Use of direct payment

Looking for some advice.My son is in receipt of a direct payment from local authority.
During covid he was given funds from it to purchase a hot tub to help with his hypotonia and mental health. It is very cold to use without being enclosed .Could he receive a contribution from direct payment to purchase a shed to put the tub in to get th use of it.
Thankyou .

Hi Lewis,
Thank you for query in relation to the use of a direct payment. It’s great to hear that your son was able to use some of his SDS budget to pay for the hot tub during the pandemic - and it sounds as if this is really helpful for his health and well-being.

I can imagine that it must be very cold to try and use the hot tub during the winter, especially if it’s outdoors, so the idea of putting this in an enclosed space to make it useable during winter, sounds like a really helpful idea.

In terms of using any of your son’s direct payments to pay or contribute towards the cost of something like a shed, then I think this would need a further discussion between your son, yourself and your son’s Social Worker. You’ve identified a way of using the SDS budget that will hopefully help to meet your son’s Personal Outcomes and the assessed needs that he has. So it might be a case of outlining this to the Social Worker and asking if this will be ok. If you have any underspend on your son’s SDS budget, this might be a relevant way of making use of this money.

The key to using an SDS budget is to make sure that how you want to use it relates very clearly to a person’s assessed needs and Personal Outcomes - and that you agree this with the Local Authority. The SDS legislation and Guidance supports the creative use of SDS budgets, provided it’s relevant and agreed.

You might also have a local Independent SDS Information and Support Service in your area, who might be able to support you with these types of questions. You can do a search on our website using the ‘Find Help’ button to see who’s local to you:

I hope that helps?

Many thanks,

Thankyou so much for your reply been very helpful .

Hi Lewis

I think Markieboy’s advice is good. It may well be a good idea to speak to your social worker first, to check what the LA’s position is. However, in my opinion, and Markieboy may disagree, it is not a question of asking their permission before you do something. You can do it anyway, even if they object. However any spend you make must be lawful and in pursuit of the agreed outcomes. If you think it is, and if you think the LA is wrong, you can defend your decision, because as far as I am aware, the decision belongs to you. That’s the whole point of SDS - YOU make the decisions. If you have to ask the LA every time before you do something, it’s not really you making the decision is it? But you do have to be ready to defend the decisions you make. I made a checklist to help with decision-making which I pasted into a post on another thread here, if you find it useful.