MERTON COUNCIL PUTTING YOU FIRST July 2010 Issue 1 Direct Payments Newsletter Date 2009 col) Merton Managed Accounts and Pre-Paid Cards Consultation Welcome to a special edition of the Direct Because of the developments in adult social Payments Newsletter, aiming to give you care, we need to look at the ways we plan to an update on Self-Directed Support in deliver your personal budget to you, to make Merton, and exciting improvements to it as easy and straight forward as possible. direct payments that could be coming your way. Two methods we are considering introducing are pre-paid cards and Merton On the 1st June 2010, Merton began Phase Managed Accounts. You can find more Two of the Self Directed Support (SDS) information about these further in the delivery process. This has meant all new newsletter. social care customers who have assessed eligible needs are going through the SDS Direct Payments are one way customers process and receiving a personal budget. can have their personal budget delivered. Therefore, we would like you, the Direct Payments customers, to be the first to know To date, 45 people across social care about the proposed developments, to try (including young people in Transition, them out, and to find out how you feel about people with a learning disability, Older them. This newsletter is designed to give People, People with a Mental Health Issue) you some more information about the have received an indicative allocation and proposed developments, and invite you to are now going through the support planning let us know what you think. phase, and a further 22 people have received a personal budget. So far, most For more information on Self Directed customers have chosen to have a direct Support, please contact Heather Begg payment, and some have chosen to have (Project Lead) on 0208 545 4515,or email their services directly provided for them by enquiries to: their social care practitioner. PersonalisationQueries@merton.gov.uk By October (the start of Phase 3 of SDS www.merton.gov.uk/tasc: Up-to-date delivery process) all existing customers will information about Merton’s Adult Services go through the SDS process at the point of Transformation Programme, including their scheduled review. resource documents and customer forms MERTON COUNCIL PUTTING YOU FIRST Pre-Paid Cards What are Pre-paid cards? Could I spend too much by mistake? A pre-paid card is a method of delivering No. Your money will be paid into your your direct payment to you. It is a unique account the same way as it is now, usually Visa debit card, which can be loaded with every four weeks, so you won’t be able to your allocated budget by the Council for you spend more than your allocation. There is no to spend on services that meet your needs. overdraft on the account so you can only The cards can be topped up at regular spend what you have. intervals or for one-off payments, and the funds are available to spend with any Will I be able to pay my private personal . organisation able to accept card payments. assistant using a pre-paid card? You will be able to pay for your services Yes. You will be able to pay for services over the telephone, in person or online or via through BACS. If you are using a payroll BACS. company you can pay for the service via the telephone or online. What are the advantages? You will not have to supply us with Will I have to pay for a pre-paid card? any monitoring information like you No. do at the moment, as the finance officer will be able to monitor your Will I have support until I get used to the account directly online pre-paid cards? If you can’t get a bank account, you Yes. We will go through the whole process will still be able to have a pre-paid with you, and make sure you know how to card as no credit checks are use the new cards. The whole team are here required to help you every step of the way so you More people will be able to access won’t be left on your own. direct payments who haven’t previously been able to How will this affect me? You can have direct access to your We would like Direct Payments money 24 hours a day, seven days customers to be the first people in a week including telephone and Merton to have the chance to use these internet banking new cards. We talked about pre-paid Enables us to get money to our cards at the last forum and members customers quicker were eager to try them out. We would like to invite you to the next Direct Payments forum to give you some more information. Details of the next forum can be found at the back of the newsletter. MERTON COUNCIL PUTTING YOU FIRST Merton Managed Accounts What is a Merton Managed Account? A Merton Managed Account is where your Customers who may need more support to personal budget allocation is held and manage their financial affairs and who do looked after by Merton Council. Part or all of not have support in the community. your personal budget is loaded onto your pre-paid card (see previous page for more Will I still be able to control the type of information), which Merton then holds for services I want to receive? you. This means you will have control over Yes, as long as they meet the agreed needs how you want your money spent, but we will and outcomes that have been agreed in monitor how much is being spent, pay for your support plan. You will tell us how to any services you receive directly from it, and spend your money, but we will make all the be responsible for things such as payroll if payments. We will keep you informed of you employ a carer. your balance, and verify bills and timesheets submitted for payment with you. What are the advantages? You have control over your care, Will I have to pay for this service? but Merton looks after the money It is likely there will be a charge for this You can choose to have your service. However, it is likely this will form whole budget administered by the part of your personal budget allocation, Council, or just part of it which is subject to a financial assessment. It enables people with limited capacity to still have some choice and control over their personal The Pilot budget If pre-paid cards and Merton managed If the Council arranges services accounts go ahead in Merton, we will for a large number of customers contact you about giving you your this may help to lower costs with direct payments through a pre-paid certain providers card. The pilot would last around six This type of account can be used months, and we will be there every where there are safeguarding step of the way to help you with this worries new process. Throughout the pilot and at the end of the scheme, we will give Who is this suitable for? you every opportunity to let us know This type of account will be suitable for all what you think. customers though is aimed at those The Consultation Direct Payments Forum Now you know a little bit more about pre- At the next Direct Payments forum we paid cards and Merton managed accounts, will be talking in more detail about pre- we would like you to tell us what you think paid cards and Merton managed about them. These developments are accounts. designed to make the process of receiving direct payments easier for our customers. Find out how they would work Remember we will be there every step of the for you way to make sure you understand the Ask any questions you might changes that may happen. have Meet with a representative of Your answers will help us make a decision Boston Marks, who have about the next steps to take in direct worked with other authorities payments, and whether or not you want to introducing pre-paid cards be part of this. Meet with Daniel Clark from Direct Payments who will talk to Please complete the enclosed you further about Merton questionnaire, and return it to us by 31st managed accounts August 2010. Give us your thoughts on the developments Or come along to the next Direct Payments Find out about the pilot and talk forum on Monday 2nd August and give us to the Direct Payments Team your feedback there. about how we will be supporting you The Direct Payments Team Monday 2nd August, 11am – 1.30pm, All Saints Day Centre, South Wimbledon If you would like to attend please contact us on 020 8545 3632. We look forward to seeing you there!