Have been trying to get on the direct payments scheme since June 2014. I have to if I want to carry on using the care agency that we have been using. They finally sent a card in Jan 2015 but they sent it to MIL. I finally got a new card in June 2015. Set it all up successfully, we are ready to go!! Woohoo!! Rang SS to find out how they stop paying for care & I start. Thought I'd got it sorted. The care agency phoned me last week to say there was no end date to when the LA would stop paying (bearing in mind I phoned SS 10 weeks ago) & I would start. We are also sitting on excess of £3K that they have been putting on this card, I can't use this money & offered to pay it back to them but the advisor I spoke to was very vague! Phoned them again on Thurs last week with the same query (plus I would like MIL to have another day in day care, which was mentioned 10 weeks ago) The lady I spoke to seemed a bit more on the ball. She said she was going to put a priory one on the query. Roll forward to Friday, I get a call from SS. Gosh I thought, that's quick! No, this was in response to my call 10 weeks ago when I also enquired about respite vouchers. They don't do them anymore they now put the budget on a card! Groan! At some point my MIL is going to have to go into a home when we go away (as much for my peace of mind as anything else) SS lady wanted to know if we wanted a home for MIL, I was quite astounded as we are going away on Tuesday! OH is against the idea at the moment as he doesn't think she is ready & I agree but want funding in place for future because I have no idea when she will be unsafe to leave. We have agreed on rolling respite which basically is extra care plus extras like the care agency could shop for her whilst we are away. It is also not rolling as I still have to apply each year. Sick to death of red tape & so sorry for such a long post. Have not packed yet & MIL is at the memory clinic tomorrow (1st time for 2 years) don't even know how I am going to get her there! I also have to shop for her tomorrow. Good Lord I'm such a moaner aren't I.