Personal budgets & direct payments

"I want to understand the options for managing my personal budget."

Support with direct payments

Do you want to continue living at home?

We know it's important to stay independent for as long as possible, in your own home.

Whether you have just started to receive direct payments for your personal budget, or you have been receiving them for a while, here is some information that may be useful to you.

Direct payments

If you are managing your own care, here is some guidance on your direct payments.

Managing your Virtual Wallet account

Access your Virtual Wallet account

If you receive your direct payment into a Virtual Wallet account, you can access your account below:

Access your Virtual Wallet account

Payment or Account help

Call Virtual Wallet support on 03300 582 692

Managing your allpay account

Access your allpay account

If you receive direct payments into a prepaid card account, you can access your account below.

Payment or account help

Change how your direct payments are paid to you

If you would like to change how you receive your direct payments, the direct payment support team can help.

Please get in touch by either of the following methods and leave your details:

Ending your direct payments

If you no longer wish to arrange your own care

You can end your direct payments whenever you like and we’ll arrange your services for you instead. Just let your community wellbeing team know and they will arrange for the direct payment support officer to visit to help you close things down and make any necessary payments.

If we end your direct payments

We may need to end your direct payments for another reason, such as you:

  • go into a care home on a long-term basis
  • are having issues managing your money.

If this happens you will be kept informed and we will make other arrangements to make sure you still get the care and support you need.

Employing staff

If you are employing your own staff as part of your care and support plan, our direct payment support service will provide guidance on all aspects of recruiting, employing and managing them.

Recruiting staff

East Riding PA Web provides information and advice about finding and employing a personal assistant.

Find a personal assistant in your area

Employee checks

Before you offer anyone employment, we strongly recommend that you request:


It is essential that you create a contract of employment that both you and your employee sign, so you both know where you stand. It should include things like:

  • your name
  • employee name
  • their job title
  • the place of work
  • employment start date
  • hours of work
  • holiday entitlement
  • sick leave and sick pay entitlement
  • period of notice on both sides.

You should set a probationary period to allow you to get to know each other before you both completely commit to the arrangement.

You also need to think about what will happen if you are away, or have to go into hospital – will you continue to pay a full salary, or just a retainer amount?


If you are employing your own staff (rather than using an agency or a self-employed worker) then you will need to make arrangements to pay them. You can do this yourself, or employ a payroll provider to do this for you. We’ll give you a list of local providers, which includes their charges.

The cost of payroll can be paid from your direct payment. If you are going to do this yourself you may need to register as an employer. Find out more about registering as an employer on the GOV.UK website.

You need to pay at least the minimum wage, and it does change every year. Learn more about the national minimum wage and national living wage rates on the GOV.UK website. You will need to have time sheets completed by your employee and authorised by you, as well as a record of all holidays and sickness absence. Your payroll provider will support you with this.


You must make sure you have the correct insurance if you are employing staff, this includes:

  • employer liability insurance
  • public liability insurance
  • adequate car insurance, if they are going to drive your car.

A direct payment support officer will be able to advise on taking out the right insurance and you can use your personal budget to pay for this. You can read more about the insurance you need on the GOV.UK website.

In an emergency

It is important to think about how your care needs would be met if something unexpected happened. For example, what would you do if your personal assistant was unwell and unable to provide your usual care?

Create a plan that details any situations that could arise and what you would expect to happen. This is particularly important to have if your usual cover is not in place in an emergency situation.

Please note: if you have been left without cover and an emergency occurs, we will make sure you have the support you need. This is usually through a care agency and can continue until your usual care arrangements are back to normal again.