Direct payments for care and support

If you need care and support, there are a number of options available to you.

You may need a little help when out in the community, you may need personal care in your home, or you may need to access accommodation-based support. You will need to think about the best way to meet your needs.

You may choose to pay for your own support locally and if so, we can point you in the right direction. You may however need some more help in finding and paying for the care that is right for you.

You can choose to:

  • purchase your own care privately
  • have a direct payment
  • have services that are provided or arranged by Oxfordshire County Council
  • have a mixture of a direct payment and services the council can provide or arrange.

Your choice is important, and here you can read more about one option, Direct Payments.

What is a Direct Payment?

If you have been assessed as having eligible needs, you will be entitled to a ‘personal budget’ as part of your support plan; an amount of money to support your care needs, which is planned and agreed between you, your representative/nominee, and your local council.

A Direct Payment is a way of receiving this budget to allow you to purchase your own care and support in a way that best suits you so that you can be as independent as possible.

You are able to choose how this money is spent and take as much control over your own care as you feel comfortable with.

A Direct Payment is usually paid into an account that we create for you. You would use a card to purchase your care, set up direct debits, and make one-off payments as required.

Will I have to pay towards a Direct Payment?

If you receive a Direct Payment from the council, you will need a financial assessment to see what you can afford to contribute towards the cost.

The amount you have to contribute will depend on your savings, income, any property you may own, and your disability-related expenditure.

You can find out more on our paying for care page.

Where do I start?

Being ‘eligible’ means that, because of illness or disability, you need support and care to manage some of the basics of everyday life, such as eating, using the toilet, maintaining relationships, or keeping yourself safe at home.

Whether you choose to purchase your own care, or you want the council to help you there is a wide range of local support services and activities available to you and a broad network of voluntary, community, and faith organisations in Oxfordshire.

  • Family, friends, and neighbours can often be an invaluable source of help and support, as well as care homes and providers of care and support in your own home.
  • Live Well Oxfordshire

A directory of services available to you at

If you think you or someone you know, may have a need for social care support, you have the right to ask the council for an assessment of your needs to see if you are eligible for support from Oxfordshire County Council. The council uses national eligibility criteria for both adults with care and support needs and carers with support needs to work out if you are eligible.

Direct Payments approved provider list (APL).

More information

If you are interested in receiving a direct payment and would like more information you can contact the Direct Payment Advice Team.