On this page you will find answers to the following questions:
What is a Pre-Paid Card?
If you receive direct payments from Merton Council to pay for your community care services, you will be given a pre-paid card. You can use this like a debit card, to pay for the goods and services you use to meet your social care needs as set out in your support plan. Please see the leaflet 'Direct payments and pre-paid cards' for more information.
What is a Merton Managed Account?
A Merton Managed Account (MMA) is a new service available from Merton council. The service is an option for all Adult Social Care customers, including those who do not receive financial support towards their care needs from the council; we call these individuals ‘self funders’.
The service is designed to assist customers who receive their personal budget (social care funds) as a Direct Payment, but who need or choose to have support managing the financial aspects of their personal budget.
More information can be found on Direct Payments.
How does it work?
The MMA team will arrange for the customers personal budget to be paid into a Merton managed account. The MMA team will manage these funds in accordance with the customers wishes as laid out in their Support Plan. The customer retains control, deciding whom they want to deliver their support. The MMA team will arrange the payment for the services the customer receives. The customer’s personal budget is maintained throughout the year and customers are kept updated with regular statements displaying an accurate up-to-date personal budget balance and transaction history.
Customers benefit from enjoying the flexibility of a Direct Payment without the need to cope with additional financial responsibilities.
What are the options and how much will it cost?
The MMA is a chargeable service with three different options. Any Adult Social Care customer can choose to buy one of these services and if during your self-assessment it is shown that you have a need for a money management service, you may receive money within your personal budget to help pay for the service.
One off set up service: Designed for customers who need assistance with the ‘set up’ of their newly chosen services (e.g. a care agency). The MMA team will communicate with the customer’s service provider to fully establish service requirements such as: start dates, how and when services are to be provided and how they will be paid. The aim will be for the MMA team to establish the service to a point where services can begin and the customer can pay the bills as they arrive. This makes the process of changing providers or starting a new service easier than ever, saving customers time and effort.
One off charge of £23.94
Temporary managed account: Designed to be a temporary service, the MMA team will manage the customer’s personal budget (providing it is paid as a Direct Payment) and use it to pay for services that have been selected by the customer and listed within their support plan. The MMA team will handle a range of selected financial processes for the customer, for example: paying care invoices. The MMA team will work with and support the customer to develop their skills and confidence in dealing with financial processes.
This service is provided to customers whose long-term goal is to take back full financial responsibility and manage a personal budget independently.
One off set up fee £5.00 and £18.90 per month
Ongoing managed account: This is the complete ongoing service. The MMA team can manage all of the financial processes associated with the customer’s personal budget (providing its paid as a Direct Payment) that the customer finds difficult or prefers not to manage. The MMA team will arrange the initial set up and the payment of selected services as requested by the customer. This will enable the customer to benefit from being able to choose their own service providers, without having to put in the effort or time into managing the payments for these services, or keeping track of their personal budget spend throughout the year.
One off set up fee £5.00 and £18.90 per month
Possible Additional Costs
Customers may receive some small additional charges from their pre-paid card suppliers. Customers will be expected to pay any charges for bill payments, standing orders and direct debits. For more information on pre-paid card charges please see leaflet ‘Direct payments finance and pre-paid cards’.
What else do I need to know?
A Self-Assessment Questionnaire will highlight those customers who have a need for a financial management service such as a MMA. This will be reflected within the amount of money allocated to the customer in their personal budget.
Most Adult Social Care customers will also be required to have a financial assessment that will calculate their ability to pay towards their care services. The amount a customer pays towards their services is often called a ‘Financial Contribution’. More information can be found on Financial Assessments.
Customers can still take advantage of the benefits offered by a MMA even if they pay fully for their own care services (self funders) or have not shown an assessed need for a financial management service. However, these customers will not be provided with council funds to pay for this service, and will need to pay for this from personal monies.
How do I get a Merton Managed Account?
Merton Adult Social Care customers will first need to contact the Merton Adult Access team, on 020 8545 4430. (Customers with Mental Health needs should first contact their General Practitioner). All customers requiring social care support from the council will be asked to complete a Self Assessment Questionnaire (SAQ) and have a financial assessment. The SAQ will help to assess the customer’s needs, including the need for a financial management service like a MMA. The council will provide assistance with completing these forms if required.
On completion of the SAQ the council will provide the customer with an indicative allocation (this is the approximate amount of money the council estimates the customer’s care and support could cost). The customer will be offered assistance with planning the spend of their indicative allocation; this is called ‘Support Planning’. The customer’s Support Plan will include the costs for all of the services the customer has chosen to receive including those for a MMA.
Once the customer has completed their Support Plan and the council has agreed it will meet the customer’s needs, the customer’s indicative allocation is then called a personal budget. You will then be referred to the Direct Payments team.
The Direct Payments team will support the customer in completing any necessary forms and locating services and/or personal assistants. Once completed the MMA team will contact the customer and arrange for the required MMA service to be put in place.
More information can be found on the Self Directed Support process and personal budgets
For more information on Merton managed accounts please see:
The Merton Managed Accounts leaflet
Direct Payment Team
Merton Civic Centre
Merton Managed Accounts Team - 020 8545 3925