Merton Council

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Direct payments finance and monitoring

The Direct Payments Finance team are responsible for making sure your payments reach your account on time. They will also make sure your payments are used appropriately to meet your needs

Monitoring

We are now holding surgeries at the Civic Centre usually on the first Tuesday of every month, to offer help with monitoring forms. If this is inconvenient for you then you can come in to see us by making an appointment. If you are unable to visit, we can come to see you in the comfort of your home. If you would like to arrange an appointment call 020 8545 3632.

Frequently asked questions

Q. When will the first payment be made?

A. We will make payments to you every 28 days, in advance. Your first payment may take longer depending on how quickly we receive all of the correctly completed paperwork and how quickly you register with your chosen payroll agency (if applicable).

Q. When can my PA start work?

A. Unless agreed with your care manager your PA should start work on the day that your agreement commences. You should agree all of the terms of their employment, including when they will be paid, before their start date.

Q  How will I know the money has been credited to my pre paid card?

A. An advice slip will be posted to you each time money is paid into your account. You can check your balance on line, by calling the pre paid card provider, or by ringing us.

Q. What will my direct payments cover?

A. The payment covers the care/ support described in your care plan and any costs involved in being an employer, where applicable. Refer to your User Guide for information on agreed expenses or contact 020 8545 3632.

Q. When should I pay my PA/agency?

A. We will provide you with the money to buy a professional payroll service every four weeks. When they send you a payslip showing the amount that your PA has earned, less their deductions, then you can pay them. Agencies should be paid within 7 days of receiving the invoice, once it has been checked. If it is incorrect please contact the agency immediately.

Payroll agencies and tax

Q. Why do I need a payroll agency?

A. It is an offence to avoid or allow your PA to avoid paying tax and national insurance. The Tax Office (HMRC) will hold you responsible as an employer for deducting your employee(s) tax and national insurance contributions. You must then pay this to the tax office. We will give you the money to find a professional payroll company to do this for you.

Q. How do I know if my PA needs to pay tax?

A. The payroll company will be able to tell from your PA’s tax code and their P45 exactly how much needs to be deducted each month. If your PA only works a few hours but does other paid work, they will most likely have to pay tax.

Q. What will the payroll agency provide?

A. They will provide you with pay slips.  You must give your PA written details of their pay and deductions and keep this information for your own records. This will show exactly how much money you should pay your PA. They will also send you details of how much tax to send to the tax office and when to pay it. They will send you a bill for this service, which is covered by the money we will pay to you.

Q. Can I run my own payroll?

A. Yes, if you feel you are able you can manage your own payroll. You can use the money normally allocated for a payroll service to buy the appropriate software, or you may wish to use the HMRC on line system. The tax office is requesting that all returns are completed online by 2010.  

Q. Should I keep all my paperwork?

A. Yes, all your paperwork should be kept for at least seven years, whether you do your own payroll or use an agency to do it for you. It is your responsibility to keep these records.

Monitoring

Q. Do I need to send any information about how I have spent the money?

A. Yes, for the first month we would like to see all invoices, payslips and other bills. We will be able to see your spending on line and if we need to see any paperwork after that we will contact you. Please keep all invoices and payslips in a safe place until we need them.

Surplus money in your direct payment account

Q. What happens to money that I haven’t been able to use?

A. If there is surplus money in the account after you have paid for all of your care services and other associated costs, we will recover the money from time to time from your prepaid card.

Q Can’t I just buy extra services with the money?

A. Your Direct Payment has been calculated to cover the cost of the services detailed in your care plan. If the hours no longer meet your needs it is important that your Care Manager is informed so that your circumstances can be properly reassessed. If you buy extra services without their knowledge, they will not be aware of your current needs.

Money may build up in the account if you have been in hospital or away from home. We need to recover the extra money so that we can continue to offer services to meet the needs of others.

Contact us

Direct Payment Team
Merton Civic Centre
London Road
Morden
SM4 1BR

Email: Directpaymentsduty@merton.gov.uk

This page was last updated on Monday 9 November 2015

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