy extra services with the money?

A. Your direct payment has been calculated to cover the cost of the assessed services detailed in your Care Plan. If the hours no longer meet your needs it is important that your Care Manager is informed so that your circumstances can be properly reassessed. If you buy extra services without their knowledge, they will not be aware of your current needs.

Money may build up in the account if you have been in hospital or away from home. We need to recover the excess money so that we can continue to offer services to meet the needs of others.

Contact us

Direct Payments Team
Merton Civic Centre
London Road