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Direct payments

If a child with special educational needs or disabilities (SEND) gets support from us through a personal budget, their parents or carers can be supported by direct payments.

The same applies to young people with SEND over the age of 16 who receive a personal budget.

A direct payment is money given to you to buy care services.

It gives you more choice about the support you get, who provides it, and when.

Direct payments can be used for:

  • employing a personal assistant to support young people, including help in the home, feeding, personal care, and day activities supported by a carer
  • day and overnight short breaks

You cannot use direct payments for:

  • nursing care
  • residential care for more than 4 consecutive weeks
  • alcohol, tobacco or drugs
  • gambling
  • illegal activities
  • equipment provided by the NHS
  • household bills
  • keeping your home clean