Plans to extend direct payments to disabled adults

The government has unveiled plans to extend direct payments to disabled adults, providing them with more choice and control over the state funding and services they receive.

Disabled people will receive direct payments in areas where currently they are not available by drawing together resources from different funding streams to better meet their needs.

The scheme will be trialled from late next year in eight trailblazer areas, which are yet to be chosen.

Right to control scheme

The plans, contained in Making Choice and Control a Reality for Disabled People, form the government response to the consultation on the right to control scheme.

Funding streams to be included in the pilot areas are Access to Work, Work Choice, the Independent Living Fund, Supporting People and the Disabled Facilities Grant. Community care for adults will also be included.

It means, for example, that a disabled person who needs support from a specialist disability employment programme will be able to decide how this is provided and who carries it out.

Disability living allowance, attendance allowance and employment support allowance will not be included.

Co-locating pilots

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) said it would be looking to co-locate right-to-control pilot sites and personal health budget pilots.

Minister for disabled people Jonathan Shaw said: “Disabled people are the experts in their own lives and that is why, through the Welfare Reform Act, we have put this legislation in place. This new scheme could have an impact on every area of disabled people’s lives.”

The DWP said individuals could choose to continue receiving the services arranged on their behalf or have a combination of the two options.

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