You are here

  1. Home
  2. Direct payments: legislation and guidance for boards and trusts

Direct payments: legislation and guidance for boards and trusts

This Guidance has been prepared by the Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety in order to assist in understanding the Carer’s and Direct payments Act 2002 and the policy behind it. The Act places new responsibilities on “an authority”. This term is defined in the Act as meaning either an HSS Board or an HSS Trust, though in practice it will mean an HSS Trust in virtually all cases. This guidance, therefore, refers throughout to assessments and services being provided by HSS Trusts. The Act was introduced into the N.I. Assembly as the Personal Social Services (Amendment) Bill. Following Consideration Stage the Assembly agreed that it should be henceforth referred to as the Carers and Direct Payments Act. 

The Carers and Direct Payments Act (Northern Ireland) 2002 was implemented in two stages. It repeals the Personal Social Services (Direct Payments) (NI) Order 1996. The first stage which came into force in March 2003 made three main provisions. The Act allows Health and Social Services Trusts to provide personal social services to support carers directly. It gives them the right to an assessment of their own needs. Thirdly, Trusts are required to inform people of their legal right to a care assessment. The second stage of the Act, implemented in April 2004, widened the availability of Direct Payments. Since its implementation, Trusts have had the power to make Direct Payments available to more people. The original legislation made Direct Payments available to disabled people over the age of 18 who were eligible for Social Services and deemed by the Trust as being willing and able to manage Direct Payments with as much assistance as necessary. 

Original source (some source materials require subscription or permission to access)

Key Information

Start Page