Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
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direct payment

kennykenny Member Posts: 77 Courageous
Does any one have a problem being told what tobspend their direct payment on?


  • MickeyMickey Member Posts: 16
    Hi Kenny - it would be interesting to hear more about this. Who are you having this problem with?
  • kennykenny Member Posts: 77 Courageous
    Hi mickey, my local social services, object to me spending my direct payment on taxis, which help me get out and about, although I have been spending it on taxi fares for seven years. Their reason being is that I am in receipt of high rate DLA and also have a mobility car which my dad takes me out evening and weekends, he works during the day which leaves me stuck at home. I am entitled to the money, why should I be dictated to, when non disabled people who claim benefits are not told what to spend their benefit on, I see this as discrimination, what do others think?
  • Debbie_ScopeDebbie_Scope Member Posts: 947 Pioneering
    Hi Kenny,

    We've done a little looking into this for you but there are mixed views around the use of direct payments to pay for transport costs.

    The Department of Health Care and Support Statutory guidance states in point 12.34 "The direct payment is designed to be used flexibly and innovatively and there should be no unreasonable restriction placed on the use of the payment, as long as it is being used to meet eligible care and support needs.” 

    Technically you should be able to use direct payments to pay towards transport costs as long as it is to meet eligible needs.

    It would be worth reading through your care and support plan to see how it is worded. Can identified needs be met by use of the mobility car?  If not, then you could try to argue that your care and support plan is currently not meeting your eligible needs and that using your direct payment to pay for taxis would meet that need. 

    Generally speaking and from experience, local authorities will not pay for transport costs because this need should be met with the higher/enhanced rates of DLA/PIP mobility.

    If you could tell us which local authority is concerned we can do some further research for you.

    Best wishes
    Debbie (Information Officer Benefits, Finance & Housing)
    Angela (Information Officer Social Care)
  • kennykenny Member Posts: 77 Courageous
    Derby city council., they are prepared to pay two days taxi, going out meets my needs S I have suffered mental health issues, and this was due to me not being able to get out and about as I wanted the point being Debbie if I was payi g a p a to take me out no issue would arise but because I want to use it to travel by myself as this is one of the few things I can do this argument has arose after seven years of doing so.
  • kennykenny Member Posts: 77 Courageous
    Also Debbie, I have, over the years had meetings with social workers who have agreed my greatest need is to get out in the community , and this is what meets my needs , and that is the point I am fighting on.
  • Debbie_ScopeDebbie_Scope Member Posts: 947 Pioneering
    Hi Kenny,

    Sorry for the delay in responding.
    Are you in the process of raising an official complaint with the council on the basis that your current support is not meeting your needs? This could be an option to consider. Is anyone supporting you with this or are you challenging it on your own?

  • kennykenny Member Posts: 77 Courageous
    Hi Debbie, my direct payment is under threat, but not yet been stopped, I have contacted my mp but have not had an answer yet. My personal social worker is very understanding, but it is the ones above her who have the problem.it is true that the mobility car does not meet all my needs,and in my research I have found that there is no reason why I cannot use my direct payment for transport .Over the years Debbie, I have overcome severe mental health problems as well as cerebral palsy, and learning difficulties, my doctor is supporting me ,but apart from that I am trying to challenge them, with the help of my parents.can you help me in this at all Debbie? I would appreciate any support I can get.I have been told I am entitled to the money, the argument over is what I spend it on I have been told I can spend it on someone coming in to wash and shave me ,but what would I do all day? I am trying to get my point across.
  • MickeyMickey Member Posts: 16
    Hi Kenny - I'm sure Debbie will have suggestions for you. In the meantime, have you accessed local sources of support, such as an advocacy service? Scope have regional workers too.
  • ScopeHelplineScopeHelpline Member Posts: 209 Courageous
    edited May 2016
    Hi Kenny,

    As Mickey has quite rightly pointed out, we have Regional Information and Advice workers who might be able to support you with this. Are you able to contact me directly at the helpline so we can look at this in more depth and get some support? You're absolutely right, we've been researching this issue too, and there are no reasons why your direct payment cannot be used for taxis. We do know that local authorities are taking quite a hard stance on this subject through the queries we get here at the helpline. I look forward to hearing from you.


    Thanks for your input Mickey :)
  • Debbie_ScopeDebbie_Scope Member Posts: 947 Pioneering
    Sorry I should have posted the last comment under my own profile :)
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