Direct payments - self directed support

If your financial assessment shows that you need us to help pay towards the cost of your care and support you can take this money as a direct payment.

Direct payments are regular payments that we make to you (or your carer) so that you can arrange, manage and pay for your care and support yourself. You will have more freedom, flexibility and control over how your support is provided, who provides your support and when it is provided. We will need to agree with you what you would like to spend the money on, but we aim to give you as much choice as possible.

If you decide to receive a direct payment we will deduct the amount that you have been assessed to contribute towards your care from the amount of money we will pay you.

Direct payments example

  • We have worked out that the support you need will cost £60 per week.

  • Our financial assessment shows that you can afford to pay £40 towards the cost of your support based on your income and capital.

  • We will pay the remaining £20.

  • If you chose to receive a direct payment, we would pay you the £20 directly.

  • You will be required to pay your contribution into your Direct Payment bank account or into the Kent Card account.

  • You arrange your support yourself using your £40 and our £20 contribution to pay your care providers directly.

You'll need to be able to manage your direct payments (either by yourself or with help). If you don't think you'll be able to manage, you can always nominate someone else to manage your payments for you. If there's a reason we can't offer you direct payments, we'll tell you.

Direct payments for carers

You can request a carer's assessment to find out if you are eligible for a direct payment or other types of financial support.

The Kent Card

The best way to receive your direct payment is through the Kent Card. The Kent Card works in the same way as a debit card. You can use the card to pay for your care to the provider online or over the phone.

We regularly review your direct payments to ensure they are being used in line with your care and support plan. If you use a Kent Card you don't have to send in your statements as we can see them online. If you use a bank account for your direct payments, you have to send in your bank statements.

If you would like a Kent Card, please talk to your case manager or call the Direct Payments Helpline on 03000 41 36 00.

Your new Kent Card and PIN will be sent to you within 2 weeks.

Get direct payments

To set up direct payments, speak to your case manager or social worker.

For information about direct payments please email or call us on 03000 41 36 00.

Our guide will help you if you need more information about how to get started and what's involved:

We also have information in easy read:

Using direct payments to employ a personal assistant

A personal assistant (PA) is someone who is employed to help people do a variety of day-to-day activities. Find out more about what a PA does and how they can help with your care.

If you want to find out more about employing a personal assistant, registering a PA vacancy or becoming a PA, we have a website to help make the experience as simple as possible.

Go to Kent PA web

If you employ a personal assistant using direct payments, you become their employer, with all the same responsibilities as any employer. Read our guides:


You can get free training on using your direct payment as an employer from the following organisations:

Kent Card