The Direct Payments Prepaid Card

Improvements to Direct Payments for Adult Social Care customers

Warwickshire County Council has introduced a new and improved way to assist and make things easier for people to manage the ongoing Direct Payments they receive for their care and support: a prepaid card.

A prepaid card is similar to a debit or credit card, but there is no credit or overdraft facility.

It provides a more efficient and speedy process for getting money to Direct Payment customers as payments are made straight into the account by Adult Social Care and Support. There is no requirement for those people receiving ongoing payments to open separate bank accounts.

It improves how the Council monitor payments and will reduce the amount of paperwork customers are requested to send into the Council on a quarterly basis. Customers can now upload all their receipts and invoices into their prepaid card account instead of sending them into the Council.

The card can be used to pay for services and support that meet customers’ needs and outcomes, as agreed in their support plan, in person (using chip and pin), by standing order or direct debit, or by bank transfer via the internet or telephone.

It is a secure and easy way to make payments for care and support. Customers can check their account balances online, by text message or via the telephone. The account does not have a chequebook.

Another benefit of the prepaid card is that it will promote financial awareness and social inclusion for those Adult Social Care customers who previously did not have access to banking facilities.

New Direct Payments recipients are able to sign up for the prepaid card now and existing adult customers will be supported to transfer across starting from April 2019.

What do I need to do?

If you are a Social Care Practitioner, you will need to provide information, advice and guidance on Direct Payments.

For customers receiving ongoing payments you will need to include the benefits of using a prepaid card . You will need to inform them their payments will be offered on a prepaid card if they meet the conditions set out within the Care Act 2014.

For Direct Payment customers receiving a one off payment you will need to advise them that the money will be paid into a bank account and their details will be required to do this.

Two useful leaflets, one for practitioners and one for customers, have been produced to help you explain the benefits of receiving the payment on a card and the terms and conditions of a Direct Payment.  A checklist for existing customers transferring across to a prepaid card account will be available shortly.

You can download the leaflets below or contact the Independent Living Team (ilt@warwickshire.gov.uk) if you would like print copies.

Independent Living Team officers will talk to you about this change and inform you when you need to start discussing this with new customers you are working with.

Direct Payment guidance and factsheets have been updated to reflect this change. For more information on Direct Payments, including prepaid cards Frequently Asked Questions, visit www.warwickshire.gov.uk/directpayments.

Resources

Below you will find the resources you need to understand how the Direct Payment Prepaid  works in Warwickshire and to help you communicate this with health and social care staff.

Direct Payments Poster – Explains the benefits of the Prepaid Card and how it works.

Direct Payments Practitioner Leaflet – Read Online Version and Direct Payments Practitioner Leaflet – Online Print Friendly (select to print on 2 sides on the short edge in your print settings) – A guide for Adult Social Care practitioners on how the Prepaid Card account works, what the benefits are and what practitioners should do.

Direct Payments Customer Leaflet – Read Online Version and Direct Payments Customer Leaflet Online Print Friendly (select to print on 2 sides on the short edge in your print settings) – A guide for Adult Social Care customers on how the Prepaid Card account works, what the benefits are and what customers should do.