Does option 1 mean different things depending on what you are using it for?


I have been given option 1 which I requested. However,I’m now informed that I will not receive a direct payment and that the council will keep hold of the funds and they will make the payments.The only reason I can find if I look online is that this might happen if SW think you are not capable of handling the funds and are vulnerable to someone taking the money from you. This certainly does not apply in my case.

Can the way they handle option 1 depend on what you are using it for? They have hinted that’s a reason they can do it.



You are correct, the LA is wrong. I had exactly this problem and I took legal action against the LA and they immediately paid me the direct payment into an account I control. I can help you with this if you need help. Formal complaint → Ombudsman (waste of time but you may have to do it) → Judicial Review. Might be able to skip the ombudsman.

See here for a complaint letter: Ask permission before, or check up afterwards? - #13 by Josh


Hello Josh

Thanks for this support and offer to help me if need be.
I’m new to posting and only noticed your situation after putting this up but still I wondered if I was missing something so left the post on. I’m now going to look at what you did to argue the point and go back to them. I’ve been feeling unsure about keeping asking for the payment as it is very much being put over if I do that I won’t get anything at all.


Are they saying they will use a managed account, or a pre-payment card, or something else?

They have not told me how they are doing it. They have said I must get quotes send them to them they will make a decision who to use and they will make the payment. So I wouldn’t have control over anything.

Just a thought they suggested I be involved with Community Brokerage I wonder if they want them to handle the payments. This is not how I wanted to handle the funds though.


That’s really weird. Are you sure it’s Option 1? What local authority area are you in? Any ‘community broker’ worth the name will help you get a proper direct payment. Is there a local support brokerage service they are pointing you to?


Yes definitely during my assessment I asked for option 1 and when I viewed the completed assessment it states option 1. I was even prepared with a new bank account set up.

I just didn’t have the knowledge/confidence to argue with them in case they could do what they want with option 1. I wondered for example was it because council’s don’t always all work the same. But after looking at what you did and the information you have given me it looks as though one thing for sure is if you choose option 1 and you get option 1 they can’t then say they are doing it differently just to take control.


It is the local Community Brokerage service.


Hi Ann,
Welcome to the SDS Forum and thank you for posting a query. I can see you’ve had a lot of feedback and ideas from Josh.

I wanted to highlight a couple of things if that was ok. Josh mentioned about a local Community Brokerage service and it sounds like you might have made contact with them already, which I’m sure will be really helpful. I wanted to let you know that the Scottish Government fund a local Independent SDS Information and support service in every Local Authority area of Scotland, so there might be a specific organisation that you could receive support from in your area. To find out who they are, you can either do a search on our ‘Find Help’ tool on our website here:
Alternatively, if you let me know which Local Authority area you live in I can forward on their contact details.

I also just wanted to clarify something about SDS and Option 1, direct payments. There is something called the SDS Statutory Guidance, which sets out what the legislation says and how SDS should be implemented in practise. As this is statutory, this Guidance needs to be taken into consideration by Local Authorities when they are implementing SDS. This Guidance states:

Duty to offer four options to the supported person
■ This applies with respect to adults, children and their families, adult carers and young carers;
■ Under the 2013 Act, the authority has a duty to offer four options to all adults, children and carers
eligible for support or provided with services. The options are intended to support the flexibility and
creativity allowed under the social welfare and wellbeing duties so that both adults and children can
exercise choice and control at the level at which they want to exercise it.’ (p.11) (my emphasis)

The Guidance also goes on to state:

Duty to explain the nature and effect of the four options and to signpost to other
sources of information and additional support (applies to adults, children/families, adult
carers and young carers)
■ The authority is placed under a duty to explain the nature and effect of the four options provided
under the 2013 Act as part of the assessment process. This means that the authority’s social work
function should explain what each of the four options mean, taking account of the amount of choice
and control that the supported person wants;
■ This means that the social worker should discuss with the supported person the varying degrees of
flexibility and control associated with each option, and what the different options might look like in
practice for the supported person given their circumstances, assets and circles of support;’ (p.11) (my emphasis)

The Guidance then further states:
‘The support and information provided to the person, directly by the authority or through others on
its behalf, must be impartial, balanced and well-informed. The emphasis should be on supporting the person to make an informed choice’ (p.12) (my emphasis)

So I just wanted to highlight what legal duties the Local Authority has when it comes to offering the 4 SDS Options, once you have been assessed as being eligible for funded support.

I would also add something that you mentioned Ann. If the Local Authority thinks that the person choosing a direct payment might be at some sort of risk by receiving a direct payment, or that the support they need cannot be secured via a direct payment, then they may have a legitimate reason to refuse to offer Option 1. However, I would expect them to discuss this further with you.

I hope I haven’t given you too much information. If you wanted to check the SDS Statutory Guidance yourself, you can find this here: Social Care (Self-directed Support) (Scotland) Act 2013: statutory guidance -

There is also something called the SDS Standards which is a really helpful document that outlines the Standards that Local Authorities are working to when implementing SDS. It is much shorter and easier to read than the Statutory Guidance. You can find a copy of the SDS Standards here: Social care - self-directed support: framework of standards -

I hope that helps and do come back to me if you’d like more information on any local support available to you.

Many thanks,


Hi MarkieBoy

Thank you for adding this information and offer of support it’s very helpful.

Yes I’m hoping the Community Brokerage service will give me the support I require so I will know better once I have spoken to them. One thing I’m certain about now though after good advice on here is that option 1 direct payment means a direct payment to me!


Hi Ann,

Well done on getting on here to ask the question.

To add my two cents, every LA does things frustratingly differently, but this is not normal practice for direct payments and certainly isn’t in keeping with the idea of choice and control. The nuts and bolts of a direct payment should be the same, regardless of what you are using it for. The only thing that really differs is whether you are paid a lump sum or getting regular payments (and what payment method the LA uses, i.e. pre-paid card, bank account etc.). What your LA are talking about actually sounds more like SDS Option 2, when the LA or someone else manages the funds, but you have not chosen this.

If they are “doing it differently”, they should at least be able to explain why this is and how it fits with the SDS guidelines and standards. If not, they are certainly opening themselves up to being challenged. It sounds like you can get plenty advice from Josh, but Civil Rights First may be a useful source of advice and support if you needed this in the future: Civil Rights First

Regarding making a contribution, I would expect this to be calculated on the full budget as you are expected be needing and using the full amount (if you can). You want to have all the info you need to be able to make informed decisions about using your budget, so knowing what the contribution is going to be is something I would want to know.

Please let us know how you get on as it’s always good to learn about what is happening across Scotland and what works/doesn’t work.


Hi Justin

Thanks also for your support and advice every bit from everyone has been most welcome.

So true it’s a big step posting but it’s a great way to learn how things should work!

I’m certainly well equipped now to move forward and argue to have things done as they should be done.


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