Direct payments

Southend-on-Sea City Council can offer funding instead of arranging direct services for those who are eligible. This is known as a direct payment.

Direct payments are contributions made to the parents or carers of a disabled child. These are made in advance, usually every four weeks. They enable parents/carers to purchase and arrange their own support to meet their child's needs. Funding can be paid directly into the bank account of some 16-17 year olds. Payments are made to an adult who has parental responsibility where a child or young person is under the age of 16.

The aim is to give people more choice, greater flexibility and more control over the support they receive.

You can use direct payments for:

  • employing a personal assistant for your child as an overnight or day carer
  • community activities such as after school clubs
  • short residential breaks
  • support with your child's personal care

You can get direct payments for your child if:

  • you have had a single social work assessment that finds your child is eligible for a care package from the Children with Disabilities (CWD) Service
  • your child's disability has social care needs where a direct payment would be suitable to support you to meet those needs
  • you consent to receiving a direct payment on behalf of your child and that you will be able to manage the payments either by self-management or through a service provider commissioned by the local authority

Vibrance provide access to a Personal Assistant and Buddy register via `LinkMeUp` for people in receipt of direct payments on behalf of Southend-on-Sea City Council.

Visit the Vibrance website.

Visit the LinkMeUp website.

How to apply for direct payments

If you feel you need additional support for your child, or would like to find out if Direct Payments are right for you, please contact:


  • Call: 01702 215007
  • Monday to Thursday: 9am to 5.30pm
  • Friday: 9am to 4.30pm

Please be ready to provide details of your child's disability and the reasons why you are asking for an assessment by the Children with Disabilities Team.