Direct Payments - Development


Direct Payments were set up with the Community Care (Direct Payments) Act (1996) which came into force in April 1997 and was initially available only to a specific subsection of people qualifying for social care. The Act gave local authorities in Britain and Northern Ireland, the powers to make cash payments to disabled people. Initially, this was confined to people under age 65 years with physical and sensory impairments, learning difficulties and mental health problems. It was later amended to include older people, 16 and 17 year olds, parents of disabled children and in England, Wales and Northern Ireland only, carers caregivers. This gave local authorities and health and social services trusts, the option of whether to allocate direct payments or maintain existing models of service provision. This led to an uneven development of direct payments across the UK with particularly poor uptake in Scotland.

The Carers and Disabled Children Act (2000)) allowed parents of disabled children in England and Wales to receive direct payments, and 16 and 17 year olds to receive them in their own right. Changes set out in the Health and Social Care Act (2001) which came into effect in 2003, sought to challenge this pattern by setting in place a mandatory duty on all local authorities to offer direct payments to all eligible people requesting one.

Read more about this topic:  Direct Payments

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