If you get a Direct Payment, Bristol City Council (BCC) is making a change that affects you.
BCC has set up a pre-paid card system – called a Bristol Direct Payments Account. Until now payment has been to your own bank account which is under your control. Under the new system BCC will run the account on your behalf using Prepaid Financial Services based in Ireland, and give you a ‘debit card’ to pay for goods and services they agree with.
The main differences are that, if the money is in your own bank account, you have total control and you don’t have to use the internet if you don’t want to. With your own bank account, BCC have to ask you for the return of any money and you can question their decision if you disagree with it. However, you do have to keep a record of exactly what you spend your Direct Payment on and all receipts.
With the proposed pre-paid card system you only have to keep your receipts but BCC have direct access and can take money out without your agreement. Although they are meant to notify you first, this means they can take the money before they respond to any objection you might raise.
It is up to you to decide which system works best for you but we have negotiated with BCC that you do not have to transfer to the new system if you prefer not to and, if you have already been moved, you can request that you go back to the old system. You have the right to choose which payment method suits you best.
If you are asked to move to a pre-paid card system and don’t want to, make this clear to BCC when they contact you.
If you have already been moved and want to go back to using your own bank account you should call Care Direct on 0117 922 2700 or online at www.bristol.gov.uk/social-care-health/form-contact-adult-care-services
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