Direct Payment and Personal Health Budget support

This page contains advice for people who buy care and support through a direct payment, as well as personal assistants, and organisations that support them.

Personal assistant testing

Personal assistants are entitled to twice weekly Lateral Flow Testing (LFT). All guidance for personal assistant testing can be found on GOV.UK.

Direct Payments and vaccination

Personal assistants – staff who are employed by people who receive a Direct Payment – are eligible for the vaccine programme and have been identified by the government as a priority group of frontline social care workers.

The county council is now directly contacting people who receive a Direct Payment to identify their PA's for vaccination and ensure that they are included in the programme. We will ask for relevant information to enable the vaccination of Personal Assistants as necessary and in line with government guidance.

If you receive a Direct Payment from us and wish to arrange for the vaccination of your staff, please wait to be contacted by the county council.  

COVID-19 guidance for Personal Assistants, PA Employers and Direct Payment recipients

This local guide contains the most common questions we have been asked and some important information when employing personal assistants. Please note that Government guidance and legal provisions are changing almost daily.

Department of Health and Social Care Guidance: Coronavirus (COVID-19): guidance for people receiving direct payments

This national guidance  is aimed at people who receive support via direct payments through personal budgets and personal health budgets, and local authorities, clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) and providers who support and deliver care via direct payments.

It sets out key messages to support planning and help to slow the transmission of the coronavirus (COVID-19) as the outbreak progresses across the country.

Lancashire County Council's letter to direct payment recipients

The following letter has been sent to all direct payments recipients. It informs them of the support that is available during these challenging times.  

Advice on the loss of income for providers, who have private contractual arrangements with direct payment recipients, when the service has been temporarily suspended, due to Covid-19

Lancashire County Council are encouraging direct payment recipients to continue to pay their care provider, even if the person is using their direct payment for alternative care and support during the pandemic. Direct payment recipients can claim for additional emergency payments to continue to pay any bills from their usual provider.

As the contractual relationship is made between the direct payment recipient and the provider, the council is unable to intervene. The decision to continue payments, when no service is being delivered, is therefore based on:

  • The terms and conditions of the contract; and/or
  • The DP recipient's agreement to continue with payments.

If there is a break in an arrangement with the provider, Lancashire County Council will not cover the loss of income. However if that means that your organisation will face severe financial difficulties you must get in touch with the council via the Contracts Team at